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Why should I lose weight?
1. Determine Why You Want to Lose Weight
Clearly define all the reasons you want to lose weight and write them down. This will help you stay committed and motivated to reach your weight loss goals.
Try to read through them daily and use them as a reminder when tempted to stray from your weight loss plans.
Your reasons could include preventing diabetes, keeping up with grandchildren, looking your best for an event, improving your self-confidence or fitting into a certain pair of jeans.
Many people start losing weight because their doctor suggested it, but research shows that people are more successful if their weight loss motivation comes from within (1Trusted Source).
2. Have Realistic Expectations
Many diets and diet products claim quick and easy weight loss. However, most practitioners recommend only losing 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week (2Trusted Source).
Setting unattainable goals can lead to feelings of frustration and cause you to give up. On the contrary, setting and accomplishing achievable goals leads to feelings of accomplishment.
Also, people who reach their self-determined weight loss goals are more likely to maintain their weight loss long-term (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
A study using data from several weight loss centers found that women who expected to lose the most weight were the most likely to drop out of the program (5Trusted Source).
The good news is that just a little weight loss of 5–10% of your body weight can have a large impact on your health. If you are 180 pounds (82 kg), that is just 9–18 pounds (4–8 kg). If you are 250 pounds (113 kg), it’s 13–25 pounds (6–11 kg) (6Trusted Source).
In fact, losing 5–10% of your body weight can (7Trusted Source):
Improve blood sugar control
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Lower cholesterol levels
Reduce joint pain
Reduce the risk of certain cancers
3. Focus on Process Goals
Many people trying to lose weight only set outcome goals, or goals they want to accomplish at the end.
Typically, an outcome goal will be your final target weight.
However, focusing only on outcome goals can derail your motivation. They can often feel too distant and leave you feeling overwhelmed (1Trusted Source).
Instead, you should set process goals, or what actions you’re going to take to reach your desired outcome. An example of a process goal is exercising four times a week.
A study in 126 overweight women participating in a weight loss program found those who were process focused were more likely to lose weight and less likely to deviate from their diets, compared to those who focused on weight loss outcomes alone (1Trusted Source).
Consider setting SMART goals to set strong goals. SMART stands for (1Trusted Source):
Some examples of SMART goals include:
I will walk briskly for 30 minutes five days next week.
I will eat four servings of vegetables every day this week.
I will only drink one soda this week.
While there are hundreds of different diets, most are based on cutting calories (8Trusted Source).
Reducing your calorie intake will lead to weight loss, but dieting, especially frequent yo-yo dieting, has been found to be a predictor of future weight gain (9Trusted Source).
Therefore, avoid strict diets that completely eliminate certain foods. Research has found that those with an “all or nothing” mindset are less likely to lose weight (10Trusted Source).
Instead, consider creating your own custom plan. The following dietary habits have been proven to help you lose weight (11Trusted Source):
Decreasing calorie intake
Reducing portion sizes
Reducing frequency of snacks
Reducing fried food and desserts
Including fruits and vegetables
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