So You Need To Lose Weight!

Need to lose weight, but don't know where to start?... Maybe, like many other people, you've been able to ignore, and push away, the impending realization that you need to lose weight. But now, something has happened to make you realize it's time to do something about it! In my own case, it was a photograph of myself at a wedding, looking rather like a beached whale, which suddenly gave me the incentive!
So here you are, probably rather miserably, wondering where to start and what to do!
The first important thing is to know what not to do!
Be realistic!
The first mistake dieters make is having unrealistic expectations. You mustn't believe all the hype - there is no magic pill, and you are not going to lose 15lbs in one week just because the TV commercial says you can. Do not be taken in! There are hundreds of scam artists out there who are only after your money.
In fact, studies show that individuals who rapidly lose weight are more likely to gain it back. So actually, slower is better.
How does weight loss happen
You lose weight by using more energy, or calories, than you take in from food. This calorie deficit forces your body to use the fat that it has stored, and turn it into fuel that is used to maintain body functions. One pound of fat represents about 3,500 calories of stored energy, so obviously, to lose a pound you would have to cut 3,500 calories.
So where to start
The best and most important thing you can do is to track your food (and drink) intake by counting calories.
But you have to be honest! It's so easy to underestimate how much you're actually eating, even when you think you're tracking your food consistently. If you don't control your portion sizes, or if you tend to forget those little "extras" you eat during the day, you can easily add a few hundred uncounted calories to your daily total.
Are there any good diet programs that really work?
Yes, but you have to choose the one that will suit you! A sudden, drastic change to a severely restricted caloric intake is probably destined for failure.
If you want a diet that's going to make a real difference, you need to make sure you're well-informed. Pick a program or a method that you feel you'll be able to stick with, long-term, and understand that you need to make changes that you can live with for the rest of your life!

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