As I continue in my weight-loss challenge, I’ve tried incorporating various schools of thought. Clearly being sensible and realistic are key to avoiding discouragement. My weight started at 160 lbs. After working out and dieting for two weeks I went up to 165 lbs. Now at week 5, I’m back down to my starting weight.

Without focusing on the number on the scale, I have seen and felt changes. Plainly, I feel better. I’ve noticed bloating has gone down, I’m not over stuffing myself, and overall feel good about adopting a healthy lifestyle. The following 5 tips are helpful for anyone simply interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, whether weight loss is a goal or not.

We all know the “secret” of successful weight loss: Eat less and exercise more. It’s not always easy, but by adopting healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine, you are sure to lose weight without depriving yourself of nourishing, satisfying food. And if you continue those good habits after you reach your goal, you will have an excellent chance of maintaining your desired weight. Here are some tips for successful weight loss – more are available on Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging:

  1. Avoid artificial sweeteners and synthetic fat substitutes. They are unhealthy and not conducive to the development of good eating habits.
  2. Dietary supplements or “fat-burning herbs” are usually just stimulants – don’t rely on them. The pounds will surely return once you’ve stopped taking them.
  3. Build lean body mass. Strength training burns excess calories and influences the way your brain regulates hunger, making you less susceptible to food cravings.
  4. Pay attention to the mental and spiritual aspects of weight control. Use relaxation exercises – instead of food – to combat anxiety.
  5. Accept your body. You may see it as less than perfect, but it is beautiful just the same.