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So you want to lose weight to look better and feel better. You are not alone. You have the same desire and need as millions of others out there want to look better, feel better, live longer and in general have a better lifestyle once you take off the extra weight.

That said, if you are one of those who have lost weight, then put it back on, perhaps a more important question is how to you keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.

You’ve tried all the different diets. You’ve read all the books about losing 10 pounds before the big graduation, wedding or other big event coming up this weekend. If you’ve been through that insanity before, isn’t it time for a change of your lifestyle rather than another stretch of suffering through another diet and feeling worse than you did when you started?

There are four main elements to losing weight and keeping it off.

1. Following an exercise program
2. Increasing your metabolism
3. Changing your eating habits
4. Changing your lifestyle

1. Following an exercise program.

Starting a good exercise program is a great idea and one of the best ways to start changing your health and the way you look. You will gain three benefits from exercise.

1. You will burn calories during your work out.

2. You will increase your metabolism to burn more calories even when you are not working out.

3. You will build muscle that will make you look taller, leaner and healthier.

4. You will build muscles that will burn more calories than fat.

Your very first step should be to talk to your doctor about your health and your goals. It might save your life. Your next step should be to find a partner who will help you be more responsible to show up for a work out and to complete the work out. A work out partner should also make the work out more enjoyable. If you are not able to find a partner and do not feel you have the discipline to work out regularly, you may want to start your exercise program by paying a person personal coach for training and discipline. Most people need 21 days to make working out a habit, so hire them for at least the first 21 days. Check with your local YMCA or other gym for partners and coaches.

However, if you cannot afford to join a gym, don’t let that slow you down. You can still walk or run outside, or workout inside using video tapes or walk on a treadmill. If you don’t have money for work out tapes, you can rent them from the library. The bottom line is if you want to work out, you will find a way.

Finally, once you have your workout schedule working for you, offer to help someone else become disciplined to work out.

Helping others always helps you feel better as well. Give it a try!

2. Increasing your metabolism.

Plain and simple, exercising will increase your metabolism and will help you lose weight at all hours of the day, even at night when you are sleeping! Your metabolism is the amount of calories you burn during the day. Conversely, your body also has a built in system for self-survival in case of famine. If you don’t eat enough food, you can also reduce your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. We will talk more about that in just a moment.

3. Changing your eating habits.

You’re doing better now, but working out and increasing your metabolism is only a part of the solution. You still must change your eating habits. Have you found yourself doing this crazy? Are you eating a Granola bar for breakfast, a salad for lunch and then eating chocolate shakes and hamburgers from the drive through late at night on the way home from the gym? That won’t work! You are starving yourself and lowering your metabolism in the long run, and eating food late at night that will not get burned off and only makes you feel more miserable the next day when you look in the mirror or step on the scale.

Do you know that you are setting up yourself for failure? Your body is smart… so smart that it knows if you are not giving it enough food, that there may be a problem, and you start to burn fewer calories. That will not help you look or feel better in the long run, so don’t try it in the short run.

4. Changing your lifestyle and your mindset.

The final way to change your body and the way you look and feel is to become more active. Walk the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator. Park your car way from the rest of the cars at the mall so you walk a few extra steps. Go for a walk when you get home from school or work instead of turning on the TV or the computer. Ask your friends to join you for a game of horse in basketball. If that is not an option, take your basketball to a local park, be brave and ask someone to play a game of one on one there. They might have been feeling just like you and will be thankful to have the opportunity to exercise and perhaps make a new friend.

It’s all about changing your attitude one-step and one day at a time. Just remember you did not gain the weight in one day and you cannot take it off in one day. It is a series of steps that will lead to success. Another analogy is that it would be nice to make one large jump over a mountain, but in reality it takes many steps to get over the mountain, and it is possible. Most importantly, you just have to take that first step, starting right now, by reading this article again and then deciding to “Just do it!”


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