Your weight is a balancing act, and calories are part of that equation. Fad diets may promise you that counting carbs or eating a mountain of grapefruit will make the pounds drop off. But when it comes to losing weight, it's calories that count.
Losing weight comes down to burning more calories that you take in. You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages and increasing calories burned through physical activity.
Once you understand that equation, you're ready to set your weight-loss goals and make a plan for reaching them. Remember, you don't have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor, family and friends for support. Also, plan smart: Anticipate how you'll handle situations that challenge your resolve and the inevitable minor setbacks.
If you have serious health problems because of your weight, your doctor may suggest weight-loss surgery or medications for you. In this case, you and your doctor will need to thoroughly discuss the potential benefits and the possible risks.
But don't forget the bottom line: The key to successful weight lossis a commitment to making permanent changes in your diet and exercise habits.
When it comes to losing weight, there's no shortage of diet plans. Check any magazine rack, and you're bound to see the latest and greatest diet plans. But how do you know if a diet plan fits your needs and lifestyle? Ask yourself these questions about any diet plan you're considering:
Does it include various foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, nuts and seeds?
Does it include foods you like and that you would enjoy eating for a lifetime — not just for several weeks or months?
Can you easily find these food in your local grocery store?
Will you be able to eat your favorite foods, or better yet, all foods?
Does it fit your lifestyle and budget?
Does it include proper amounts of nutrients and calories to help you lose weight safely and effectively?
Is regular physical activity part of the plan?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, keep looking. There are better diet plans out there for you.