I’ve written about weight loss many times before, and it can seem so simple. It’s even simpler if you’re prepared to believe the media hype about the latest fast working ‘miracle’ diets and gadgets. But, unfortunately, losing weight fast doesn’t always mean that it will be permanent. For long-term, sustainable weight loss, these heavily promoted diets, gadgets and programmes can fall very short. So, what are the keys to successful and, importantly, sustainable weight loss?
Something to say straight away is that there is no ‘perfect’ diet or exercise programme that will work for everyone. When trying to lose weight, you must be willing to experiment and keep trying until you find a way of eating and moving that fits into your life.
But, even though a ‘one size fits all’ diet or exercise programme doesn’t exist, there are some common habits and behaviours that everyone who has lost weight, and maintained it, share.
Creating the Exercise Habit
A fundamental key to weight loss, and weight maintenance, is exercise, and it takes more than you think to achieve either of these. So take time to think about different activities, schedules and frequencies that will work for you in the long-term, and not just the first few days or weeks.
A basic exercise routine should include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises to help you burn calories, build muscle, and keep your connective tissue flexible.
If you get confused about where to start, just remember that doing something is always better than nothing so, when all else fails, go for a walk. And, remember, you will need to be patient; permanent weight loss is a slow process and so is changing bad habits. Give yourself time to think about how to make these changes, and then give your body the time it needs to lose the weight.
If you need customised help, and expert advice you can always work with a Personal Trainer.
Creating your Healthy Eating Habit
The next fundamental key to weight loss involves diet. For many of us, commercial weight loss diets don’t work very well, but making small changes to how we eat every day can lead to success – the weight loss may be slower, but the results will be satisfyingly more sustainable.
From my own experience, a top tip which is so simple and yet very effective is to remove any foods from the house that cause temptation. If it is not in my sightline then I’m more likely to be able to distract myself until the urge to eat it passes.
Another tip, no matter what you’re eating, is to always pay attention to portion sizes, and to eat until you are satisfied, not more.
My next article will contain 2 more important keys to steady weight loss for the long term.