Five ways to stick to your diet

Losing weight is one of the most popular self-help tasks —and also one of the first we break.  Most of us give up because it seems too difficult or it’s not as effective as we’d hoped—and so one doctor has come up with a five-step plan to help you achieve your weight-loss goal.

The real problem is that most people set unrealistic goals, and get quickly disappointed, says Dr Aaron Michelfelder from Loyola University Health System.  He has recognised five ‘bad strategies’ that people adopt and which are destined to fail.

Bad strategy no. 1: I’ll lose weight in the gym. Working out is good for us, but it won’t help shed the pounds.

Bad strategy no. 2: I’ll have to dramatically change my diet. Don’t make radical changes, just cut back, and especially on the fastfoods and processed ‘white’ food.

Bad strategy no. 3: Weight-loss supplements will make it easier.  Supplements burn more muscle than fat, and you’ll put on more fat than muscle when you stop taking them.

Bad strategy no. 4: I want to shed pounds quickly, and plenty of them. Be realistic and look to lose one to two pounds a week.  Slow and steady is the way to go, and will help keep the pounds off.

Bad strategy no. 5: I give up.  This is the inevitable result of following any of the first four.  If you don’t get down to the trim size you had in mind, remember that any weight loss is good for you and will help you live a longer, and healthier, life.

Finally, says Dr Michelfelder, losing weight can be a group effort.  Tell the family so they don’t tempt you with weight-gaining snacks, and work with others who are looking to lose weight.

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