Is sustainable weight loss possible?
Chances are, you’ve heard the same statistic over and over again. And if it’s true that 95% of diets end in failure, it’s reasonable to conclude that trying to lose weight is not worth the effort. Nobody is going to tell you that it is easy to achieve weight loss that lasts. But it is possible. Let’s begin to explore exactly how to win the weight-loss battle.
Make Wise Food Choices
Our food world is complicated. We are surrounded by tasty, affordable food choices. We are constantly reminded of food by the media, much benefit from regular physical activity that they wouldn’t dream of a day without it. Regular physical activity has three important elements. The first is that the activity has to fit into your life, whether in a set block of time or in little nooks and crannies throughout the day. You can squeeze in a bit of activity by taking the stairs at work, parking farther away from the store on errands, taking a ten-minute walk at lunchtime, or walking the dog at the end of the day. These activities may sound too small to make a difference. But if you take a daily ten-minute walk at lunchtime for a year and change nothing else about your eating or activity, you can lose more than five pounds! Imagine the result if you incorporated a number of these simple activities into your daily routine. These positive changes are the key to sustainable weight loss.
Make Positive Lifestyle Changes
Making positive changes to your lifestyle also means taking personal responsibility for your weight. All of us have the ability to harness our internal power to make wise choices for healthy, livable, sustainable weight loss.
Lifestyle change requires focus. Both the Weight Watchers LTM Database and NWCR participants maintain a consistent focus on their weight management strategies. This does not mean that they are overly rigid with their diet or take exercise to extremes. Rather, they have learned the skill of flexible restraint and have developed habits, routines, and approaches that support their ability to sustain weight loss.
Create a Supportive Atmosphere
A supportive atmosphere is important for losing weight and keeping it off. Eating can be a highly social event, whether during family meals, meals with friends, or in times of celebration or sorrow. The fact is that food is one of the great pleasures of life. Sharing weight goals with others helps enlist their support. It is generally much better to let people who care about you know that you are trying to control your weight. They can be of great help. Researchers showed that metabolism goes back to expected levels with sustained weight loss, confirming that metabolism and the number of calories burned during a day is related to weight and amount of muscle but not to weight loss.
The Bottom Line
There are clearly plenty of people who have achieved sustainable weight loss. What sets them apart is not who they are but the fact that they have learned the basic components of a comprehensive weightless method and have incorporated them into their daily lives. They make wise food choices, are physically active, have a healthy lifestyle with a positive mindset, and are in a supportive environment. The longer the weight loss is sustained, the easier it becomes. Success breeds success, so set yourself up for success by choosing realistic goals that are important to you and believing that you can achieve them. The method you use to lose weight—both for taking the weight off and for keeping it off—makes a difference in how successful you will be. You are not destined to regain weight once you’ve lost it. It is important to recognize the kernel of truth in the myth of sustainable weight loss. Sustainable weight loss doesn’t automatically happen. You need to put your mind to it and arm yourself with the right tools. But it’s time to avoid being trapped by the myth that sustainable weight loss is impossible.