Losing weight can be very taxing, both psychologically and physically, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. Consequently it is really important to make sure that you follow a safe program. What does safe weight loss involve? This will vary a little from person to person, depending on how many pounds you plan to shed and your overall state of health, but there are some general guidelines which can put you on the right track.
Before starting a weight loss program, you should talk to your doctor, who will be able to give you advice and monitor your progress. If you have more than a few pounds to lose, are very unfit or suffer from a medical condition, it's especially important to seek medical support in advance. It's also useful to be weighed by someone else periodically - you can tell yourself that you are sticking to your diet, but stepping on the scales will reveal the truth. Knowing that someone else will be checking your weight is a great incentive, which will help you keep going when you are tempted to give up.
The rate of weight loss is also an important consideration, as it's not only bad for your health to follow an overstrict regime, it's also bad for your results. Losing weight too quickly could slow down your metabolism, as your body adjusts to famine conditions and unfortunately doesn't readjust when you start to eat more again. Depriving yourself of foods you enjoy, including occasional treats, can lead to binge eating when hunger becomes too much to bear. Then, after days or weeks of hard work, you blow the diet and eat excessively, putting all the weight you lost right back on again. The safest approach is to aim to lose one or two pounds per week. You should also make sure that you are getting all the essential nutrients by eating a balanced diet, permitting yourself the occasional chocolate bar or slice of cake. You could also take a good quality multivitamin and mineral tablet, as many important elements have lost their efficiency by the time food reaches our tables.
Exercise is also a crucial part of your weight loss plan and should be suitable for your age, fitness and weight. Again it is advisable to get expert advice, so that you can maximize your efforts without damaging your health. Start by speaking to your doctor and if you plan on going to the gym, be sure to have your exercise program tailored to fit your needs.
© Waller Jamison 2007