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MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 12/27/12 -- (Family Features) When it comes to losing weight and getting into shape, good intentions are never quite enough. And there's not a quick-fix solution, either. It takes a well-balanced approach and a commitment to making healthy, long-term changes.

According to Dr. Marc Sorenson, people who succeed in losing weight and keeping it off have several things in common in three important areas:

  • Nutrition - They eat a low-fat, low-sugar diet with lots of vegetables and fruit, and they do not count calories.
  • Exercise - They are physically active and commit to making exercise the first thing they do every day.
  • Education - They self-monitor with weigh-ins. Understanding what is going on inside you backed with innovative and ground breaking educational course gives you the advantage you need to succeed.

"Anyone trying to lose weight and regain their health needs to pay attention to these factors," said Sorenson, founder and director of the National Institute of Health and Fitness (NIHF), which is hosted at the Zermatt and Homestead Resorts in Midway, Utah. "You need to focus your efforts on fitness and nutrition, and you need to educate yourself on techniques for maintaining your slimmer, healthier body."

Eating Better
Many people have found it helpful to keep track of what they eat, especially in the beginning. They are often surprised at their own eating habits once they see it in black and white. Food diaries can help you see where you need to be cutting back and making changes.

"Many people fear they have to go hungry in order to lose weight," said Dr. Sorenson. "But it's a simple fact that you don't need to starve yourself. At NIHF, we have a first-rate nutritional program that is guided by scientific research. And the meals are delicious and satisfying, so you can enjoy eating healthfully."

Getting Active
While you might be able to lose weight simply by cutting back on calories, you won't be able to keep the weight off. Before starting a fitness program, you need to know your starting place. Talk to your doctor to find out your body mass index (BMI), weight and blood pressure, and to get recommendations on what kinds of activities are safe for you to begin.

"With our activity programs at NIHF," said Sorenson's wife, Vicki, "we take a detailed physical assessment to tailor the activities to individuals. This ensures safety while allowing them to achieve maximum results."

It can be very helpful to have an exercise buddy, or even a group. Not only will it help you be more accountable to sticking to your plan, a friend can make exercising much more fun.

Making the Commitment
Taking care of your body isn't about fitting into a small sized pair of jeans or a smaller special-occasion dress. It's about making a long-term commitment to your health.

Some people have found that a helpful way to get started on the right track is to go to a health and fitness resort. Expert teams can not only help people begin the weight loss process, but give the education and support needed to maintain their efforts once they leave. "Understanding what is going on inside you, and being properly educated on how to take care of yourself, gives you the advantages you need to succeed," said Dr. Sorenson.

Sorenson says that when choosing a health and fitness resort, make sure it matches your personal goals. "Do you want a militaristic approach, or a more supportive and nurturing environment? We believe it's important to treat our guests with respect and to nurture them so they are equipped to take what they have learned home with them and apply it to the rest of their lives."

Your health is too important to ignore. Take steps today to help ensure you'll have a healthier and happier future. You can learn more about the programs at NIHF at www.NIHF.com.

About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.

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Matthew Barksdale
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