Lifestyle Change for Permanent Weight Loss

Lifestyle Change for Permanent Weight Loss

One of the most common problems in today's generation of greasy restaurant food and busy lifestyles is not only how to lose weight, but how to keep it off. Many people can easily lose weight by starving themselves, but the weight lost usually comes back on within a few months. This is called yoyo-dieting and is actually an unhealthy lifestyle, because the body can only take so much strain in terms of losing weight and gaining it back in a short period of time.

So how does one lose weight and keep it off permanently?

Is it really possible to lose weight and keep it off for the long term? Yes, it is truly possible, because this is the true weight loss that really counts. After all, temporary weight loss would not really count towards being healthier if you revert to old habits within a couple of months and gain it all back, sometimes even more. To simply things, what is required is a change in lifestyle.

But What Does This Change Of Lifestyle Look Like in Practical Terms?

  • First, the way you view food will have serious repercussions. For example, it does not only refer to a present-tense decision when you choose to eat chips or ice cream while watching TV, but it says a lot about how you think of food. If you consider food a comforting option when you are stressed, chances are, anytime you feel upset you will wind up eating, and overeating at that. As such it is important for you to learn to find other ways to deal with stress, such as exercise, talking with friends, or finding other outlets like writing journals or even spiritual activities.

  • Next, learn all you can about health and nutrition. This includes being able to identify which foods have the most calories, which ones are healthier and similar things. You will need this knowledge in order to make informed choices that could spell the difference between fitness and fat. You can start to develop this habit by listing down everything you eat for the first few weeks and then researching the calorie content. Instead of counting calories, when you learn how much is in every food item on the average, you can automatically reduce servings or choose healthier options without needing the painstaking process of calculating calories.

  • Now, when you do choose what to eat, you have to develop new habits of choosing healthier food choices, such as whole-wheat or whole-grain bread instead of white bread, complex carbohydrates instead of processed foods, and sweet fruits instead of other sugar-rich sweet treats. You can develop this habit by training yourself to get used to the healthier foods on a regular basis. For example, even when you eat at fatty fast foods, when you have gotten used to choosing healthy options, you can find yourself enjoying salads or burgers without the extra helping of cheese and the extra large drinks. At first it may be difficult to get used to new food choices, but in time, it will become like second nature.

  • Incorporate extra movements into your daily routine, and view it not as a temporary strategy to lose weight but see it as a healthier improvement to your life. For example, you can learn to walk longer distances from the parking lot to the shopping mall, or you can add hobbies like gardening and bicycling. After all, including one hour of exercise a day may be intriguing at first, but unless you are really serious about continuing it for the rest of your life, it is usually more difficult to maintain. In contrast, adding little extra physical activity throughout a regular day is more realistic to maintain, resulting in an overall improvement in your physical health for the long term.

Once you understand that losing weight and keeping it off depends on a permanent lifestyle change, you will have a different way of looking at diet. It is no longer about cutting back on fat for the time only whenever you want to fit into a particular sized dress for a party, but a lifestyle change that will bring about permanent change not only in one's physical appearance but also in one's overall physical health.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad