Key to Long Term Weight Loss Success

It’s interesting that dieting is not necessarily the key to long term weight loss success. While cutting calories and increasing your exercise will allow you to lose weight, when you finally reach your goal weight and the ‘diet’ is over, you still have a lot of work to do. Those dieters who have had long term weight loss success are those who have shed their old habits and patterns as well as their weight. Your mindset is the most important tool you have for lasting weight loss. Cultivating the lifestyle habits that are needed for losing weight and weight management after you reach your goal are extremely important and are not as complicated or difficult as you may think.

Long Term Weight Loss Success

Making small, healthy changes to your lifestyle gradually is key to long term weight loss success.

One of the main keys to long term weight loss success is to start good habits right from the beginning of your diet. Part of this process will be taking a look at your eating habits. Keeping a food journal (or using a diet tracker like fitday.com) will allow you to see how much food you are eating, when you are eating it, and what foods may trigger you to eat too much. By taking the time to look at the foods you eat, you will begin to see patterns and you can begin to make small, but significant changes to your diet and your eating habits.

Perhaps you begin with making it your goal to eat a healthy, lower-calorie breakfast at home during the week instead of skipping breakfast or buying a calorie-laden coffee and pastry (for a few low-calorie breakfast suggestions, see the post “Low-Calorie Breakfast Ideas“). Then, when you are comfortable with this change in your eating habits perhaps you can try making a healthy lunch for yourself every day and so on (you can find some suggestions for lunches too in the post “Low-Calorie Lunch Ideas“). By making very small changes to the way you eat, you increase your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Find small things you can do to change your food intake and reduce the amount of calories you eat each day (e.g. cutting out soda, eating breakfast, keeping a selection of low-calorie snacks, etc.). Small changes that you make gradually over time are much easier to incorporate into your life than making huge, sweeping changes that leave you overwhelmed.

Taking small steps to make the lifestyle changes needed for long term weight loss success also applies to your exercise habits. Start out slowly and build up from there. The more you exercise and the stronger your body becomes the easier it will be to do more. If just getting out for a 30 minute walk every night is all you can manage at first that’s OK. Again, don’t overwhelm yourself with large commitments, such as exercising at the gym 5 days a week. Although some people may be able to make these big life changes, most people find it difficult at first and need to start out slower.

As most of us know, losing weight is not only a physical challenge, but a mental one. Mentally, the primary key to long term weight loss success is realizing that losing weight isn’t just about reaching your goal weight, it’s about making healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime. When you want to lose weight for the long term, you need to look at eating and staying in shape as who you are, not what you are doing until you reach a certain goal. The habits you are making right now are the habits you should plan to stick to for the rest of your life. By taking the time to make small changes, you will make these habits stick and you will create a healthy new you, almost without realizing it.

Along with your long term approach to weight loss success, you also need to remember that perfection does not exist in the dieting world. You will not necessarily eat the right foods all the time, and you may not always exercise as much as you would like. However, if you make the effort to stick to your healthy lifestyle changes even 80% of the time, it’s likely you will keep your weight off or you will be able to take off any weight you may gain. After all, there will be times when you will want to eat a treat or a larger meal and you should be able to do so without feeling guilty for the rest of your life.

Long term weight loss is not just a goal that you reach; it is something that you dedicate time and energy to each and every day. While it might seem you can relax a bit after you’ve lost weight, always remember that you’re living a new life, one with new habits and new patterns you worked very hard to develop. Embrace these new changes, avoid slipping back into old habits, and you will be well on your way to a lifetime of weight loss success.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Tips for Making Healthier Food Choices”, “5 Stages of Weight Loss Grief”, and “Workplace Weight Loss Tips”.


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