Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Let's face it -- metabolism slows with age, but that doesn't mean that you can't still look great and maintain a healthy weight over the long haul. If the pounds have crept on over the years you can make a plan now to get back to a weight you feel good about.
Meeting your weight loss goal will require deliberate, sustained changes in your diet and activity level. If you want to lose weight and maintain the weight loss, you will need to take in fewer, and burn more calories. On average, you will gain one pound for each 3,500 calories you ingest.
Experts recommend the following three strategies for maintaining a healthy weight - food diaries, goal setting and exercise planning.
Using a food diary is as simple as keeping a record of everything you put in your mouth. When you are really in touch with your eating pattern it becomes more clear where changes need to be made. Food diaries improve your chances of success by eliminating mindless eating.
It is not enough to say that you want to lose weight or start exercising. You must also understand why this goal is important to you. What is your motivation? Take some time to write you're your reasons. Do you want to lose weight so that you can have more energy to enjoy your family and friends? Has your doctor given you cause for concern about your current weight? Are you planning for a class reunion or vacation? Write down your motivation as well as the benefits you think will come with meeting your weight loss goal. It is also a good idea to state specific, measurable goals. These will help you to stay on track (pictures are a great help too). Make a chart to track your weekly progress. Enlist a friend or join an online group for support and encouragement.
It can be difficult to fit exercise into a busy schedule but the bottom line is we find the time to do the things we have identified as priorities. Treat your exercise time as a sacred appointment just as you would a business meeting or other important engagement because it is important. There are no miracle pills; the miracle is in your movement.
Pace yourself as you begin your new exercise regimen. If you haven't had a physical in the last 12 months it is a good idea to have one before you start. In the first few weeks aim to work at reaching 50% of your target heart rate. Gradually move toward 75%. You can build stamina and shed pounds by walking, playing tennis, swimming or anything that gets your heart rate up for a sustained period. Just choose an activity that you enjoy and put the support you need in place to stick with it.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not about starvation and sweat. It is about making and keeping a commitment to do something that is important to you. If you want a cookie have one – just don't have ten. Focus on the benefits weight loss will bring and the feelings of deprivation will fade.
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