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Persistence Is Key to Losing Weight and Keeping It Off
Date:1/2/2012

three 20-minute brisk walks, or compile the one hour based on a series of activities," she advised.
  • Limit TV to fewer than 10 hours each week. "Many argue they don't have time to exercise, but when I ask them to count the hours they spend watching TV or surfing the Net, they are able to find the time for activities where they are moving instead of sitting," Bartfield said.
  • Keep track of your physical activity. "Park your car farther away, take the stairs, manually change TV channels -- these are all simple ways to get more physical activity and you need to write them down as they are performed to keep yourself honest," Bartfield said. "Also wearing a pedometer can help accurately document and track your progress."
  • Keep track of calories. Do not underestimate how many calories you consume at each meal.
  • Set clear, realistic goals. Avoid setting vague goals. Objectives need to be specific and attainable. People can start by trying to lose 10 percent of their body weight, Bartfield recommended.
  • Be consistent. "Eat at regular intervals seven days per week," Bartfield advised. "Being 'good' on the weekdays and then splurging on the weekend creates a harmful cycle that discourages weight loss."
  • Plan for setbacks. "When you learn to drive, or learn a sport or musical instrument, you make mistakes and you have an experienced instructor -- maybe even several -- to help correct the mistakes and prevent repeats. Enlist a trusted friend, or enroll in a program to learn and master the rules of weight loss," Bartfield said.
  • When it comes to teenagers who need to lose weight, parents should get involved. "Treating child and adolescent obesity needs to be a family effort; families need to change behaviors," she said. "Research shows that families -- and even couples -- who change behavior together are the most successful."

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