The Guide to Staying Motivated About Weight Loss

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Weight loss is a lifestyle. You live in a world that tells you to lose weight -- while tempting you to gain more. To maintain successful weight loss, you must address the mental issues, not just the physical.

Weight loss is work. "Get-thin-quick" schemes are as unreliable as "get-rich-quick" schemes. As the old adage goes, "Anything in life worth having is worth working for." You are worth working for.

Weight loss is personal. Although there are many reasons to lose weight, your motivation for weight loss is individual. To help you stay on track, sit down and list all the reasons weight loss is a good idea for you. Here are a few to get you started.

Your health: Because more than 300,000 deaths per year are attributed to obesity, maintaining a healthy weight is key to a healthy life.

  • Losing 5 to 15 percent of your weight decreases your chance of heart attack and stroke, lowers your bad cholesterol levels, and reduces your blood pressure.
  • Losing 10 percent of your weight improves your sleep, especially if you are one of the 18 million who suffer from sleep apnea.
  • Losing 5 to 7 percent of your weight will help prevent type 2 diabetes -- a potential disorder among an estimated 54 million people.
  • Every 20 pounds gained between age 18 and mid-life doubles a woman's risk of premenopausal breast cancer. Excessive weight also increases the risk of colon, prostate, gallbladder, rectum and uterine cancers.
  • Every 2 pounds gained increases your risk of developing arthritis 9 to 13 percent. Conversely, weight loss improves arthritis symptoms.
  • Excess weight increases your risk for gallbladder disease, gout, sleep apnea and congestive heart failure.