10 Weight Loss Principles for Better Health

By Hans Diehl, M.D. www.chiphealth.com

1. Think long-term. Shortcuts and quickie plans never achieve true weight loss or improve health.

2. Do it for yourself. Improving your health and energy are better motivations than an up-coming class reunion.

3. Prepare the way. Don't rush into a diet before you are ready for long-term changes. Keeping a diet journal will help you become more aware of what you eat and why.  Document your weight loss goals, and celebrate your successes—on paper!

4. Think fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables. In the standard American diet more than 50% of calories come from fat, sugar and alcohol.

5. Control portion sizes. Use a smaller plate. Serve yourself smaller portions and put away leftovers before you eat. At restaurants, ask for a doggie bag instead of cleaning your plate.  Weight loss is seldom achieved at all-you-can-eat buffets.

6. Eat three meals a day. Eating at regular intervals will not send your body into a deprivation (starvation) mode, which may cause you to eat and binge more.

7. Maintain your weight loss program. Successful weight loss managers realize that they are not on a temporary diet—they are starting a permanent new lifestyle.

8. Exercise. It's fun and keeps you flexible. Activity is the key to successful weight loss, particularly in middle age.

9. Don't overdo it. Don't push your weight loss goals to the higher end of the target range. A brisk one-hour walk a day is a terrific goal for steady, healthy weight management.

10. When you think activity—think "play."  "Walking the dog," gardening, yardwork, household chores, sports, bicycling, and playing with kids are all productive activities. How do kids exercise? They play! You can have fun too.


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