Planning for Weight Loss

A little planning goes a long way when it comes to weight loss
Planning for Weight Loss

Successful weight loss requires establishing patterns of behavior that promote a healthy lifestyle. This includes choosing lower-calorie foods and engaging in regular physical activity. But these things do not happen on their own — they require planning.

Plan to Make Wise Food Choices
Experts have identified patterns of eating that are linked with lasting weight loss. These patterns can help to "map out" strategies that include choosing low-fat, low-energy-density foods (read more about Cutting Calories: Portion Control, Energy Density) or those that are high in fiber. 2 Selecting a restaurant that has more lower-calorie menu items or having the foods on hand to pack a lunch to take to work — these are examples of planning ahead.

Part of the process of planning involves setting goals for achieving healthy eating. Research shows that when study participants were assisted in creating their own goals and plans for weight loss, and given an eating plan, they were better able to stick with the weight-loss program. And, the end result was greater weight loss. 3

Plan for Exercise
Experts agree that regular physical activity, as well as proper diet, can result in long-term weight loss as well as provide significant health benefits. 4 As with eating, establishing patterns of physical activity that support weight loss involves planning. Research shows that that goal-setting can be an important part of the process — and that the goals should be realistic and attainable. 5

Taking small steps to improve eating and physical activity levels can have big effects on achieving a healthy weight. 6 All in all, planning ahead to establish patterns that encourage healthy eating and regular exercise can benefit weight loss.

view footnotes

The Weight Watchers Approach:

The Weight Watchers program provide specific skills that assist with setting goals and then creating the strategies to make them a reality.

This content is reviewed regularly. Last updated December 12, 2012.


Other Science Library Topics:

The Predictors of Successful Weight Loss

Social Support and Lasting Weight Loss


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