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Starting Your Weight-Loss Program

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It is one thing to know what it takes to lose weight and keep it off. It is another thing to actually implement it. Here are some suggestions:

Keep a food diary. Before you decide what you need to change, take an objective look at what you are eating now. Most of us underestimate the number of calories we eat and forget about the quick little snacks we grab here and there. By writing down everything you put in your mouth you will gain awareness of where you need to make changes, such as whittling down the fillers (refined carbohydrates, sweets, and snack foods).

Set manageable goals. A 50-pound weight loss is daunting. Focus on five-pound increments instead. If you gradually lose one-half to one pound a week, you will lose five pounds in five to ten weeks. In the meantime, you will be shaking off some of your fattening habits and adopting healthier ones.

Make more daily health-promoting choices. If you like to snack, choose fresh fruit over ice cream. Opt for nuts or sunflower seeds over high-fat potato chips. Order your latte with skim milk instead of cream. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther away from your destination, so you do a little more walking. All of these small shifts in behavior add up to steady weight loss and improved overall health.

Take pride in your progress. Modest losses can yield impressive health benefits. By losing ten pounds, you can lower your blood pressure significantly. When you lose twenty excess pounds, you: reduce your mortality by 20 to 25 percent; reduce angina symptoms by 91 percent; decrease total cholesterol by 10 percent; cut your risk of developing diabetes by more than 50 percent; and increase your exercise tolerance by 33 percent.

Make a commitment to lifelong changes. Changing your diet and lifestyle for a month or two is a good start, but it is not enough. For long-term weight loss, you need to make long-term changes.

Discover more successful strategies for enhancing fat loss.

Sherry Torkos
Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:

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