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Seven signposts for a successful weight loss programme

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11th-Nov-2017       
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Life Desk  :
Whether the drive to lose weight is the reflection in front of the mirror, an unkind remark, or good health, a fit and trim body certainly has a premium. And it takes more than just diet to be successful at managing weight.
Make diet a partner for life: Most people say they are motivated and ready to make a permanent shift. Yet, I find that in actual practice, this does not happen. Usually, this is because of feeling deprived, incomplete understanding, following diet charts mechanically, or diets that do not fit mainstream eating patterns. It must be clear that unfortunately, there is no diet or exercise programme which is permanent. The benefits will last only as long as they are followed.
Success redefined: Lost kilos equal 'results' but they are certainly not 'success.' Let us draw from the example of learning vs grades. Grades certainly are desirable but may not have much to do with education and learning as a whole. In other words, getting good grades doesn't necessarily equate to success. A lot depends on how the grades have been achieved. Similarly, for weight, if it has been achieved with the right learning and attitude, it is likely to be sustained.
Diet redefined: The word diet comes from the Greek word 'Diaita/dieta', which means a 'way of life'. It has very little to do with common perception of diets, diet charts and deprivation. Remember that the best diet is the one you never feel you are on, that is, it is completely integrated within you and allows you to follow it for the rest of your life.
You are what you eat: Remember that eating differently and eating right will slowly change you, both in terms of hunger and preferences. Smart eating lowers caloric intake often by less than 50 per cent and increases energy levels. This comes as a surprise to most people as the common perception is 'the more you eat, the more energy you have and vice-a-versa.'
Relationship with food: Eating the right kind of food with optimum nutrition helps you to redefine your relationship with food. Food you thought you could not survive without, may never tempt you again. Often desirable foods like fruits and vegetables which many disliked to begin with, become the central theme of diets.
Baby steps: Start with small, sustainable dietary changes. Even small differences can make huge differences in the way you feel and your weight. A reduction of just a teaspoon of sugar a day amounting to 20 Kcals can help you lose about a kilogramme of body weight in a year! Simply switching to low fat dairy, lowering consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, shifting to healthier snacks, changing methods of cooking, shifting dinner time, writing a food diary, can make phenomenal differences.
Set smart goals: Be realistic. For some, a loss of 2-4 kg a month is okay, while for others with insulin resistance or metabolic obesity as little as 1-2 kg a month may be acceptable. Set small targets. For example: monthly or three-monthly goals.
-Indian Express

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