While sliding into a smaller size may be your long-term goal, try to approach it one day at a time. Set short-term goals for yourself – it will make the task less daunting. Track your progress and reward yourself as you reach milestones. Have a plan, and know what you have to do to meet your goal.
Don't try to lose too much – or too little.
For weight loss to be beneficial to your health and to have a long-lasting effect, you should aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. To do this, you need to use 500 to 1000 more calories a day than you take in. Losing more than that will result in loss of water and muscle, not fat.
A reasonable goal may be to reduce your body weight by 5% to 10%. If your weight is 200 pounds, and your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference are not in the healthy range, aim to lose 10 to 20 pounds. But make sure to put a realistic time frame on achieving your goal. Talk to your doctor about a realistic goal for you.
Your doctor, a dietitian, and other professionals can help you to determine your ideal healthy body weight, introduce you to healthy weight-loss strategies, teach you sensible weight-maintenance tips, and help you with expectations.
If you have an occasional setback by overeating or eating foods that you should avoid, don't despair! There is no such thing as a "forbidden" food, and your diet should reflect that. You can get back on track with your next meal. If it happens more often, identify the issues or triggers that made you overeat. Replace tempting unhealthy food choices with healthy alternatives by focusing on a variety of foods that are healthier instead of on what you're "not supposed to eat."
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