Do you know how to manage weight successfully?

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Answered by: Hazel, An Expert in the Manage your Weight Category
At the beginning of a new year, it seems that many are eager to lose weight. Fitness center memberships increase and shoppers can be seen loading their grocery carts with healthier foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods. Even though they have the best of intentions, in a few weeks many of these individuals will fall short of their commitments to become healthy. This is because people often fail to understand how to manage weight successfully because weight management involves commitment to real changes in lifestyle.

When weight management is approached from a lifestyle change perspective, there is less emphasis on numbers on the scale and more on becoming healthier overall. If you are one of those people who made a resolution to lose weight but have had trouble sticking to your original plan, consider the following tips for managing your weight.

Assess your readiness to lose weight

Determining to lose weight at the beginning of a new year seems like a good goal for many people. Maybe it is because they enjoyed a lot of calorie laden food over the holidays--or perhaps it just feels right because everyone else is doing it. However, one of the most important aspects of successful weight management is readiness to lose weight. Being ready to lose weight involves looking at any barriers or issues that can interfere with progress toward weight-loss goals.

For example, if you are going through a personal crisis or have just started a new job, you might think about waiting until these events settle down before jumping headfirst into a weight management that requires a lot of time and effort. Maybe a better goal would be to eat more fruits and vegetables and cut back on sugary snacks. This is a way to ease into a healthy lifestyle change without becoming overwhelmed.

Look at weight management as a lifestyle

People make the decision to lose weight for various reasons. For one person, it may be to get ready for high school reunion and for another, losing weight might be seen as a symbolic way to shed other burdens. Whatever the reason, if weight loss is simply seen as "going on a diet" for a specified period of time, it is going to be difficult to manage weight for life. Learning how to manage weight takes patience. If you approach weight management from a as a lifestyle change your chances of losing weight and keeping it off are better.

Eating healthy does not require special foods or not eating foods that you enjoy. Small steps like replacing two sugar-sweetened drinks each day with water, filling half of your lunch or dinner plate with healthy vegetables and eating whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice are lifestyle changes that can lead to your taking weight off and keeping it off. Add to that a brisk 30-minute walk as often as you can fit it in, and you will begin to see changes in your health and your overall outlook on life.

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