How to Lose Weight Permanently

 
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Many people think it’s impossible to lose weight and keep it off. But research shows that at least 20 per cent of overweight people are successful in losing the flab for the long term. You can be one of them!

Why Lapses Become Relapses

Lapses in healthy eating and exercise habits are common after weight loss. However, they will only lead to significant weight re-gain if you view them as a total loss of control—if you don’t do anything to undo them and allow them to accumulate. While weight management is never easy, it’s easier to correct small lapses and prevent them from turning into major relapses, than starting all over.

A key for permanent weight loss is to monitor your lifestyle habits regularly. The following suggestions will help you keep a vigilant eye on your performance so that you know when to take action.

How To Self-Monitor

  • Weigh yourself at the same time each day. You can compare the results and catch yourself when your weight starts creeping up.
  • Keep a food diary. Maintaining a record of everything you put in your mouth will impact how much and what you choose to consume, because you need to write it down. It will also allow you to see the whole picture. For some people, snacks can add up to a quarter or even a third of their daily kilojoules! Write it down as it happens and track the fat grams, the kilojoules or simply the food you eat and drink.
  • Maintain an exercise log. This will help to make physical movement a priority. Use a pedometer, noting steps, time and distance covered.
  • Do a weekly forecast. At the beginning of each week set one or two eating and/or exercise goals to focus on. Anticipate obstacles and plan solutions ahead of time so that you don’t get caught off guard.
  • Get professional help. If you’re still struggling to keep weight off, stay in regular contact with your doctor or dietitian, whether in person, by telephone or email. Research shows professionals can improve your success with weight loss.
  • And keep trying! Maintaining weight loss gets easier after two to five years. So don’t give up!
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Sue Radd is one of Australia's leading nutritionists and health communicators. She also advises law firms, providing expert nutrition reports for use in court cases.