Updated: May 17, 2018
Permanent weight loss requires a long-term commitment. Women can be susceptible to quick weight loss advertisements marketing diet pills or fad dieting because every day they are inundated with media pressure to conform to a fashion model type ideal. Effective weight loss takes time, and the more gradually you trim the pounds, the safer and healthier the process will be. The truth is, however, that patience and persistence are far more effective for permanently changing your body weight than the latest fad. You can realistically lose a couple of pounds each week by following a nutritious, sensible diet and regular exercise program.
You may find it easier to lose weight if you have a support system of friends with similar goals. Consider joining an organized weight loss program such as Weight Watchers, or if you prefer, work within a more loosely-formatted, informal support group. Researchers such as Christakis and Fowler in their study entitled “Is Thinness Socially Contagious?” found that one woman's weight loss positively impacted weight loss efforts of others within the support group, helping more members to achieve their goals.
Women may find it difficult to set aside consistent time for exercise, since other tasks such as being a mother, managing a career, and keeping house take priority. However, a regular exercise program is critical to maintain a healthy weight for life. Choose activities that you enjoy and commit to a weekly schedule. A combination of aerobic activity – exercise that raises your heart and respiration rates, such as brisk walking – and strength exercises, such as a free weight program, will enable you to maintain optimum fitness and body weight. You can ramp up your rate of weight loss by adding an extra hour of brisk walking four times per week.
Get the support of your family in facilitating your weight loss for life program. Any woman who has been unsuccessful with dieting in the past knows that cooking “regular” meals for the rest of the family makes it more difficult to stick to an individual diet regime. Instead of setting yourself apart by eating differently, incorporate a version of your weight loss diet into the family lifestyle. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, legumes, and dairy are beneficial to everyone, whether or not weight loss is an issue. Make it a policy to serve lean meats and fish, and eliminate caloric binges on fast food burgers and deep-fried foods. By making healthful meals a family standard, you are facilitating lifelong health across the board.
Unlike men, women typically undergo trans-formative experiences during their lifespans that can adversely affect their health, if they let them. Don't be derailed by life changes. Pregnancy and menopause are just two of the big milestones in a woman's life that present challenges to maintaining body weight. By recognizing that specific body changes are inevitable and staying in control with a fresh, whole foods diet and consistent exercise, you can navigate these uniquely female challenges without relinquishing your ideal self-image.
For those that feel they may have an especially hard time controlling their weight a medical issue could be the cause. MedCard members have access to 24/7 doctor consultations via phone or video for free. They also have the ask a doctor feature where you can ask a board certified doctor or nutritionist any medical or weight loss questions that you may have and receive an answer within 24 hours.