Think right and lose weight

People who want to lose weight and keep it off have to not only change their ways, but their way of thinking about food, exercise and lifestyle behaviours, according to experts at the Loyola Centre for Fitness.

"Diet is only one component of leading a healthy life. To lose and keep weight off, a person needs to stop focussing on the scale and start concentrating on becoming a healthier person," said Valerie Walkowiak, medical integration coordinator at the centre. The "Change Your Weight programme" at the centre emphasises three components needed for a healthier lifestyle nutrition, behaviour modification and exercise.

"Many people have the misconception that they have to feel deprived in order to lose weight. People need to learn to eat well, not starve themselves," said Cris Harder, registered dietician. Eating right is only one part of losing weight. Diet and exercise need to go hand-in-hand and lifestyle behaviours need to be addressed.

"Many of us have emotional ties to food and to make a real lifestyle change, people need to start thinking about the reason why they eat," he stated.

Behaviour modification helps people to look at the issues that stand in the way of healthy eating and exercise. Exercise is the third component for making lifestyle changes. Often, people don't exercise because they don't know how or where to start. Each week a personal trainer meets with the group to help participants cross this hurdle.

"This is not just a diet programme, an exercise class or support group; it is a combination of all three components. This programme allows participants to gain control of their health because they are given the tools they need to be successful," said Walkowiak. ANI