Reaching a healthy weight: Lifestyle changes vs. Dieting

When thinking about losing weight what comes to mind? Dieting, right? This method either works and one is able to successfully lose weight and maintain it or it doesn't. Another method though is changing your lifestyle. Some say that changing your lifestyle is more efficient rather than going on a diet for a certain amount of time. Once someone starts dieting, they usually deprive themselves of food, loss weight, and then go back to hold habits. Going on a diet is just temporary, whereas changing your lifestyle you will be able to keep the habit for a much longer period of time. When you focus on more areas, besides just food, you will see better results. 

So what does this lifestyle include? It includes what you eat, how much caffeine you drink, how much exercise you get, how you manage stress, and much more. It's important to take into consideration all these things when trying to lose weight. For example, instead of eating less amount of food, choose foods that are rich in nutrients so you are getting enough calories. Also, try cutting out fatty foods that are high in sugar and salt. To get the best results you need to be exercising as well. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. You can begin with just walking and then add on activities once you feel more comfortable. 

Here are some tips to help you make positive lifestyle changes that will last...
1. Set goals for yourself: If you want to lose 30 pounds, start by losing 1-2 pounds each week. If your goals are manageable and realistic you will have a better chance of meeting those goals.
2. Involve a friend: Find someone who will keep you accountable and motivated. You could even find someone who has the same goals as you and you guys can work together in changing your behaviors. 
3. Get support: If you are feeling down or overwhelmed talk to someone about how you are feeling. Asking for help if you can't meet your goals doesn't mean your weak or you are being defeated. It shows that you are strong and committed to changing your life. 

Not all diets are bad. This strategy might work for you, but think about what will last in the future. Dieting or lifestyle changes? 

Source: http://www.apa.org/index.aspx

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