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If reaching your goal weight seems about as elusive as winning the lottery, chances are you don't know where to start. But reaching - and maintaining - your goal weight is a big achievement, for both your physique and your overall health.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, maintaining a healthy weight lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure, and can also lower the risk of many different cancers. If you're ready to feel - and look - healthier than ever, there's no time like the present to start.
Define goals beyond the scale
If you've ever made an undefined New Year's Resolution (like, for example, "lose weight,") and not achieved it, you already know that goals need to be specific and quantifiable to have any hope of achieving them. That means you need to stop thinking about your goal weight as a vague hope and start treating it as you would a business objective - complete with a clearly defined strategy and quantifiable results. You already know your goal weight but try to think beyond the scale. Do you want to lower your cholesterol? Reduce your blood pressure? Fit into that old pair of jeans? Give yourself specific, measurable goals along the journey and you'll be better poised to achieve them.
Love your workout
So you hate working out. If that's the case, chances are you haven't found a method of exercise that speaks to you (and says, "you're going to be so in shape!"). Like it or not, cardiovascular exercise is a vital part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer through a daily treadmill session or climbing the dreaded stair-stepper. Find a form of exercise you can enjoy and actually look forward to. If cycling isn't your thing, maybe dance aerobics is. Perhaps you would love swimming, karate or a rousing game of squash. When you find something you love, you'll actually want to work out - and maintaining your weight won't be so difficult.
Stop drinking your calories
You can't avoid calories from food (nor should you), but you certainly can limit - or eliminate - the calories you drink. While some beverages might seem healthy in theory - like natural fruit juices and low-fat milk - it's important to understand that these liquids could be preventing you from reaching a healthy weight. According to U.S. News, the human body doesn't register liquid calories the same as it does solids, so the "extra" intake from juice, milk or (heaven forbid) sugary soda isn't going to satiate you, meaning you're taking in calories needlessly.
If you starve yourself to achieve your goal weight, what happens then? You can't live your life feeling hungry all the time, and you wouldn't want to either. Yes, losing, gaining and maintaining your weight is irrevocably connected to what you eat, but that doesn't mean your diet needs to take over your life. According to Ideal Shape, when you deprive yourself, you send your body on a vicious cycle of deprivation followed by binging, which won't help you achieve your goal weight (in fact, it could do the opposite). Create an eating plan that is healthy, satisfying and won't leave you feeling like you could eat four-cheese pizzas (you just might do it).
Get the right resources
If you're still struggling to achieve your goal weight, it might be a resource, not a motivation issue. Maintaining your weight is about more than what you eat and how you move. A good option is to consider turning to a personal health and wellness program, such as Modere, that focuses on living clean and feeling your best through natural, safe and effective dietary products and supplements. These programs have thermogenic, fat-burning supplements to protein-rich weight loss shakes and fiber that helps you lose and maintain weight, achieving your goal weight is more of a team effort than you ever imagined.
Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.