Losing Weight Permanently – Weight Management Tips

Weight management is a life-long effort, so we must be prepared to deal with challenges along the way and be in it for the long haul. To help us stay on course, it is important for us to know and constantly remind ourselves of our motivation(s) for losing weight.
Weight Management Tips
All doctors and health carers would love to hear that their patients want to lose weight for health reasons and to be better able to care for their children and other dependents. Such motivations tend to be better drivers than more superficial ones, such as for aesthetic reasons, but we maintain that there is nothing really wrong with the latter as long as the pursuit of a better-looking body leads to the achievement of a healthier body. Does losing weight for beauty always have the beneficial “side effect” of improved health? Yes, provided we lose weight through exercise and a balanced and healthy diet and provided the weight loss is not extreme.
Losing weight through liposuction, mesotherapy, over-the-counter drug consumption or other means without acquiring good and sustainable dietary and exercise habits does not offer the full benefits of weight loss, that is, better health and fitness.
Action Plan
A good place to start is to examine and understand your motivations. Your chances of success are higher if you are clear about why you want to lose weight. Tick one or more of the following. There is no right or wrong answer.
I want to lose weight:
• to better control and manage my existing medical conditions
• to reduce my medical bills and medications
• to minimize my risk of developing medical conditions
• to raise my fitness level, feel more energetic and be able to perform daily tasks with greater ease
• to perform better in my sport
• to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life
• to stay or become healthy so that I will be in a better position to care for my children and other dependents
• to improve my self-esteem and confidence
• to avoid being discriminated against
• to look good
• to fit into regular-sized / my old / nice clothes
• because my spouse / partner wants me to be trimmer
• to prepare for my wedding / a job interviewBaseline MeasurementsBefore you embark on your journey towards a healthier weight, let’s get some baseline measurements for weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.To measure your weight, it is best to use a weighing scale that is accurate to 0.1 kg (some are accurate only to 0.5 kg) so you can detect small changes. Whether it is digital or analogue does not matter, although digital scales are easier to read. Your weight will vary through the day, depending on your food and water intake, bladder and bowel movement and how much you perspire. To be consistent, always weigh yourself in the morning, after emptying the bladder and bowel, but before breakfast. Weigh yourself without clothes on, or in light clothes, and without shoes on.Be sure to use the same scale each time.When measuring your waist circumference, a measuring tape that applies a fixed tension is preferable.
We can safely lose between 0.5 and 1.0 kg per week. Slower rates are possible, but most people prefer to see quick weight loss in order to stay motivated. Losing more than 1.0 kg per week is detrimental, as one would be losing not only fat but also muscle mass excessively, making it even harder to lose weight or maintain the weight loss later.
Most people should aim to eventually reach a healthy BMI of 23.0 kg-m2 and/or a waist circumference of less than 90 cm for men and 80 cm for women. This can be achieved in stages. Some may never be able to reach this ideal BMI, but that is not critical. What is more important is to make progressive improvements and to embark on regular exercise. It has been demonstrated that the health benefits of regular exercise can be independent of weight loss, that is, an individual who is overweight but exercises regularly can have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than another who is thinner but sedentary.
Some people prefer to lose weight continuously; for most, a stepwise strategy may work better.
Set a weight-loss target for the intermediate term (e.g. six months). Medically significant weight loss (i.e. resulting in significant reduction in health risks) is taken as a 5-10 % weight loss from the starting weight, so 10% over six months is a reasonable target.
Avoid setting targets over very short terms (e.g. two weeks) as that would encourage drastic measures that may work initially but later lead to a rebound (e.g. yo-yo dieting).
Plan over blocks of six months instead and be prepared to put in a good effort for at least a year. If you can lose weight and maintain your weight loss over a year, your chances of longer-term success are increased. The longer you manage to maintain your reduced weight, the easier it gets.

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