Long-term weight loss is the most difficult aspect of most weight loss programs. Without a structured maintenance program research shows that the majority of people who lose weight regain it within three years. Aside from attending a weight maintenance program after achieving their goal weight, people that have maintained weight loss over a long period tend to share several habits that are associated with long term success.
These are the qualities of successful losers that you may wish to emulate:
- Control portions. Understand and adhere to portion sizes
- Monitor themselves. Weigh and measure on a regular schedule allowing early intervention if changes occur
- Eat breakfast. No long gaps from missed meals so excessive hunger is avoided
- No crash diets. Slow and steady weight loss rather than using fad diets that can’t be sustained.
- Seek support. Gather a strong support group around themselves made up of people who understand the challenges of weight control
- Understand triggers. Know what foods make them lose control and what alternative foods can be substituted
- Exercise and like it. Find fun activities and stick with them
- Food smart. Understand the importance of limiting fat and carbohydrates while increasing vegetables, fruit, protein, and whole grains
- Eat three or more times per day. Have scheduled times to eat so their metabolism stays high, they avoid hunger, and remove the temptation to snack
- Understand the journey. Know that weight loss is a life-long journey and not over as soon as a goal is reached,
- Motivated internally. Lose weight and maintain it for themselves, not to please other people