Weighing In: How do I start my weight loss program?

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Question: I am twenty three-years-old and I gained weight when I was pregnant, a lot of weight. I used to be very active and stopped working out when I got pregnant. I have to lose about 80 lbs or so. I need to get back out there and do something. I have a lot of energy, it is just that I can be a little lazy. Do you have any suggestions? One of my coworkers told me to try Hoodia, but I was never into taking diet pills. Overall, I just want to be happy with the way that I look again.

    What is a healthy amount of weight loss in a matter of 10 months?

    Heather: If it’s any consolation, you are not alone. Many people find it very easy to fall out of the habit of exercising and very hard to get back into the habit. I wish there was an easy answer or a trick to making it easier. But you’re just going to have to force yourself to workout. Since you’ve been active in the past, you will probably find that after a few weeks you are back into the habit.

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    Having a young child at home can make finding time to workout difficult. If you have exercise equipment at home, you may want to consider working out while you’re child is napping or after you put him/her to bed at night. You can also workout by taking long walks with your child in the stroller. See if another mom in the neighborhood wants to get together to take the kids for walks together.

    If you choose to exercise outside of the home at a gym I think it is important to schedule that time into your day. Don’t leave it up to chance. If you tell yourself you will workout when you have free time, it won’t get done. You need to set the time aside. It’s easy to tell ourselves that we don’t have time to exercise, so I try to remind myself that I only have time for what I make time for.

    We’ve talked about exercise, but that is only one part of the weight loss equation. Have you thought about what you will do in terms of diet? If you aren’t following a specific weight loss program, cutting portion sizes can be an effective way to cut calories.

    While weight loss products like Hoodia are widely used and promoted, they are not regulated and can be dangerous. I would strongly advise against using this product for weight loss. Over the counter weight loss pills can have very serious side effects including death. These pills contain alcohol, caffeine, laxatives, vitamins, minerals and herbs. Since the government doesn’t regulate these products, there is no way to know what combination of these ingredients you are putting into your body.

    Weight loss varies per individual, but 2 pounds per week is generally considered to be a healthy rate of weight loss. When you begin your diet and exercise program, you may see a faster rate of weight loss in the beginning and that is normal. After a couple weeks your weight loss will stabilize. Good luck with your weight loss goals!

Published On: February 27, 2008