5 Secrets for Keeping the Weight Off for Good
Most of us have known someone who lost a dramatic amount of weight rather quickly.
Maybe they dropped 15 pounds in a week by doing Atkins, or perhaps they lost a hundred pounds in just a few months following bariatric surgery.
But look at those same friends one year later. Did they keep the weight off, or did it gradually creep back up on them? What about two years later?
When you lose weight, you want it to stay gone. Here are 5 helpful secrets for losing weight and keeping it off - for good!
Secret #1: Diets don't work.
People sometimes joke that "diet" is a 4-letter word, but there's actually a lot of truth to that statement.
Diets can wreck your metabolism, and they don't lead to sustained weight loss unless you're willing to change the habits that made you heavy in the first place.
If you're a habitual dieter, you might have noticed that some diets leave you heavier than before.
That's because your body considers a diet to be a period of famine, so it holds onto its fat reserves and milks every drop of nutrition from the food you eat during that time.
Instead of a diet, what you need is a permanent lifestyle change. That means making food and exercise choices that can easily fit into your daily life. Avoid drastic plans that you can't follow forever, and choose gradual improvement over instant results.
Secret #2: Slow weight loss is permanent weight loss.
It took time to gain weight, and it will take time to lose weight. If you're a woman, or if you're over the age of 50, you might feel frustrated while waiting for the scale to move. Just remember that fast weight losses are almost always temporary.
Fast weight loss is usually accomplished through starvation, dehydration, or both. As soon as you eat and drink again, those lost pounds will come right back.
If you modify your eating in a healthy way and aim to lose just 1 pound per week, you will achieve permanent weight loss - and that's worth the wait.
Secret #3: You must change your habits - permanently.
Look at your habits. Do you starve yourself all day and then binge at night? Do you eat two helpings when one would suffice?
Are you a junk food junkie, addicted to the calm feeling you get after eating high-carb foods? Do you circle parking lots until you find a parking space close to the door?
It's not always easy to see ourselves for what we really are, or to admit that we've fallen into unhealthy habits, but it's a necessary step.
Once you identify the habits that keep you from losing weight, you can take steps to change them, and take control of your body once again.
Secret #4: Your friends can keep you fat.
The great thing about real friends is that they love you for who you are. The downside is that they might not realize you're trying to change your lifestyle, so they enable you to keep eating and living as you always have.
Make your friends and family aware of the new habits you're trying to adopt. Chances are, they'll be very supportive if you ask them not to offer you another helping of your favorite dish.
If someone continues to tempt you after you've made your wishes known, it might be time to consider whether or not they're a true friend.
True friends want you to succeed. Fake friends might try to sabotage you out of a sense of jealousy or dissatisfaction with themselves.
Secret #5: You have to really, really want it.
Of course you want to lose weight. Millions of people do. But wanting it isn't enough. To lose weight permanently, you need to ask yourself how badly you want it.
The sad truth is that, sometimes we don't want to lose weight as badly as we want that slice of cheesecake. Sometimes we don't want to lose weight as badly as we want to veg out in front of the television.
The secret to lasting weight loss is to want it more often than you want temporary comforts.
For example, if you find that you want comfort food more often than you want to work at losing weight, you should try to get at the root cause of your emotional eating. There could be an easy solution that will help you stay on track.
Take these secrets to heart, and don't get discouraged if you find them hard to follow. Permanent changes aren't easy to make, but once you reach your goal, you'll be glad that you did.