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Weight and Heart Disease

Secrets of Weight Management

If you have ever tried to take off weight, you know that it's more than a matter of promising yourself that you'll eat less and move more. You also need to mentally prepare yourself for new behaviors. Here are some tips for getting and staying in a healthy weight mindset:
  • Start small
  • Set smart goals
  • Build on success
  • Reward yourself
  • Write it down
  • Know your triggers
  • Feel full.
Start Small
Many people set unrealistic goals for the amount of weight they want to lose. But you can greatly improve your health by losing just 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight. While you may choose to lose more weight later, keep in mind that this initial goal is both realistic and valuable.
Set Smart Goals
It's important to set goals that are specific, achievable, and "forgiving" (that allow you to be less than perfect). For example, "exercise more" is a fine goal, but it's not very specific. "Walk for 60 minutes every day" is specific and perhaps achievable. But what if you have a bad cold one day or you awake to a drenching rainstorm? "Walk 60 minutes, five days a week" is specific, achievable, and forgiving -- a great goal!
Build on Success
Rather than focusing on one big goal, choose a series of smaller goals that will bring you closer and closer to your larger goal. For example, if one of your big goals is to reduce your daily calories from 2,000 to 1,200, first reduce your calories to 1,700, then move to 1,400, and finally to 1,200. Likewise, with physical activity, first establish a "small" new habit -- such as walking 10 minutes a day -- and then gradually increase it. Everyone can find time to exercise 10 minutes each day. When you experience success at reaching a small goal, it will motivate you to keep moving toward your larger goals.
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