If you want to lose weight, there are two broad ways to do it change what you consume and how much you exercise. Although you can diet to lose weight, no diet is sustainable in the long term. The real key is to make lifestyle changes that are gradual and can be permanent.

The best thing to do first is to consult a dietitian. He or she can help you go through the foods you currently eat and work out what needs changing to enable you to shed those extra pounds within a reasonable time frame.

There are weight loss diet plans that can help you in the short term if you want to drop a few pounds quickly but, again, changing your lifestyle bit by bit is the more sensible approach. The changes can take you weeks or even a couple of months because it really depends on the type of foods you currently eat and how radical the changes are that need to be made.

The dietitian will help you work out what to eat in each food group that will help you either stay healthy or improve your overall health if you currently have problems. What you eat can be one of the biggest factors in governing your health.

Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry because its more likely that you’ll buy foods that you crave as opposed to foods that are healthier for you. Always make a list before you go and stick to it. Start your shopping journey at the outer edges of the supermarket because that’s where the fresh produce is displayed.

Its essential that you burn more calories than you consume. Whether you do this by restricting your caloric intake, by increasing your exercise or both is up to you. Doing both is the ideal way but it can depend on your health. Some people are too ill or overweight to be able to exercise properly and so that places even more emphasis on the calories you ingest.

Using a food diary can be confronting if you normally eat foods that are high in sugars, carbs and fats. Once you start to keep a diary of everything you eat, you’ll quickly realize that you do have more bad habits than you were aware of and so you can start to make positive changes to your eating habits so you can start dropping those unwanted pounds.

Some people think they can simply exercise to burn off unwanted weight if they eat the wrong foods. However, once you start educating yourself on the number of calories in each food you eat, you’ll quickly realize that its easier not to eat the food than it is to burn off the calories afterwards.

Another key factor in your big change is knowing when to stop eating. You don’t have to finish all the food on your plate. Once you feel content, stop! You don’t have to eat everything on your plate just because its there. Once you have had enough, simply push the plate away.

If you want to diet to lose weight, its better to consider the alternative option of changing your lifestyle permanently so you can retain good health once you have achieved it.

Always remember that at the end of the day though, you should always go and seek your local doctor and discuss what options that you are considering to lose weight. Although there are so many options that might appeal to you and perhaps you’ve read many people who have really done well with that particular approach, we all are a little different and as such, ensure that you seek professional help to make sure that your option is safe for you.