How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

A few months ago the New York Times published an article about how ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants regained all the weight they had lost.  As a practicing dietician, I’m always asked, “is it even possible to permanently lose weight?”

The good news is that it is possible! The National Weight Control Registry is proof of that- it is a study that has tracked over 10,000 people who have lost weight and kept it off long-term. The bad news is that it does not happen overnight.

Getting to the weight you are now took time and it will take time to lose it!


Here are 9 Steps you can take to start the process:

  1. Set a long-term goal and break it down into weekly smaller goals.  For example, if you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, a long-term goal, break it down into a weekly goal of losing 1-2 lbs.
  2. Weigh yourself once a week. If your weight goes up one week, find out what you can do differently the next week.  If your weight is going down, reward yourself by buying yourself something nice.
  3. Eat 2 fruits and at least 3 veggies a day.  It doesn’t matter if it’s frozen, fresh or dried.  The fact is, most of us are not eating enough of the good stuff.
  4. If you are still drinking sugary drinks, eliminate them! And no, you don’t need a “sports drink” for a 30 min workout, not even for a 60 min workout. Stick to water.
  5. Get a pedometer and increase your weekly steps until you reach 10,000 steps a day.
  6. Plan to work out at least 3x a week for a minimum of 30 min.  You can walk, run, bike, play tennis, it doesn’t matter, just move more.
  7. Don’t keep any cookies, cakes, ice cream, chips etc  in the house.
  8. Get enough sleep. I know you think you only need 3 hours of sleep a day, try 8 hours and see how much better you feel.
  9. Don’t reward yourself with food. I hear this all the time, ” I just did a one hour workout, now I “deserve” to have some chips and beer as a reward.”  Sad truth is, the workout may have only burned 300 calories, but your reward may be 500 or more calories.  Keep your focus on your goal- you deserve to have a healthy and lean body. Instead reward yourself with new workout clothes or other nonfood choices.

Try not to let small setbacks throw you off course,  in order to lose weight permanently you need to learn to think and behave like the healthier, slimmer you!






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