If you've tried to lose weight before and are looking for something a little different, a weight loss plan that is uniquely you, you've come to the right place. LHJ.com's new Fitness Center features tools that allow you to design a diet and build a workout just for you. Don't like broccoli? You don't have to eat it, ever. Want the same breakfast every day? You can do it. Enjoy trying new recipes? You'll have dozens to choose from. Hate to run but love to walk? Well, go girl! But first, here are a few helpful hints:One step at a time
Trying to drop more than a couple of dress sizes? Experts say setting your sights on the equivalent of just one or two sizes smaller at a time is a better strategy. This translates into a loss of about five to 10 percent of your current weight, for example, 10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200. You'll feel better, look better, and be in better overall health. You'll also be less frustrated by your weight loss efforts and will feel better psychologically, according to research by Tom Wadden, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.Count calories, but wisely
If you eat too few calories, your body thinks it's starving and slows down your metabolism to conserve calories. The LHJ.com plan offers three different calorie levels -- the lowest level if you're not that active and the highest for folks who are very active -- to ensure that you get enough calories to keep your metabolism revved up.Stay active
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that you perform aerobic exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week for 20 to 60 minutes a day. In addition, you should try to perform strength-training exercises for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week. The ACSM also recommends engaging in at least 30 minutes of other physical activity a day. This includes yard work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, preparing your meals, or parking far away at the mall.The long view
You have to maintain your new lifestyle to keep the weight off. Members of the National Weight Control Registry, a databank of men and women who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year, say to maintain their weight they've continued to eat a lower calorie diet (1,400 calories, on average) and to get plenty of physical activity (the equivalent of about 400 calories spent daily.)
Program note: This fitness program is designed to guide people to make their own choices for a healthy lifestyle that includes proper eating and exercise. LHJ.com does not guarantee weight loss for participants and recommends against anyone under the age of 18 embarking on this program without a doctor's consent.