How To Properly Lose Weight


While there may be several fast-track methods to losing weight, you will soon come to the realization that losing weight quickly is not the best approach to safe, effective and sustainable weight loss over the long run.

The reason being is that there are specific health concerns associated with losing more than 3 to 5 pounds of excess body weight per week, and there is a much greater probability that you will regain the weight after you have completed your weight loss program.

In fact, the typical regain period for a person that loses more than 5 pounds per week occurs within a single year. Imagine wasting all of that time, money, and possibly endangering your health only to gain the weight back in a single year.

There are more appropriate, safe, effective and lasting weight loss approaches that should be followed by anyone embarking on a weight loss program.

The single most important aspect associated with effectively losing weight is to understand that a weight loss program is more than just changing your eating habits for 12 weeks or adding an exercise routine to your dietary program.

A truly healthy weight loss program should be designed around the following items:

  • A goal of achieving your optimum weight as defined by one of the medically-approved approaches. For additional information on the various medically-approved approaches to determining your optimum weight, please view our article entitled Your Optimum Weight.

  • Effective weight loss and truly good health and fitness is a lifestyle approach and should be practiced over your entire life. In other words, embarking on a dietary program for a couple of months and then returning back to your old habits is unhealthy, filled with lifelong frustration, and generally detrimental to your health.

    A better approach is to modify your lifestyle to that of a healthy, physically active and nutritional dietary intake regime that includes plenty of rest and relaxation. Placing these items at the forefront of your overall approach to life will ensure a lifestyle that is filled with good health, reduced illness, less stress and a more evenly balanced approach to life.

  • Performing some form of strength training routine to maintain lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, improve bone density and reduce the amount of lean muscle tissue lost during your weight loss program.

  • Consuming a healthy, balanced, nutritious, whole-food diet that is calorie-conscious and free of processed foods. One startling fact that many individuals are unaware of is that the United States of America is one of the most overweight countries in the world, and one of the most malnourished as well. The reason for this phenomena is that many of the foods commonly consumed by Americans are high in fat and empty calories. In other words, while the average American consumes a high number of calories per day, the actual value of the food in terms of nutrition is extremely low.

  • Make sure that you get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per day and that you set aside some time to consciously calm and relax your mind. Sleep is extremely important for the mind and body as many bodily functions occur while sleeping. Relaxation and "quiet time" allow your body and mind to relax, rejuvenate, calm and wash away the day's stress.

Consider the following approaches to be the foundation of your weight loss program, as adhering to them will increase your probability of achieving your personal weight loss goals. Not only will you improve your chances of success, but you will likely have more time to enjoy the newer, slimmer you.

The Rules of Proper Weight Loss


healthy food choices
  1. Never attempt to lose more than 3 to 5 pounds per week. Losing 3 to 5 pounds per week is a very sensible goal that is completely safe.

    Although this may not seem like much, it adds up to 78 to 130 pounds of lost weight over a 6 month period. Imagine how tone and slim you would look if you lost 78 to 130 pounds of excess body weight, assuming that you had that much weight to lose and that you retained a high percentage of your lean muscle tissue.

  2. Check with your medical physician prior to beginning your weight loss program or significantly changing any weight loss program already in place. Your medical doctor can assist you with defining your personal weight loss goals and determine whether you are healthy enough to begin a dietary weight loss program.

  3. Many individuals that embark on a weight loss diet through consuming low-calorie, nutritious foods, rather than just eating less, are surprised at how much they can actually eat.

    By simply reducing the amount of fried foods and sugar that you consume on a daily basis, you will find that you can eat more food and still reduce your daily caloric intake.

  4. The more reasonable your weight loss diet, the better your probability of sticking to it for the rest of your life. Eliminate foods that you know you can live without. Drinking two less bottles of soda and spending more time playing with your children are both things you can afford to do that will shed those extra pounds at the same time.

  5. Increase your daily caloric expenditure through simple physical activities. For example, you may elect to use the stairs instead of the elevator and cut an additional 60 calories per day. You could even start walking to work, walking during your lunch break, or walking before or after work to burn an extra 300 and 500 calories per day. Small changes in physical activity levels over long periods of time yield proven and solid weight loss results.

  6. Maintain a high level of motivation and remain positive as you journey down the path to the obtainment of your personal weight loss goals. Make sure that you set your personal weight loss goals at a reasonable level. If you expect weight loss results that are too ambitious, you will only become frustrated and disappointed. Use the first few weeks of your weight loss program to determine what makes sense to accomplish over the following few weeks.

  7. Identify ways to maintain your motivation and reward yourself as you obtain your smaller interim weight loss goals. If you do not enjoy your weight loss program and the lifestyle that it entails, you'll be unlikely to achieve your personal weight loss goals over the long run. Maintain an exercise/weight loss log to maintain focus and motivation, or do something simple like listening to music while you exercise.

  8. Figure out how many calories you will need to eliminate from your diet on a daily basis to effectively lose the excess body weight in the time period you desire. For example, if your Basal Metabolic Rate is 2,500 calories per day (the average number of calories your body burns in a day) and your goal is to lose 2 pounds per week, then you will need to limit your daily caloric intake to 1,500 calories per day (a deficit of 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of weight loss).

  9. Maintain a weight loss log that includes all the information about how your weight loss program is constructed, when exercise sessions are performed, the amount of resistance and repetitions used for each exercise, a list of all foods consumed and the number of calories they contain, and other relevant information. Additional information can include hydration and how it affects your workout performance, daily mood level, ongoing thoughts regarding your progress, and most importantly, your goals and how well you are progressing towards them.

  10. When you start, set aside modest time for your workout routine, as committing too much time to your exercise workout may become difficult to adhere to and add unnecessary stress to your life. For example, you may determine that 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week is a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to your weight loss program and fits comfortably into your daily lifestyle. A simple 30-minute walk after work three time per week may be an option as well. The important thing is that you are burning additional calories on a consistent basis, and safely adding to the rate at which you lose weight.

  11. Begin your weight loss program with the inclusion of a weight training session. Resistance training will add or maintain lean muscle tissue and increase your metabolism, resulting in more calories burned per day.

  12. Take your time. The best and most sustainable weight loss results occur over the long run. While it may be tempting to push yourself too hard so that you can fit into those tight pants by this year's class reunion, it's important to remember that maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong endeavor. It's much better to achieve your goals eventually than to burn out before achieving them at all.

  13. Increase quality, not quantity. Individuals often forget that focusing on performing an exercise correctly will not only increase its effectiveness, but reduce the probability of injury as well. Perform as many exercises as possible in front of a mirror and evaluate whether you performed the exercise with the correct form throughout the entire range of motion.

  14. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep, as 95% of muscle gains occur during rest. By giving your body more time to rest, your muscles will have the time necessary to repair themselves, recuperate and develop.

  15. Create a weight loss program that you can adhere to over the long run, as maintaining motivation and determination can be difficult at times. There are several factors that can lead to a weight loss program not producing the results you expect. However, it's important to avoid giving up, no matter how hard it becomes to adhere to your weight loss program.

    Simply resolving to do something about your current state of health and fitness shows maturity and self-esteem. Remember, the intent of your weight loss program is to achieve your personal weight loss goals, and sustain that level of health and fitness throughout your life.

healthy lifestyle

There are several factors associated with a successful weight loss program, and it is our hope that you achieve your personal fitness goals not only today, but throughout your life. All in all, living a healthy and fit life at your optimum weight is all about making healthy choices on a permanent, ongoing basis.

True health and fitness is best viewed as a lifelong commitment that begins with your overall lifestyle and the approach you take towards it.

Consistency is another important factor, as too often individuals decide to get into shape for 6 months and then quit. This approach creates a vicious cycle that leads to poor self-esteem, frustration and a lack of motivation.