If you trying to find a weight-loss program that will take extra flesh off you and keep it permanently off, you’re in for a rude shock: no such program exist.

Going on a weight-loss program can only take one so far. Studies have shown that the most effective (and most difficult!) means of weight loss and weight control is through regular exercise and the development of healthy eating habits. If you change your lifestyle and way you approach food, then you’re looking at a long-term plan for good health.

The best weight management programs all come down to one thing – calories. A calorie is a unit of heat energy. All foods have calories. Our bodies see calories as energy to produce heat. This energy is what fuels our bodies, in the same way that gas fuels vehicles.

The calories requirement of every individual depends on how active or sedentary their lifestyle is. The more active the style, the higher the number of calories the individual will require. The average individual requires about 1400 calories every day. If you eat fewer calories than you burn each day, you’re likely to lose weight gradually. If you eat more food calories than you burn, the extra calories will manifest on your hips, thighs, and part of your anatomy that has a propensity to accommodate excess fat!

Eating just 100 calories more than you burn can help you gain as much as one pound in one month. To put it better perspective, eating 100 calories less every meal means you could loss about 6kg of body fat in one year even without exercising. (By the way, the average meat-pie from your favorite fast food restaurant contains about 400 calories so think again before tucking in!). Monitoring daily, your calorie intake will facilitate the maintenance of an ideal body weight.

Unfortunately, counting calorie intake is not a widespread practice, except of course you are one of the few who read the literature containing such information before every meal. Imagine trying to quantify the number of calories in three wraps of eba and the accompanying egusi soap!

If you’re overweight, it mean your body is getting much more calories than is necessary. You might not be able to count the calories you consume, but you can make efforts towards reducing your caloric intake. A good place to start is reducing you normal food intake by half at every meal. This means you’ll be getting about half of your usual daily caloric intake. If your body require more than this reduced number, it turns to the excess fat in storage to meet its requirement. Carry on this lifestyle for a few months and you’ll be surprised at the result – a slimmer, healthier you.

Increasing physical activity to match or out-burn extra calories is another option for consideration in the weight management process. Undertaking regular exercise can be limited by tight work schedules. Nevertheless, it is still possible to get some exercise while at work taking the stair instead of using the elevator, walking over to the next office discussion instead of using the intercom and even (constantly) tightening the stomach muscles to combat bulging bellies all count toward burning off those extra calories.

Making smart food choices can also help determine the success of weight control and management programs. Healthy and nutritious eating should include a lot of fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and milk product and foods with high fiber content such as bean corn and sweet potatoes. High fiber content foods can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar as well as prevent constipation.

As you prepare to take the step towards a new, healthy lifestyle, it is important to recognize the obstacles to effective weight management, as they can transform the implementation of your resolution into an effort in futility. Some of these obstacles are treated here. So as the saying goes “you are what you eat,” the more calories you take in and the less you use up, the more weight you will again. Nothing less, nothing more! Watch your calorie intake.

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