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How to lose weight

Dieting is a multi-billion pound industry and wherever there is money there will be people trying to rip you off, to exploit you when you are most vulnerable. They havenít got your best interests at heart they want to take your money. There are myriad weight loss clubs and there are so many diets from Atkins to the F-plan (no doubt right through to the Z-plan). There are special diets for men, for women, even, heaven help us, Ďcelebrity dietsí and as far as Detox goes you may as well drink tap water. The list goes on and on of people trying to make a fast buck out of other peopleís misery.

It has always been the way, greedy people feeding off the naÔve and needy. Itís human nature. It is not in the industries interest to succeed in making you lose weight and keep the weight off because if they do, you will stop buying their product. It is like the cigarette manufacturers wanting everyone to give up smoking. No doubt there are good diets out there and there are genuine people involved in the diet industry but the problem is finding them and finding what works for you.

When it comes down to it, your health is your responsibility. Diet plans and clubs may help in some cases, but it is your willpower that will be the decisive factor. You canít rely on other people or other peopleís plans for such a hugely important issue in your life. You cannot make external factors responsible for whether you lose weight or not. You have to do it yourself. If you can find a little help on the way, thatís good but be careful who and what you follow.

If you are serious about losing weight the first thing to think about is your exercise regime. Any dieting has to be done in conjunction with exercise or losing weight will be a much harder task. Exercise helps to suppress the appetite and focus the mind. It will make you more determined to succeed and it also burns up those calories. So get yourself exercising regularly. Rather than join a diet club with its negative overtones, spend your money on exercising.

There are heaps of keep fit clubs or sports clubs out there and there will be one thatís right for you. If you donít want to join a club or donít have any money, you can go walking, jogging or swimming or work out in your living room. There are so many ways to exercise and there is no excuse for not doing it. Focusing on keeping fit takes your mind off food and when you start to feel physically healthy, you will be more determined to lose the pounds so that you can get even fitter.

Like getting fit, losing weight is a long term venture. Create a one year weight loss plan. You must have a plan, a target to aim at. A simple plan is a way to measure your improvement. Without a plan you will have no direction and you wonít be able to celebrate your progress. Donít aim to lose too much in the first year. When you have tasted success, lost weight and kept it off, you can set yourself more ambitious targets. After 6 months you will have a good idea of what you are capable of.

Example Weight Loss Plan
Week Date Target kg Actual kg Exercise Fast Food Meals Snacks Money Saved
5202/09/07104.33102.97 1hr220+£8
5109/09/07104.33103.30 2hr320+£3
5016/09/07103.50102.95 1hr 30m120+£12
4923/09/07103.50102.70 3hr215+£7
4830/09/07102.50103.00 1hr420+£0
3003/02/0899.0099.80 4hr010+£25
1022/06/0896.0094.30 5hr110+£20
131/08/0895.0092.50 6hr05+£30

Make sure your plan is realistic. You want to succeed and you want the weight to stay off. If you set your aim too high your body and mind will rebel and you will put the weight back on. It is a learning exercise for your mind and body, treat them with respect. I have put down a slow start. Get used to the concept of a planned weight loss; make it easy to start with. When you and your body get used to the idea, you can set the targets a bit lower.

If you have a relapse, your weight goes up, it doesnít matter, just get back to the plan. Donít give up. Everybodyís weight fluctuates. You will bring it down again. Do you know what your weight should be? Check out your current body fat and your ideal weight with this calculator Body Mass Index. Make sure you know your overall target weight. When you reach it, donít stop exercising or eating healthily. I know you wonít want to anyway. Donít forget to treat yourself with the money you save!

So what should you eat? I would not recommend changing your diet overnight. Your body has become used to the food you eat so you donít want to do anything too radical. It has to be a gradual change. A lot of diets fail because people make it too difficult to start with, by starving themselves, a couple of lettuce leaves and a tomato for lunch or eating boring foods they are not used to like boiled fish and boiled potatoes.

In the first few months cut out some high calorie snacks (crisps, biscuits, chocolate etc) and some takeaways, make your portions a little smaller e.g. take one less potato. Try and cut back on the fried food and anything that is too heavy and stodgy. Reduce your intake of alcoholic and fizzy drinks; have water instead. It is all about getting control and thinking about what you are doing whenever you want to eat or drink.

If you must eat something between meals, if you want something sweet, eat fruit. Fruit is surprisingly good at suppressing hunger. Keep celery, carrot, cucumber etc sliced in the fridge for snacking. Keep Ryvita by the bread bin; there are lots of different varieties of Ryvita now. Get yourself a recipe book on easy to make nutritious meals there are plenty on the market. Iíve put a few Recipes up on the website to help as well. You body and taste will gradually adapt to the new diet and your cravings for fattening food will disappear.

Some Basic rules to remember:

1. If you have a health problem seek advice from a doctor before commencing on any diet or exercise regime.
2. Make a weight loss plan. Youíve always got to have a plan.
3. Keep a record of you savings.
4.Start slowly and continue gradually. Most people fail because they rush it.
5.Be kind to yourself but be honest as well. If you have a relapse; dust yourself off and get back on the plan.

Remember ĎYou are what you eatí