Weight has become an important health issue over the last few years, being overweight brings a number of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Weight is a funny thing, for some who need to lose weight because of health they simply do not recognise the need while there are others who want to be thinner for cosmetic reason and just do not need to lose weight.

A person’s confidence and self-respect can be affected by their weight. Unfortunately excess weight is highly visible and can evoke some powerful reactions, however unfairly, from other people and also from others who are also over weight. To improve your health, you might find that you need to lose a lot less weight than you wish to lose overall. Your initial weight loss target for improvement to health is suggested to be between 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight. This initial goal of 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight is both realistic and valuable. Once this goal is reached it does not mean that you have to stop.

To lose weight and maintain you need to change your behaviours. Firstly you need to set the right goals, most people who try and lose weight concentrate on just weight loss; you need to focus on dietary and exercise changes. Successful weight losers are those who take on two or three goals at a time. Effective goals are: 1) detailed; 2) achievable; and 3) tolerant. This means to set a goal for example to walk for 30 minutes a day, for five days a week, this a detailed, achievable and tolerant goal as it does not dictate certain days or specific times.

You also need to break down large goals into smaller, quicker goals, which build up to the ultimate goal for example cutting down the amount of fat intake from 40% of calories to 35% of calories and later to 30% or building up the amount of time you exercise from say 10 minutes to 20 to 30 minutes.

Give yourself rewards for achieving your goals, especially for the more difficult to attain ones. Make your rewards ones that you desire and are dependent on meeting your goal. It is better to have a lot of small rewards for achieving smaller goals than to have a larger reward that can take a lot of effort to obtain and can lose its desirability. The rewards only need to be simple such as a new music CD or a movie or an afternoon off etc.

Another behaviour to acquire is to self-monitor, to keep a record of calorie intake and exercise sessions. By keeping a record this helps this will help you to understand what works and what does not. Keeping a record of your weight is also necessary, although you do not need to weigh yourself every day. How well you have exercised or eaten one day is not reflected in your weight the next day. The reason why you weigh differently from day to day is because part of your body weight is made up of water, which changes from day to day unlike body fat.

Avoid situations that encourage or provide temptations such as sitting and eating in front of the television (do not allow yourself to eat whilst watching television), avoid places where food is on display whilst socializing as this encourages unplanned eating.

Changing the way that you eat can make it easier to eat less without feeling deprived. It takes about fifteen minutes for your brain to get the message that you have been fed, so by slowing down the rate that you eat can allow the brain to receive a full signal by the end of the meal. Including lots of vegetables can also help you feel fuller. Another way is to use smaller plates so the smaller portions do not seem too small. Something else that can be useful is schedule meals especially if you tend to skip or delay meals and then over eat later.

Author's Bio: 

Gill Webster is dedicated to helping women, to provide information on how to live a healthy beautiful life. To learn more, jump to http://www.womenhealthdirect.org.