Tips to lose weight

Unfortunately, there are no quick-fixes for weight loss. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight requires dedication and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

• Go and see a healthcare professional to measure and track your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist measurements. Have a thorough check-up so you know what your health risks are before you begin. Listen to your doctor. Go for regular check ups while on your weight loss program if your doctor advises it.
• It is best to lose weight over time. Crash diets do what they say they do – they crash. They don’t work. You didn’t pick up 50kg in one month – don’t expect your body to do something unnatural like lose 50kg in a month.
• Optimal weight loss would be somewhere between a half kilogram and one kilogram per week.
• You need to move more and eat less. The moment you use more energy than what you eat, you lose weight.
• Get your head right. Don’t see weight loss as a punishment; see it as a positive challenge. You are freeing yourself from many harmful diseases and conditions.
• Keep your body hydrated. Drink water. Drink healthy fresh unsweetened juice.
• Remove the baddies from your house – no chips, sodas, alcohol.
• Stack your fridge with fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
• Keep to lean meat.
• Exercise for at least half an hour most days of the week.
• Compliment yourself.
• Sleep well.
• Eat smaller meals. Five smaller, healthier meals during the day will keep your energy levels up.
• Join a support group or gather an overweight friend and support each other.
• If you go on an eating binge, forgive yourself immediately and get right back onto your weight loss program.
• Read about other people who successfully lost weight and know that you can do it too.
• Know what’s good for you and what you should avoid.
• Feel good because you’re doing good. Your body will love you for what you’re doing. You might as well learn to love what you’re doing for it.
• You are not a loser, you are a winner – act like one.
• Stay away from people who bring you down and discourage you. Find the ones who uplift and inspire you.
• We usually eat what’s on our plate. Dish up on a smaller plate.
• When you choose a healthy lifestyle, you do it for yourself. You are the one who benefits. You are the one who gets healthy. You are the one who triumphs. Go for it!

[National Nutrition Week takes place between 9-15 October, and is followed by Obesity Awareness Week from 15-19 October every year in South Africa.]

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