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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