Real Weight Loss Goals
& Maintenance Plans
It is very important to establish weight loss goals, and have a maintenance plan ready. Most dieters who do not plan ahead, will gain the weight back. We will now go over the importance of weight loss goals, and planning for after the diet.
Losing weight is healthy
Hard core numbers or percents of risk reduction are not widely available from clinical trials. However, it is felt that a 5% to 10% reduction in weight is necessary to improve your health.
That’s not much. For many, simply losing 5 to 10 pounds translates into significant health improvement. Not bad considering you don’t need secrets, magical formulas, or rain forest mud wraps to become healthier.
The real impact this should have is on setting goals. Americans far too often set unrealistic weight loss goals. Instead of 25%, set a weight loss goal to lose 5-10% of your weight. When you reach your goal, assess the diet you tried, make adjustments, and go for another 5-10% reduction. Continue this cycle until you reach your ideal weight.
In our experience, setting realistic goals, using a range of weight, and cycling through a diet produce dramatic results. In a non-scientific study of obese patients, there was a 75% success rate of reaching a final goal in patients that set realistic goals and cycled through a low fat diet. Compare this to a 45% success rate in patients without cycling on the same diet.
Unfortunately, none could keep it off. At one year, 92% gained weight and 58% weighed more when compared to their baseline weight. It’s obvious diets are not doing what they should do: prevent weight gain.
Several recent studies have shown that dieters with maintenance plans (plans to keep the weight off) have a better chance of not rebounding back to their original weight.
Dr. Perri back in 2001, Journal of Clinical Psychology, looked at behavioral therapy with dieting and found that a maintenance plan was essential to keeping it off. His work was largely over-looked. He had 200 study subjects on a specific diet (most were low fat) with behavioral modification therapy. Most were successful and lost weight at 5 months (87% lost an average of 7-12 pounds).
Half were then placed on a maintenance diet plan and the other half were given no instructions. At 17 months, the group without a maintenance plan gained 5-6 more pounds than those with a plan. More alarming was the group without a plan were starting to accelerate weight gain, gaining 5-6 lbs/week at the end of the study. No follow up data was available.
Bottom line…a maintenance plan is necessary to keep weight off or, at least, slow down the rate of weight gain.
1) Set realistic goals, use a range of weight, and cycle through your diet.
2) Have a maintenance plan ready to replace the diet plan.
So where do you start? If you need help losing weight and keeping it off, then you need to consider a weight loss supplement.
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