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Weight Loss as Easy as 1-2-3

A guide to the 3 stages of the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic plan

Stage 2: Getting Comfortable continued...

Stage 2 is the time to figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Remember that your goal is to find changes that you are comfortable with and can sustain. If in doubt, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you like your eating plan?
  • Does it keep you feeling full between meals?
  • Are you eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein?
  • Are you still losing weight?

If the needle on your scale remains stuck, you may need to decrease the calories in your eating plan and/or increase your physical activity. Consider adding strength training to your fitness routine. Increase the intensity or duration of your routine; walk faster for a block, or increase the incline on your treadmill. A few tweaks should get you off that plateau.

Don't let Stage 2 turn into a slippery slope. If you find yourself in trouble, turn to your friends on the message boards. We're there to support you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This stage can be tough, but it's also critical to your success. Think of it as a hill to climb; when you get to the top, you'll be thrilled to see how easy it will be going forward. At some point (exactly when differs for everyone), sustaining a healthier lifestyle becomes easy.

Stage 3: The New You

You're nearly at your goal weight. The victory lap is within reach. But those last few pounds can be tough to shake loose. So instead of focusing on the scale, think about how good you feel, how terrific you look, how much more energy you have, and how much more confident you feel. The crowning glory will occur when you visit your doctor and get a much-improved bill of health.

Weight loss experts agree that losing weight is actually the easy part; maintaining it is tougher. And having a support system -- the Weight Loss Clinic, your friends, and/or family -- is essential to your continued success.

To make sure you successfully maintain, we encourage you to continue on the Weight Loss Clinic program. Once you hit your goal weight, just create a new eating plan with approximately 200 additional calories, which should be just about right for maintenance.

Learn from the successful "losers" -- people who've maintained a major weight loss over several years -- on the National Weight Control Registry. They maintain their weight by:

  • Getting regular physical activity (often, by walking).
  • Enjoying breakfast each day.
  • Following a low-fat meal plan.
  • Weighing in weekly.
  • Keeping a journal.

So take a page from their book, couple it with a strong support network, and you, too, will keep the pounds off for good.

I call it constant vigilance: accepting the fact that a trim, healthy body requires attention to what you put in your mouth and a commitment to physical activity. Whatever you call it, learning these "tools of the trade" will help you manage your weight while enjoying a healthier lifestyle and a new, improved you.

Reviewed on July 26, 2005

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