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Do you find it difficult to lose weight? Have you lost weight in the past, then down the road found yourself back at your starting weight or even heavier? Poor eating and exercise habits can build up over time and can make change difficult, but change is essential to successful weight loss and your ability to maintain weight loss.

The best plan of action for weight loss is to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life so they become part of your daily routine. On average, it takes ~66 days to establish a new habit. Below are some simple steps to put you on the path to weight loss success.

·         Know the Facts

o   To lose one pound of weight per week, you need to:

§  Cut 500 calories per day from the amount of calories you are currently consuming

§  Burn up to an additional 500 calories daily from physical activity, or

§  Do a combination of both to reach your goal of a 500 calorie per day deficit

·         Keep a Food Journal

o   This is a great tool to help you track the amount of calories you are consuming daily

o   It also makes you aware of the types and amounts of foods you are consuming so that you can make needed changes to make your eating habits healthier

o   A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that one of the most powerful predictors of weight loss was how many days per week that participants kept a food journal

·         Add Extra Movement to Your Day

o   Being physically active can help you lose weight

o   You should work your way up to a goal of accumulating at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week

o   Simple changes can help you burn a few extra calories during the day

§  Take the stairs instead of riding the elevator

§  Park your vehicle at the end of the parking lot and walk to your destination

§  Take your dog for a walk

§  Purchase a pedometer and count your steps

·         Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day

Maybe you have already been on the journey to successful weight loss and are wondering how you will maintain your success. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has been established to identify ways the NWCR members have managed to keep the weight off. Most members reported they eat breakfast daily, weigh themselves at least one time per week, watch less than 10 hours of TV per week and exercise, on average, ~1 hour per day.

Whether you are just beginning your weight loss journey or you have been on it a while, remember that persistence is the key.

References:

www.nwcr.ws

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

www.eatright.org

www.webmd.com

www.psychologytoday.com