The US weight loss market is worth billions! Why? Because most weight loss programs, do not work for the long haul, so people are going from one diet to the next, or stopping and starting over and over. If you would like to lose some weight, however, you CAN do it without investing in the weight loss industry.

There are some people that need the structure of counting calories, points, or being told what to eat, and some can be successful at these plans. But, before you put your money into these, really think about whether the changes are something you can sustain for the long haul. While some plans eliminate a whole food group, I’m not a fan of these unless you have a medical reason, or if you know that you feel better not consuming certain foods.

Don’t even get me started on diets that use meal replacement products! Be aware of what you are putting into your body!

First, let’s do away with the word, “diet.” The word itself implies a temporary weight loss program, with results that are temporary because the changes are not sustainable. I prefer the words, “food plan” or simply “nutrition.”

The people that have the most success at weight loss are mentally ready. Find your WHY. What are your reasons for wanting to loose the weight? Do you want to prevent disease? Feel better? What would loosing that weight do for you?

Once you have your reason in mind, come up with a plan that you can sustain over the long haul. I respect each person’s belief’s of what foods are right for them and work for their bodies. We are all individuals! I will encourage you, though, to eat less or no processed food, reduce sugar, drink more water, eat fruits and veggies, lean proteins (or beans/legumes/nuts and seeds) and whole grains. (See my previous blog about adding in nutrients.) When you decide what type of nutrition is right for your body, plan your meals, stick to your shopping list and prepare snacks and meals ahead of time when you can.

Enlist Support. Explain to your friends and family that you are focusing on nutrition and tell them you would appreciate their support. Then tell them HOW they can support you. Often times people want to support you in changes, but don’t know what support means to you. Perhaps your family can help by keeping processed foods out of the house. Or, maybe you ask a friend to try different restaurants when you go out.

Speaking of going out, more and more restaurants have their menus on line now, so selecting your food ahead of time is easy and will help you from straying from your plan. Menu’s can be deceiving, so don’t hesitate to ask your server how an item is prepared. Most places are happy to make adjustments to meet the needs of it’s patrons.

Fitness is an important part of a weight loss plan. Exercise helps with metabolism, is good for your heart and mind, and muscle burns more calories than fat does.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. Love yourself enough to make healthy choices, and give yourself grace when you do not. Life happens. The key is to pick yourself up and keep trying. You deserve to live a healthy, vital life, and it’s up to you to make it a reality!