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A Prerequisite For Any Weight Loss Program

Any successful weight loss program should start with an honest self evaluation. This is necessary in order to set realistic weight loss goals, and avoid disappointment and confusion later on.

The self evaluation process is where you brainstorm and define your future weight loss plan. In order to do this, there are several QUESTIONS you must ask yourself. The answers to these questions will determine your future course of action.

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Questions to ask yourself:

As you read on, each individual question constitutes a link to a detailed discussion of the respective topic. I recommend however reading through all questions prior to clicking these links.

Here are the facts you want to define during the self evaluation step:

  1. What is my ideal weight (or rather, my ideal weight range)?
    To answer this question, simply take a look at this weight/height table. Locate you height in the first column of the table, and find the normal weight range corresponding to this height. This is your ideal weight range. Click the link above to go to the table.

  2. What is my BMI?
    BMI (body mass index) is a figure used by physicians and scientists to describe a person's weight status. The BMI formula takes into account both weight and height.
    More about the BMI
    Calculate my BMI

  3. Am I overweight, and if so by how much?
    To answer this question, simply subtract your ideal body weight (established at point 1) from your real body weight (measured on the scale). This is the number of pounds (lbs) that you want to loose.
    If you're more comfortable thinking in kilogram rather than pounds, simply divide the number above by 2.2. The result is the number of kg that you want to loose. (In other words: 1 kg = 2.2 lbs)

  4. If my weight is in the ideal range, do I just want to reduce the fat percentage in my body? If so, follow this link to find out more.

  5. How is my gender and age influencing my weight?
    This is a very interesting point. The fact is that women, particularly after the age of 30, are more prone to weight gain than men of the same age. Click here for further details.

  6. If embarking on a weight loss program, how long will it take to reach my ideal weight? In other words, what is my time to target weight?
    Knowing your time to target weight allows you to devise a realistic action plan and keeps you motivated. Find out the specifics here.

  7. What type of weight loss /weight control plan suits me best?
    Here are a few consideration to help you determine that. It is important that you answer these questions honestly to yourself: more.

  8. Do I know the risks of being significantly overweight?
    Unfortunately, excessive weight carries its load of medical complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol the grit to read more?

  9. Do I perhaps suffer from a medical condition that causes abnormal weight gain?
    This is a valid question for anyone who has difficulty controlling his or her weight in spite of proper diet and exercise. However, you should know that only a small fraction of obesity cases are caused by medical diseases. The vast majority are related to improper eating habits and/or insufficient exercise. Still, if you are significantly overweight without a readily apparent cause, or if you experience sudden or accelerated weight gain, a medical workup is warranted. Get more details here.

  10. Is my medication perhaps causing me to gain weight?
    There are many medications that may cause weight gain. We will attempt to discuss the most common ones in a separate chapter (coming soon). For the time being, if you are on a certain medications and want to ascertain its effects on weight, read the medication leaflet (or package insert) - with special attention to the section: "Side effects". If the respective drug causes weight gain, it should be noted there.
    If it turns out your medication may cause weight gain, ask your doctor if there are any other alternatives to treat you condition. (For example, in the case of antidepressant medications, there are several agents that may cause weight gain. And then again, there are other agents that do not.)

In conclusion:

Evaluate yourself and establish your weight loss goals. Then define your action plan. Make a list of the steps you consider taking. This constitutes the final part of your self evaluation. Click here to see an example

Things to remember:

  • Effective weight loss takes commitment and dedication for the duration of the program - usually weeks to months (dependent on how much weight has to be shed).

  • Effective weight maintenance, on the other hand, should be quite easy - if you know and apply the right information.


And finally, just so we have a clear understanding, here's what a weight control program should be:
1. Safe
2. Beneficial to your health
3. Challenging in a good way (you should be looking forward to that jog in the park, or that half-hour workout)
4. Easy on your wallet
5. Easy on your schedule
6. Rewarding as your body shapes up and your stamina increases

...and here's what a weight control program shouldn't be:
1. Hazardous to your health
2. Demanding on your time and wallet
3. Obsessing or encroaching on your life
4. Burdening to the point you dread having to do it.
5. Futile and discouraging as you fail to carry through.

Keep this in mind as you perform your self evaluation and brainstorm your future action plan.


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