For the overwhelming majority of Americans who are overweight, how to lose that weight is a source of constant worry, frequent research, and a willingness to believe almost anything. Whether it’s pills, teas, special foods, points or programs, there is no shortage of diets promising to melt those pounds off of your suffering frame.

If you’re looking to shed a few pounds - say, 5 to 10 pounds - to fit into a pair of tight jeans or to be the envy of the beach in your new bikini, then read on. If you’re 20 or more pounds overweight, and you’re looking to lose the weight and keep it off forever, there is only one fat loss plan for you. That plan is made up of three components:

• Eat less.
• Eat healthier.
Exercise regularly.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? So, why is it so hard? What is it about such a simple, timeless fat loss plan that sends us looking for the next big thing in weight loss?

One reason: because it’s ridiculously hard! Losing weight and keeping it off is the hardest thing to do in this world of temptation, instant gratification, and lack of focus. From excessive restaurant portion sizes to attractive food packaging to just plain “yumminess”, it can be tough go keeping your focus on your weight loss goals.

Those women who are serious about staying slim and keeping fit, will bite the bullet, taking the first step on a lifelong journey toward healthy living.

While there is no one-size-fits-all weight loss plan (no pun intended), there are a couple common questions you can ask yourself that can help you find the truth amidst the madness. Let’s take a look.

How much will you really have to sacrifice in order to lose the weight?

Women always think that losing weight means saying goodbye to all of their favorite foods, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you instead commit yourself to a lifetime of healthy living, certainly there is room for the occasional splurge. Use the will power that’s lying dormant inside of you and take the life that you deserve. Remember ladies that you don’t get fat because they had a forkful of dessert every so often, you get fat because you’ve had an enormous portion of it and you have done nothing to burn those excess calories.

This goes for exercising as well. We all say that we don’t have enough time to exercise, and we are always able to fit in a TV show, or a nap, or a new interest. Make a schedule that’s right for you, and following it. Get things done and sculpt that ideal shape that you want.

What would be the thing that would make you lose weight, no matter what it took?

All too often, we wait until we have a health problem to lose the weight. Other times we use an important event as the catalyst for a diet, like an upcoming wedding, school reunion, or Caribbean vacation. Unfortunately, we fail to reach our goals because our commitment is short term.

Are we not inspired enough to make our mental and physical well-beings a priority? Why not? And, why not think ahead to choose an event-related goal that you can reach? A word of advice: Don’t wait until a month before your 40th birthday to get in shape. Don’t wait until it’s time to buy the dress to be thin for your wedding. And, don’t wait until you’re in a hospital bed to start eating healthy.

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