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Eight Basics To Consider When Choosing A Weight Loss Plan

Originally Posted: May 28, 2011

Southampton - It's happened almost more times than you can count. You think you've found your perfect match, and things seem so promising at first, after all, you're getting the results you wanted. Sooner or later, though, everything starts going downhill. You don't have the control you thought you had, and you've lost the progress you were making. No, we're not talking about a relationship - we're talking about weight loss! Many Americans want to shed pounds and live more healthily, but they're stuck in a self-perpetuating pattern of dead-end diets.

According to Lavinia Rodriguez, it's time to consciously improve your odds and she has some concrete advice that will get you out of your rut. "Despite being told that most dieting attempts 90 percent, in fact fail, people are still susceptible to falling for quick weight loss promises that have no chance of succeeding in the long run," says Rodriguez, author of "Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management." "Clearly, the desire to be healthier is there but the know how isn't."

So why, exactly, do so many of us have histories of going on and off diets, over and over again? Rodriguez thinks the answer can be boiled down to optimism: We just can't resist giving in to that little voice in our minds that says, I'll stick with it this time, or, this diet seems different I bet it'll work each time the latest weight loss fad appears.

"It's time to pair your good intentions with some solid know how," Rodriguez states. "Forewarned truly is forearmed. Once you know what works and what doesn't when it comes to weight loss, you'll finally have the tools you need to choose a healthy lifestyle to which you can commit for a lifetime!"

Eight Of Rodriguez's Suggestions Include

1. Identify your weaknesses (and be honest). The first thing you should do before embarking on a weight loss program is to be honest with yourself. If you have a long history of on and off dieting, it's time to face the fact that the types of diets you've been on don't work. You might not have thought about it this way before, but those programs may have been very similar to each other, even though they had different names (i.e., The Low Carb Diet, The Blood Type Diet, The Grapefruit Diet).

2. Know what you really need to lose. Most people who want to lose weight want to do it fast and the dieting industry is ready to oblige them. What these programs don't always tell you is what kind of weight you'll be losing. Did you know that the lower number on your scale could be water loss or muscle loss - not fat loss?

3. Focus on behaviors, not numbers. Believe it or not, successful weight loss has something in common with brushing your teeth: Both are part of your lifestyle, not temporary tasks. Your teeth don't stay magically clean after one brush, and you don't stay healthy by getting to your goal weight and then going back to your old habits.

4. Make sure you're active. There's no way around it: Aerobic exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. For one thing, maintaining a healthy weight is as much about burning energy as it is about limiting your calorie intake, and for another, exercise helps keep your body and its processes fit and strong.

5. Don't let your calendar terrorize you. You may think that vowing to lose 10 pounds in six weeks, say, will be a good motivator. Well, maybe, but it might also leave you feeling terrible about yourself if you don't meet it. When it comes to losing weight, it's best to set wellness goals but leave concrete time limits out of it.

6. Say no to fad diets. Despite your initial impulses, it's important to avoid the temptation of turning to fad diets. Yes, it's natural and understandable to be excited by the latest program that promises to melt pounds. However, points out Rodriguez, you need to remind yourself that rigid, stringent fad diets usually aren't healthy, and they're not a long-term fix.

7. Embrace sustainability. Unless you want to lose all of the healthy ground you've gained, it's important to make sure that the eating and exercise plan you go on is one that you can follow for the rest of your life. (Again, that's the fatal flaw of fad diets). Rodriguez recommends designing a program that you not only feel comfortable and satisfied with, but that doesn't require others' assistance.

8. Acknowledge that you have limits. No matter how much you diet and work out, you may never have your favorite celebrity's body. That doesn't mean that you've failed or that you're less than just that you have your own body type and genetics (and no personal trainer and stylist).

"If you take these tips into account the next time you want to lose weight, you'll be much better equipped to weed out programs that aren't going to do you any favors in the long run," Rodriguez concludes. "It's time to get off of the yo-yo dieting merry-go-round for good and embark on a long-term, committed relationship with a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle!"

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