How to Lose Half Your Body Weight

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Daunting scale numbers don't have to be cause for hopelessness.
Daunting scale numbers don't have to be cause for hopelessness. (Image: watch you're weight image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com)

It can feel like an impossible task for people who are morbidly obese to lose half of their body weight. It's often a constant struggle to follow diets and exercise programs, and when results don’t materialize quickly enough, quitting feels like the only option. When it seems like no amount of effort will create lasting results, hopelessness seeps in and food becomes the default retreat. Finding a new way of seeing yourself doesn't have to be so dramatic and in fact, small changes can add up quickly to a new outlook about yourself and what's possible.

Find new motivations to do what you need to do. Instead of exercising because you think you should, look for aspects of working out that you like. If you liked to swim as a child, do that again. Walk with a friend who's fun to talk to. Notice how good it feels to breathe deeply and how much more energy you have throughout your day. Change your motivating factors to things that are positive instead of listening to an inner voice that's trying to scold you into motivation.

Add healthy habits before subtracting ones that are out of balance. Make a large portion of fresh vegetables the center of your lunch and dinner meals and eat them with your protein, saving starches for last. Before opening a soda, drink one or two glasses of water. When you fill up on what's best for you, you'll be less likely to eat as much of the other stuff and when you do, you'll savor and enjoy the small portions even more than you did when you consumed larger ones.

Be aware as you eat. Before eating, be sure that you're truly hungry. As you eat, pay attention to the experience. Sit down and focus solely on your food and how you feel. Notice as you begin to get full and stop eating at that point. It will take time to make this a habit, but when you eat to fill physical hunger alone, you'll stop eating much sooner than if you're not paying attention to the subtle sensation of fullness.

Create a network of emotional support. People who excessively overeat do so for emotional reasons. The binging process further isolates those who use food to ignore emotional issues. Having people to discuss your problems with helps you process your feelings more effectively, which helps relieve the desire to emotionally eat.

Set incremental goals. Figure out what your end result is and chart milestones along the way. Create a reward system for each milestone that doesn't involve food and celebrate your accomplishments.

Remember that overnight results are not the goal. Don't weigh yourself after every workout or meal to see the difference. You're trying to get your mind and body back into balance and that's a gentle, ongoing process. Do what makes your body feel good for that reason alone, not because you expect to see a huge scale shift in an impossibly short time period.

Pay attention to your thoughts. Many people slip up after repeating self-berating thoughts in their minds. Remind yourself that you're doing this to treat yourself with a greater degree of respect and love. If you fall off the wagon, let it go and move forward with your plan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be wary of diet plans that claim to produce fabulous results in short time periods. There is no "magic pill" to help you lose weight and some of the diet plans and products on the market are actually dangerous for you.

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