I’m going to let you in on a little secret: All diets work! It doesn’t matter which one you select. If you follow the rules and cut back on what you eat, you will most likely drop weight. The problem is, most trendy diets are too extreme, so the results don’t last. The reality is that weight loss is not a short-term effort–it’s a lifelong journey toward better health and self-discovery. Sure, it’s hard to hear you will need to do something indefinitely. Forever is a very long time. But if you want to keep the weight off, it’s essential to develop healthy habits that go beyond 30 days, and help you live a healthy, enjoyable life (with room for the occasional treat!) .
Are you ready to drop weight, and keep it off for a very long time? Then get inspiration from the people who have! The National Weight Control Registry monitors”successful losers,” individuals who’ve lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for an average of 5.5 years. Here are six of the most common habits.
HABIT 1: SWEAT EVERY DAY
The study finds that successful losers engage in high levels of physical activity, for around 1 hour a day. So find something you love doing, that gets your body moving and your heart pumping and make it part of your daily routine.
HABIT 2: KEEP YOUR CALORIES DOWN
You know you will need to cut calories to lose weight, but if you want to keep the weight off, you can not go back to eating like you did before. Now that you have slimmed down, recalculate how many calories you actually need, and maintain tracking for a few weeks, to get used to your new normal.
HABIT 3: GO EASY ON FAT AND OILS
Keeping pepperoni pizza, french fries, and bacon burgers on the daily menu won’t help you stay slim. High-fat foods pack a great deal of calories, so skip the deep-fried, cheese-smothered options, and choose to receive your healthy fats from avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, and nuts instead. And remember: You only need about 5 teaspoons of fat per day, so be light handed–even with all the good kind of fat.
HABIT 4: EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
Eating early maximizes the advantages by working with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, but it can not be just any breakfast. Alter when you consume, and dine like a king with protein and fiber, like a couple of boiled eggs and a few slices of avocado on 100 percent whole-grain toast. Then lighten up dinner, which makes it more of a bite.
HABIT 5: WEIGH IN AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
Regularly hopping on the scale can help you notice small weight gains until they become big ones. Keep your weigh-ins consistent, by choosing a day and time, ideally first thing in the morning, before breakfast but after going to the restroom.
HABIT 6: EAT WELL ON WEEKDAYS AND WEEKENDS
Maintaining a consistent eating pattern is crucial. It’s wonderful how many calories can be consumed in only a couple of days of relaxed eating. Prevent the weekend binge, and indulge in one cheat meal per week, not a whole cheat day (or days!) .
If you’re still struggling to maintain weight loss, the next step is to receive personalized advice. Nothing really beats nutrition and exercise wisdom that’s specific to you and your lifestyle. Seek help from a registered dietitian who will take a better look at your eating habits and work out an individualized action plan tailored to your requirements. This way, you can identify what’s holding you back, and begin making healthy habits stick.
Most importantly, remember: Weight maintenance is a slow and steady marathon, not a quick sprint. If you can stop the extreme yo-yo dieting, and embrace a healthy lifestyle, then forever won’t feel so bad.