Want to know how to really lose weight? I’ve done it, and I know that one of the hardest things about losing weight is keeping on going when the numbers on the scale are not going down as fast as we’d like to see. After watching the weekly weigh-in on The Biggest Loser or seeing the claims for most weight loss products, it’s easy to see why.

Let’s say you have 40 pounds to lose. How long will that take? If you go by reality shows or product claims, you might think that you could lose that much weight in about 2 months. The truth, however, is that it’s more realistic to expect to lose 1-2 pounds a week, which is the rate that doctors recommend for healthy weight loss that you can easily maintain. And maintaining your loss – not putting it all right back on – is the key to how to really lose weight. This means that it will actually take you 5-10 months to lose those 40 pounds.

Suddenly weight loss seems a whole lot harder than it did at first.

Everyone wants a quick and easy way to lose weight. You may be hoping to slim down for a big event that’s coming up or to be able to wear a swimsuit on your next vacation. When weight loss doesn’t happen as quickly for you, you may feel discouraged and give up, going back to your unhealthy ways.

But weight loss and maintenance is an ongoing process. It takes consistent dedication to really lose weight and then to keep it off once you’ve reached your goal weight.

If you want to successfully lose weight and stay slim, you need to make lifestyle changes, which requires a shift in your thinking. You shouldn’t think about “being on a diet”. Instead, you should think about “making healthier food choices”. Diets often put you in a mind frame of deprivation. There are so many things that you “can’t” eat. When you change your style to focus on eating healthy foods, you will begin to lose weight naturally.

Whether you have a lot of weight to lose, or just a little, it’s important for you to set realistic weight loss goals. You didn’t gain all of your weight in just one month, so you can’t expect to lose it all in one month.

Some people find that it’s helpful to set mini-weight loss goals throughout the way. For example, if you have 50 pounds to lose, you may set milestones to celebrate, such as 10 pounds lose, 25 pounds lost and so on. This can help you feel more motivated and likely to stick with your plan so that you end up experiencing how to really lose weight and see those pounds come off – and stay off.

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