Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unlike gaining weight, losing weight when you’re healthy is rarely easy. Why? Losing weight just isn’t as simple as gaining weight. To gain weight, you don’t have to understand all the different reasons why you’re doing it. You just have to overeat or underexercise. To lose weight, and lose it for good, however, you need to have a better understanding of how and why you gained weight so you don’t just keep on repeating the behavior. (See the next section to figure out how you reached your current weight.)

For some people, being overweight becomes a chronic condition, just like heart disease or osteoporosis. It won’t go away by itself and no quick-fix diet can resolve it. You need a lifetime plan that includes a calorie-controlled diet and exercise program you can comfortably stick with.

Hundreds of strategies for losing weight are available, but not every plan works for every person. Everyone has a different build, metabolism, genetic makeup, and tolerances and preferences for diet and exercise plans. That’s why no one-size-fits-all diet exists. You have to participate in the development of your own personal weight-control plan to be successful. Your plan must be flexible, and it has to keep you feeling happy and satisfied or you won’t feel motivated to stick to it.

Gaining weight is something you can do by yourself, but to lose weight, most people need the support of family, friends, and, often, strangers in the form of professionals and members of support groups. In the past, if diets have failed you, your support system may have been weak. If so, you may have given up and gone back to your old habits.

Although asking others for help may be difficult, now is most certainly the time to do it! If you don’t have much of a built-in support system by way of family and friends, search for a weight-loss support group that you feel comfortable with. Flip to Chapter 11 for more handy tips on asking for help and using outside resources.

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