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5 weight loss strategies to avoid

Made a New Year's Resolution to shed some kilos? Here are some weight loss traps to avoid.

5 weight loss strategies to avoid

If you, like millions of others around the world, have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, you will probably already be well into your new fitness or health regimen.

But according to US physician Dr. Aaron Michelfelder of Loyola University Health System, there are some bad strategies you should avoid. Read on.

Bad strategy 1: I need to join a gym to lose weight

You don’t need to fork out hundreds of dollars in gym membership fees to hit your health targets in 2015. In fact, there’s ample evidence detailing the proven benefits of embracing the great outdoors when it comes to exercise. Not only does outdoor fitness provide essential exposure to sunlight and increased absorption of Vitamin D, studies suggest it leads to a longer and happier workout. It’s also worth noting that no matter how often you hit the treadmill, no weight loss regimen is complete without some diet tweaks too.

Bad Strategy 2: I’ll need to radically change my diet

Evolution, not revolution is necessary in making a realistic change to your diet. This is because you are far less likely to stick to a diet that is dramatically different to what you are accustomed to. Small adjustments, such as eating a handful of nuts before dining out at a restaurant and skipping the bread before mains, or cutting down on portion size and a few hundred calories a day are more effective ways to go about it.

Bad Strategy 3: Weight-loss supplements

While purchasing the latest pills and potions may give you a false sense of being proactive about achieving your weight loss goals, caution needs to be taken not to make some bad supplement choices. Some supplements burn more muscle than fat, and when you stop taking them, you can gain back fat rather than muscle. Others are high in hidden sugars or calories. Consult a health or fitness professional before introducing any into your diet.

Bad Strategy 4: I want to lose weight fast

Slow and steady wins the race and ensures long-term weight loss. If you cut back just 250 calories a day (a chocolate bar or sweet treat) you could lose up to a kilogram a month – and that’s not taking into consideration any fitness or additional diet tweaks. “This will provide the slow-and-steady type of weight loss that will be long-lasting,” Dr. Michelfelder said.

Bad Strategy 5: I give up. I’ll never achieve a “normal” weight, so why bother?

Don’t throw in the towel if your weight loss goals are taking longer than expected.

According to Dr. Michelfelder, even losing as little as losing 10 percent of your body weight will improve your appearance and have significant health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, reduced strain on your joints and a decreased risk of diabetes. Dr. Michelfelder also suggests letting others in on your goals.

“When you tell other people you are trying to lose weight, they will give you their support, and stop shoving cake and candy your way,” he said.

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