Losing Weight/ Keep If Off
To lose weight and keep it off, the first thing you have to do is to forget the word "diet", which indicates a temporary solution to a long term problem. A successful weight loss plan requires a change in lifestyle and behavior in order to achieve and maintain a healthier body weight.
Physical activity and sensible eating habits are the keys to successful weight control. Physical activity helps improve overall body fitness. Exercise also helps maintain the rate at which your body burns calories. Without it, this rate may tend to decrease when you eat less, therefore it takes fewer calories for your body to function than before weight loss. When this happens, you gain weight more rapidly and it may be harder to lose weight the next time you try.
Sensible eating habits, including normal serving sizes as recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid and reducing your fat and calorie intake is another step in weight control. Our body uses fewer calories to burn fat than it does to use the carbohydrates and protein we eat. However extra calories, whether from carbohydrates, protein or fat are stored in the body as fat. Fat also contributes 9 calories per gram, as compared with protein and carbohydrates which yields 4 calories per gram. This information is located at the bottom of most food labels.
The bottom line in weight control is regular physical activity and smart eating habits, especially eating foods lower in calories and fat. Together they will help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
(Adapted from Loose Weight and Keep It Off, InfoSource, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension)