Losing Weight for Good
Ann Donaghy* knew she was overweight after graduating college. “I realized I had a problem when I went to the doctor and she told me that I weighed 225 pounds,” Ann says. “Even my 5’11” frame couldn’t hide the weight.” It was that moment when Ann realized something had to change.
According to national data, nearly 66% of all Americans (about 144 million of us) are overweight, nearly double the statistics of the 1980s. With a diet and exercise routine, Ann was able to lose 80 pounds over the course of a year, and you can too.
When it comes to losing weight, “the most important thing is to start,” advises Greg Joujon-Roche, founder of Holistic Fitness, which provides specialized programs to Hollywood actors.
Your Ideal Weight
To first step of your weight loss journey is figuring out your current and ideal body mass indexes (BMI). To determine this, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor or registered dietician. Also, information is available online at the Center for Disease Control’s web site or Revolution Health.
One way to find the right weight loss goal for you is to “think about the lowest amount of weight you’ve been able to sustain as an adult,” says Elisa Zied, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of So What Can I Eat?!
No matter how much weight you need to lose, a sure path to success includes setting realistic weight loss goals. A healthy weight loss rate one to two pounds a week and dropping pounds any quicker may be damaging your health or setting the stage for yo-yo dieting. “Anything that is worthwhile takes time, and you need to give yourself time to make the healthful weight loss habits stick,” Zied explains.
Fueling Fitness Through Food
When creating your diet plan, look for the basics of healthy weight-conscious eating, including lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water.
Derek Zar was able to lose 200 pounds by paying attention to his diet. He gave up soda and late-night food runs, and started listening to his body’s hunger cues. “After a while, I started to see the difference in my cravings: This type of craving meant water, this type of craving meant food,” he says.
Exercise is the other essential ingredient for losing weight. Most experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity three days a week to maintain your weight. In order to lose it, you’ll need even more activity. A pound represents 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound each week, you’ll need an average 500-calorie deficit each day.