Preparing for the weight loss journey

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^pBy Gregory N. Whyte

Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center

The journey to effective weight loss should be undertaken in a manner similar to any other important journey. It should be well planned and carefully carried out. If possible, a knowledgeable fitness trainer or other professional with years of practical experience in the area of weight management should be made utilized. If you decide to undertake the weight loss journey on your own, here are a few tips that might be helpful as you prepare yourself:

• First, decide on the amount of weight you need to lose. To do this you, first, determine your ideal body weight. This information can be found by using a BMI, body fat or waist-to-hip calculator. Once your ideal weight is known, subtract your present weight from that number. What remains is the amount of weight you should lose.

• As you attempt to lose your pounds, know that you will have to burn approximately 3,500 calories in order to lose a pound of fat. For safety reasons you should reduce your daily calories by no more than 500 to 1,000. Your goal should be to lose from one to two pounds each week.

• Your diet should be balanced (providing all the required nutrients) and low in fat and calories. Complex carbohydrates (consumed in moderation), lean meats, low fat milk and its products, fruits and vegetables should be emphasized.

• Make use of an exercise program that is well rounded. Such a program should place emphasis on cardio and muscle building activities.

• A component that is often neglected by many is stress management. It is important to incorporate relaxation activities into your weight reduction program.

• Behavior modification is another component that is important. Behavior modification demands that you understand, and address, the negative behavior that are at the heart of your overweight problem.

• Finally, you should maintain confidence in your weight reduction plans and program and remember that, “if you can see yourself succeeding, you just might.”

For fitness information and services, contact the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, at 941-625-4175, ext. 263.

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