It looks so easy on television. Flip on shows like “The Biggest Loser” and you literally see people shed pounds right before your eyes.  They make it look so easy that getting into shape and losing weight is now in style. While this is a great trend, don’t let the cameras, lights and action fool you.  Dropping pounds and keeping them off requires work and a big dose of good, old-fashion realism.

If you truly want to get rid of the fat and produce a new, healthier you, your goals have to be rooted firmly in reality. Losing weight is a process that can take time, effort and patience. Although fad diets and insane workout programs might produce some results initially, they tend to do more harm than good in the long run.  The fact is many crash diets and hardcore exercise routines are just not sustainable.   This means the weight lost often comes back and that doesn’t do you or your body any good at all!  So, how can you enjoy the results you want and make sure your efforts will continue to pay off?  The first thing you need to do is set realistic weight loss goals.  Trying to drop 20 pounds in a week is not realistic. Shooting for a pound or two, however, is.  Doctors recommend only aiming for a few pounds a week to ensure weight loss is healthy and doesn’t shock the body along the way or deprive it of necessary nutrients.  While more than two pounds a week is possible at the start of a healthy program, keep an average of a pound or two in mind to guide your efforts and prove to yourself they are working.

With a healthy weekly, monthly and long-term goal in mind, follow these tips to put your plan into action:

Trust your trainer – Work with your trainer or your health club’s staff to develop a program that will work for you. Every individual is unique. Current health status, habits and goals need to be taken into consideration when formulating a plan. Trainers and health club pros are there to assist. They can put you on the right track and encourage you along the way.
• Eat better – While it’s easy to eat only healthy foods in the presence of a trainer, keep the program going on your own, too. Try to resist the temptations and strive for a well-balanced, low-fat, low-calorie diet most of the time. If you’re not sure what to eat, talk to your trainer for personalized advice.
Exercise regularly – Your trainer can help you create a detailed program that fits your health status, weight loss goals and even personal tastes. A trainer can even help you select workouts that you find personally enjoyable. Once a program is set, stick with it. Cardiovascular and strength training exercises are simply vital for long-term, sustainable weight loss.
When you set realistic goals, work closely with a trainer and take one step at a time in the right direction, you can become the biggest loser while making sure your health status remains priority one. Beat that Hollywood!