Chances are you've been down the weight loss road before. And chances are just as good that you've gained it all back. But don't despair; there are ways to avoid the dreaded yo-yo. Harley Pasternak, best-selling author and the go-to trainer for A-list stars, answers some common questions about how to lose weight - and the tools needed to keep it off.
What's the biggest mistake people make when it comes to weight loss?
Too many people set unrealistic expectations from the start. Extreme diets don't work. You can't sustain that kind of deprivation over the long haul, and you're setting yourself up for failure. For sustained weight loss, you need a diet and exercise plan that you can maintain. It starts with setting realistic goals. Check with your doctor first, but for most people, losing one to two pounds a week makes sense.
How should I get started and pick the right plan?
Instead of starving yourself or risking injury by over-exercising, focus on being active throughout the day. Park your car farther away from your destination, take the stairs, make social plans walking distance from home or work; every step adds up. When deciding on a diet plan, do your research. I believe in Shaklee 180 because it is consistent with what I've been teaching my clients for years and is incredibly convenient for those of us with busy lifestyles.
How can I eat healthy when I'm so busy I don't have time to cook?
Planning ahead is a must if you're going to avoid temptation. Spend some time on Sunday evening preparing simple, healthy meals for the week. Keep staple ingredients like fruits, veggies, Greek yogurt, beans and whole grains like oats and quinoa at home at all times.
What tips or tools I should use to keep myself on-track and motivated?
I'm a big fan of using technology to stay fit. I like mobile apps, which help track calories and exercise. They take the guesswork out of losing - and make it more fun because you can get instant support. One of my new favorites is the Shaklee180 app, which includes meal trackers, recipes, workouts, nutrition info and inspirational tips from health and fitness experts. The other cool thing is when you use the Shaklee app to track your progress you get the chance to win weekly prizes. You can learn more about it at www.shaklee180.com.
I hate to exercise, and gyms are too expensive. What can I do?
You don't need to spend hours a day in the gym to improve your waistline or your health. As little as 5 minutes a day of resistance training can help strengthen your body. The key is consistency and making sure you're physically active throughout the course of the day. I always advise my clients to use a pedometer (a small device that counts your steps) and try to hit 10,000 steps each day.
(photo of two women)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images