Columbia University

Give Yourself an Edge in Your Weight Loss Efforts

SOCIAL SUPPORT-FRIENDS AND FAMILY

The probabilities of losing weight on a diet are significantly affected by your social situation. If you live to yourself, for yourself, the chances of you succeeding on a weight loss program are diminished. If you are socially involved and active, the chances of you succeeding are much higher. You may need to move outside the place where you feel comfortable, but for your sake and others, do it.

That being the case, how can you succeed on your weight loss program?

1. Start your weight loss program with other people. Challenge each other. Hold each other accountable. Lift each other up when discouraged. Cheer when the inches, ounces and pounds drop off.

2. Announce your plan to as many people as possible.
a. To your family
b. To your friends
c. At work
d. At church
e. At clubs and organizations
f. Tell strangers what you are doing; maybe they will join you

3. Post on Facebook that you are losing weight. Proudly state your weight or the inches lost on a regular basis. Remember, the scale might not be moving down because the lean muscle you are building weighs more than fat. Your shrinking clothes size will tell the story.

4. Weigh yourself or better yet, track inches lost and keep a record. Some people see changes daily, others lose in spurts. If your pattern is to stay the same day after day and then drop inches or pounds abruptly, you might want to weigh or measure every 3 days or maybe once a week.

Why do all these things? Because you need to create accountability to help you stay the course and give other people the opportunity to celebrate as you achieve your goal. You will inspire yourself and others.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Adopt a weight loss program that is simple. If you are very structured maybe you can deal with counting and tracking things like points, calories, carbs and fat grams but for the typical harried American, a simple meal replacement plan that just requires you to eat a nutritious third meal is easier to manage. An analysis of 6 studies showed that using meal replacements "can safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors of disease." Source: Obesity Research Center, St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.

DEFEAT THE ENEMIES-HUNGER AND BOREDOM

Hunger and boredom can limit your resolve to lose weight so have a strategy in place. If it's a meal replacement plan, look for one that allows you to mix up the flavors. And make sure the meal replacement is made up of good quality protein and sound nutritional elements rather than just a "protein drink". Two meal replacements and a couple of healthy, low calorie snacks plus a delicious third meal will keep you on target to hit your weight loss goal.

IT'S NEAT TO FIDGET AND BURN THE CALORIES

Neat as in NEAT – non-exercise activity thermogenesis, that is. That's a mouthful but all it means is moving around on a regular basis throughout the day. So get up and move, like pacing while you talk on the phone, stand up and fold some clothes, walk the dog, park the car on the other side of the lot when you have nothing else to do, turn on some music and dance because sitting is a great culprit when it comes to weight gain. According to Dr. James Levine, researcher and endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic, there are two ways to exercise-at the gym or through all the activities of daily living called NEAT. And amazingly this non-exercise activity is "far more important for calorie-burning than exercise in nearly everyone." That's good news for most of us.

SO IN CONCLUSION

Live life and lose weight in community. People that live in community live longer and happier lives. Be one of the "long livers."

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