Are you one of the millions of Americans who have made a new year’s resolution to lose weight through exercise and diet?
If so, congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. However, taking excess weight off, and keeping it off takes time. There are many “new” diets that all claim to provide THE answer to weight loss. While a majority of these diets work to some degree, not all diets are right for everyone.
Whichever diet you choose, use caution in executing it, and follow these general guidelines:
- Always consult with your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program. This will help insure that a program is right for your body type, medical history, and condition.
- Go slow. Studies have shown that for effective long-term weight loss to occur, people should only lose between 1 – 2.5 pounds per week.
- Start with a gradual reduction in calories. Rapid reductions may make you feel week, unenergized, and could lead to other complications. Try cutting just 200 – 300 calories/day for the first week of a diet, do the same for the following weeks until you reach your calorie intake goal.
- Good diet practice suggests eating 5 – 6 balanced meals of smaller proportions throughout the day. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, and “good” sources of fats are the building blocks of any successful diet program.
Not all diets work for everyone. Just because a specific diet worked for your favorite Hollywood star or best friend, don’t assume it will work for you. Everyone responds differently, so don’t get discouraged.
Beginners should consult with their physician prior to starting any exercise program.