It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it quickly, but the best way to keep the weight off is to lose it gradually in a healthy way. Losing weight takes more than desire; it takes commitment and a purposeful plan. SEE the healthy way to lose weight!
Get support from your family, friends and physicians. Making lifestyle changes can feel easier when you have others you can talk to and rely on for support. You might have coworkers or neighbors with similar goals, and together, you can share healthy recipes and plan group workouts. People who have successfully lost weight and kept it off often rely on support from others to help them stay on course and overcome obstacles. Oftentimes, having a friend or partner who is also losing weight or maintaining a weight loss can help you find the motivation and drive you need.
When it comes to eating, we often have strong habits. Although many of our eating habits were established during childhood, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to change them. Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits, such as eating nothing but cabbage soup, can lead to short term weight loss. However, such radical changes are neither healthy nor a good idea and won’t be successful in keeping the weight off. Permanently improving your eating habits requires a thoughtful approach in which you Reflect, Replace and Reinforce. Reflect on all your specific eating habits, both bad and good, and your common triggers for unhealthy eating. Replace your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones. Reinforce your new, healthier eating habits. Habits take time to develop; it just takes one day at a time!
Be active and get daily physical activity. People who have lost weight and kept it off typically engage in 60-90 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week while not exceeding calorie needs. It’s important to monitor both your diet and activity. Keeping a food and physical activity journal can help you track your progress and spot trends. When managing your weight loss, it’s a good idea to keep track of your weight so you can plan accordingly and adjust your diet and exercise as necessary. Schedule a physical with your primary care physician to make sure you are exercising safely within your body’s limits.
Remember to continually check in with yourself to monitor your progress. Revisit the goals you set and evaluate your progress. If you set a goal to walk each morning but are having trouble fitting it in before work, see if you can shift your work hours or get your walk in at lunchtime or after work to make the necessary adjustments to stay on track. Rewarding yourself for your success with healthy rewards is also a great way to keep you motivated and on track to losing weight the healthy way. Talk to your St. Joseph Health physician to make sure your plan includes the right steps for your weight loss journey.
CDC - Losing Weight
CDC - Losing Weight: Getting Started
CDC - Improving Your Eating Habits
CDC - Keeping It Off