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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Nancy J. Miller-Ihli, PhD
Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Savvy Selections
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Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

How do you achieve and maintain a healthy weight? Make a lifestyle change! Dont waste your time with a diet because diets simply dont work. They are an artificial way of eating and when the diet ends, 95% of adults regain the weight they lost within a year. As you can see, chances are a diet wont provide you with long-lasting results.
What does work is to make a lifestyle change. Most people dont really like change very much. I happen to be a fan of change because you seldom see improvement without it. A lifestyle modification that will allow you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight first requires a commitment to change.
Step one is do an evaluation of your current health status and set a realistic goal. If you dont know how much weight youd like to lose or why youd like to lose it, you wont be successful. You need to be specific and you need to write it down. Your goal does not need to be a number off a medical chart. Losing about 10% of your weight can improve your health dramatically. You may want to share your goal with a few key people who can help you stay on track.
Step two is to determine what modifications are necessary in your eating plan to achieve your goal. Remember that most low-fat diets are high in carbohydrates and low carb diets are often high in fat. I would suggest you consider a well balanced diet with approximately 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fat calories. Low glycemic impact carbohydrates are the best choice because they do not spike your blood sugar and insulin levels signaling your body to store energy as fat. Low glycemic impact carbs can be found in beans, peas, lentils and whole grains. A comparison of low-fat and low glycemic impact diets without calorie restriction showed that low glycemic impact diets were easier to follow, resulted in nearly identical weight loss, and provided much greater improvements in markers for cardiovascular disease risk.
Step three is to determine what type of exercise you enjoy and can commit to doing three or more times per week. The goal is to optimize your body composition. Both aerobic exercise and strength training are important. Because muscle dictates metabolism, its important to build muscle and to do that you must exercise regularly.
Step four is to develop strategies to reduce stress. Exercise can alleviate stress so a regular exercise program will help. Many people also benefit from dietary supplements, which can help boost and even repair their damaged metabolism, helping them to achieve their weight loss goals. As an example, vitamin and mineral supplements provide the foundation for healthy changes and weight loss.
You can help ensure your success by working with a weight loss coach or by joining a class of people with similar goals. Learn to read labels, find alternatives to fast food, and most importantly, dont let the scale be your only measure of success. Make a long-lasting lifestyle change and be healthier than ever!

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