If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, there are literally thousands, if not millions, of weight losing programs to choose from. The hard part is finding the right one for you.
Studies show that the weight losing programs that work the best are the ones in which the dieter undergoes a long term shift in their eating habits. These programs take a behavioral approach to dieting that’s tailored to the individual, as opposed to the ‘one size fits all’ diets that have you eating a strict regimen for a specified period of time.
Programs such that offer packaged meals, calorie counting devices, counseling, group support and other means to help dieters stay on track with weight losing are the most successful. They’ve been shown to be the most effective for sustained weight loss without the rebound effect that comes from crash diets in which the person boomerangs back to their old weight as soon as the diet is over.
Any weight losing programs you undertake should have a target loss of no more than two pounds per week. More than that can compromise your health with too few calories and not enough protein, vitamins and minerals. Also, these types of radical weight losing programs usually end up being counter-productive because the dieter ends up blowing the diet and binging on their favorite junk food just to ease their hunger pangs and get their energy level back to normal.
Take a sensible approach to weight loss by choosing a diet that allows you take off the pounds slowly enough to keep you on track without causing undue hunger, fatigue and stress. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies that fill you up and provide vitamins and fiber without large amounts of calories. Drink lots of water to avoid feelings of hunger and dehydration.
Eat smaller meals and when you snack, do so in smaller portions than normal. For instance, if you’re eating chips, pour a small serving into a bowl, so you’re not tempted to eat the whole bag. The same goes for cookies: take only one and put the rest away. By allowing yourself small portions of your favorite foods, you’ll be less tempted to binge and blow your weight losing programs.
Exercise should also be a part of weight losing programs to be effective. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. Playing tennis, racket ball, hiking, biking and swimming are fun ways to incorporate exercise into your weight losing efforts.
Joining a gym where you can work with a personal trainer is another great way to exercise. If you’re not able to work out vigorously, don’t give up on the exercise portion of weight losing programs. Walking for 30 minutes a day is enough to burn calories and move you forward to your target weight.
Whatever weight losing programs you choose, stick with it long enough to start seeing success. Once you feel those pounds melting off your body, you’ll be inspired to keep going.