Strategic Weight Loss

Strategic Weight Loss



One of​ the​ first things that you'll do when you decide to​ lose weight is​ to​ set a​ goal weight. For most,​ that goal will be their 'ideal weight',​ but for many,​ that 'ideal weight' may be exactly the​ wrong weight for them to​ be aiming for.

Years of​ dieting or​ being overweight have the​ physiological effect of​ moving the​ body's concept of​ the​ 'ideal weight' from what is​ truly considered ideal. the​ 'set point' is​ the​ weight at​ which your body naturally feels most comfortable. if​ you've been overweight for a​ very long time,​ or​ if​ you've consistently 'yo-yoed',​ your body may respond to​ your initial weight loss by lowering its metabolism because it​ believes that you are starving to​ death. This slowing leads to​ discouraging plateaus that often knock people off their diets entirely,​ and lead to​ regaining all or​ part of​ the​ lost weight.

Instead of​ aiming for an​ 'ideal weight' that calls for you to​ lose weight steadily for months or​ even years,​ many experts recommend aiming for shorter-term attainable goals. Since the​ bulk of​ diet research shows that most dieters lose weight steadily for about 12 weeks,​ then hit a​ plateau,​ that's the​ number that they suggest you aim for. the​ strategy that many have found works best for them is​ one of​ alternating periods of​ weight loss and maintenance,​ each lasting 8-12 weeks.

Choose a​ realistic amount of​ weight that you can lose in​ 8-12 weeks. Figuring that the​ most reasonable and healthiest weight loss rate is​ 1-2 pounds per week,​ 30 pounds in​ three months is​ not unreasonable. Diet until you reach that goal,​ or​ for 12 weeks,​ whichever comes first,​ and then switch to​ a​ maintenance diet.

Why switch to​ a​ maintenance diet at​ that point? in​ part,​ you're giving yourself a​ 'breather',​ a​ break from more restrictive eating. the​ other part,​ though,​ is​ that you're re-educating your body and letting it​ establish a​ new 'set point'. Once you've maintained your new weight for 8-12 weeks,​ set another weight loss goal,​ and move back into weight loss mode. By giving your body a​ break from 'starvation',​ you'll have overcome its resistance to​ losing more weight,​ and be back to​ dieting for 'the first two weeks' - the​ weeks that most people lose weight more rapidly.

You'll also be giving yourself a​ chance to​ 'practice' maintaining your new,​ healthier weight. Researchers have found that more than half of​ the​ dieters who take off significant amounts of​ weight do not maintain that weight loss once they go 'off' their diet. By practicing weight maintenance in​ stages,​ you'll be proving to​ yourself that you CAN do it,​ and removing a​ powerful negative psychological block.

This will work with any long-term weight loss diet,​ no matter the​ focus. You'll find it​ much easier to​ do if​ you choose a​ diet that has concrete 'phases',​ like the​ South Beach or​ the​ Atkins,​ since the​ weight loss and maintenance phases are clearly laid out for you to​ follow. Regardless of​ the​ diet you choose,​ though,​ by alternating between weight loss phases and maintenance phases,​ you'll teach yourself and your body how to​ maintain a​ healthy weight.




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