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Behavior Changes to Lose Weight and Maintain Weight Loss
Weight is a very important health issue because being overweight increases the risk for problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, arthritis, gall bladder disease, cancer and respiratory problems. Successful weight management can be a long-term challenge for teens suffering from childhood obesity, but it plays a crucial role in overall health care.
Setting the correct weight loss goal is the first step. While weight loss is part of the equation, the more important goals are to make dietary and exercise changes that will improve health and quality of life. Effective goals are specific, attainable and forgiving. By making long-term goals, weight loss will be easily maintained.
Shaping, the behavioral technique of using a series of short-term goals to get closer to the ultimate goal, is based on the theory that success breeds success. By setting small, attainable, consecutive goals, the overall effort stays in focus.
To encourage the attainment of goals, numerous small rewards are effective when working towards a long, difficult result. However, when trying to lose weight, the rewards should not be food.
To improve a specific behavior, monitoring that behavior, such as recording calories consumed or time spent exercising, will help make positive steps towards defined goals. This helps keep track of goals and progress.
Monitoring weight is a crucial part of maintaining weight loss. Although fluctuations due to water weight will occur, diet and exercise will have the ultimate effect on weight.
Look for subconscious associations between certain situations or people with food and eating. Overeating while watching TV can be controlled by choosing not to watch TV. Severing the association of eating with the cue to eat will result in weight loss and weight control. Or, change the circumstance surrounding the cue to eat to avoid weight gain.
Another way to eat less and feel full is to give the brain time to get the message that the stomach is full. Because it takes 15 minutes or more to get the signal, eating slowly can help. In addition, using smaller plates will give the illusion that smaller portions are not meager.
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