The first steps to reaching your target weight

The first steps to reaching your target weight

Do you think you might be too heavy? You’re not alone. According to official figures, more than half of us are overweight and one in four is obese. Why? We tend to eat too much of the wrong types of food, and many of us lead inactive lifestyles. Here’s how to fix that.

Smart food choices

  • The types of food that you consume have a huge effect on your weight and the health of your arteries.
  • Simply by making healthier food choices, you will be able to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as that of diabetes, osteoarthritis, liver disease and several forms of cancer.

Secret of success

  • Losing weight doesn’t have to be a form of punishment. There’s no need to spend your days counting carbohydrates, fat grams and calories.
  • Just by knowing which foods to eat more of and which to cut back on, you’ll make the changes that will ensure you are still trim and healthy 10 years from now.

Recognize

  • If you already know you’re overweight, it is helpful to know just how heavy you are, so that you can follow your progress as you begin to lose weight.
  • The most reliable indicator of how much body fat you have is the body mass index, or BMI.
  • If you are overweight, it means that you weigh more than the ideal for your sex, height and build; usually, men who are 20 per cent or more over their ideal weight, and women who are 25 per cent or more over theirs, are obese.

Find your motivation

  • There are no quick fixes for achieving long-term weight loss. In order to succeed, you must really want to change your eating habits and believe that change is worth the effort.
  • Think about your reasons for wanting to lose weight.
  • You are far more likely to reach your goal if you are pursuing it for your own satisfaction (rather than to appeal to your partner, or to impress your boss, or to stop your neighbour thinking you’re fat).
  • Try to find some inner motivation — such as being able to climb a flight of stairs without panting.
  • Visualize yourself at your ideal weight, feeling attractive, in favourite clothes you haven’t been able to wear for a few years — and having the energy and confidence to go swimming with your children. You know what’s important to you.

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