Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Secrets to Losing Weight Long-term

In keeping with my strong belief in a healthy lifestyle, I recommend to at least one-half of the patients I see to try to lose some weight. Weight above your ideal body mass serves no beneficial purpose and can only causes medical problems and shorten your lifespan.

What are the secrets to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight?

1. Count the calories of EVERYTHING you eat and drink. Make sure this number stays below the target number that has been determined by your doctor. A recent study by Sacks et al in the New England Journal of Medicine [2009 Feb 26;360(9):859-73. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates] demonstrated that it is not so important what you eat, rather how much you eat. When you eat less calories, you tend to lose weight.

2. Eat healthy foods. The "Mediterranean diet" emphasizes eating vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and olive oil rather than meats, eggs, cookies, and fast foods.

3. Regular exercise that includes components of aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility, agility, and speed work.

4. Get enough sleep, 8 to 9 hours per day, on a regular schedule.

5. Do not smoke or use any type of tobacco product.

6. Keep alcoholic beverages to less than 1-2 glasses per day.

7. Watch the levels of stress that you are subject to. Stress can be a very insiduous and detrimental factor in your life. I have not seen many people's lives be lengthened because of lots of negative stress.

8. Start and continue to get positive feedback from one or more persons on a regular basis. This helps keep your motivation level high.

If you have questions about weight loss, ask your doctor and try to devise a plan that you can stick with. You may need to consult with a nutritionist and a physical trainer also.

2 comments:

bej said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bej said...

Tracking calorie intake is tough but very rewarding. The web offers many applications to help with this; I have been very successful with cron-o-meter (http://spaz.ca/cronometer/).

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