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Ideal Weight or Happy Weight?

How much weight do you really need to lose?

How Much Should I Weigh? continued...

Instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale, Blatner suggests setting goals for behavior. "Eat breakfast every day, go for daily walks, eat more fruits and vegetables," she says.  "When you set behavior goals, they are easier to accomplish and they make you feel good."  Stick with these behaviors for 3-6 months and they will become part of your life.

Based on your current weight, eat about 10 calories per pound of nutritious food (low in fat, rich in lean protein, high in fiber), get regular exercise, and assess your weight after a month or so.

"Your weight will settle out and typically you will lose 10%, then hit a plateau, which is a good time to maintain the weight loss," Wadden says.

As you get to a healthy weight, you can go up to 12 calories per pound.

Tips for Weight Loss Success

Here are some tips from Blatner for weight loss success:

  1. Eat regular meals.  People who eat regular meals eat fewer calories than those who eat at random times.
  2. Use a plate, sit down, and enjoy your meals. People who do this eat smaller portions than those who eat out of containers or on the run, according to Blatner.
  3. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.
  4. How much and what you eat makes a big difference.  Enjoy normal portions of foods that are high in fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains) and rich in lean or low fat protein is the secret to feeling full.
  5. Think beyond the scale. Focus on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle rather than any particular number.
Reviewed on April 11, 2012
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