Trying to lose weight? These tips will help you keep it off for good.
Every January, countless Americans make resolutions to shed at least a few pounds. Whether to improve health or to fit into a favorite pair of jeans, one mistake many people make is that they go on a diet.
Well isn’t that the way to lose weight?
In theory, it is. Finding a way to shift the equation so that the calories you take in are less than the calories you burn will help the scale go down. But the problem is that when you try to do so in a way that restricts whole food groups or drastically changes how you eat, you’re not likely to stick with your new habits for long. Most people find their determination only lasts a few weeks at best because they approach weight loss in ways that are hard to live with.
In contrast, slowly changing your habits makes it more likely you’ll stick with the changes you make. So this year rather than following the latest trendy diet, try these tips for lasting weight loss instead:
- Take it one step at a time. Make one small change every week or so. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic – just something healthy and doable. For example, commit to eating one vegetable or fruit at each meal. Or swap out one sugar-sweetened beverage each day for water or seltzer. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to make permanent changes. Adapting one habit at a time helps you do just that.
- Write it down. The simple act of recording what you eat may help you lose more weight and keep it off long term. Journaling makes you more aware of what you’re eating and encourages better choices.
- Eat mindfully. Take time to focus on what you’re eating and you’re more likely to be satisfied with less. Look at your food and savor the taste, texture and aroma.
- Cook at home. Most restaurants deliver super-sized portions, but you can control how much you eat when you make it yourself. You can also limit the amount of fat, sugar and sodium. As an added bonus, you’ll save some money!
- Weigh yourself. Getting on the scale regularly shows how your efforts are paying off and helps reinforce your commitment to eating healthier. Research shows that daily weigh-ins are best, but if that’s too much for you, get on the scale at least weekly.
It’s not feasible to think you’ll never eat a slice of pizza or cake again – and you shouldn’t have to. If you balance what you eat and focus on proper portions, you’ll develop a healthier, guilt-free relationship with food and you’ll come to realize that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle.
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Date Last Reviewed: November 12, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN