What’s the secret to losing weight and keeping it off?

If you’ve tried fad diets, weight loss supplements, and insane workouts to tip the scale in the right direction without success, you’re not alone.

Half of all adults attempt to lose weight every year.1 But only 1 in 5 people who lose weight keep it off long-term.

When you approach weight loss as a short-term effort, it’s pretty common to lose weight and gain it back. You’ve heard of yo-yo dieting, right?

So how do you lose weight and keep it off?

In a recent study, researchers looked at the habits of 6,000 people who lost more than 50 pounds and kept it off for more than three years.1

If you think the only way to reach your goal weight is obsessing about diet and exercise, think again.

Of course, your food choices, activity level, and lifestyle choices make a difference. But there’s THREE things people in the study pointed to that matter more than calories and daily steps to lose weight and keep it off.

1. Persevere

You eat right, exercise, and make healthy choices for a few days. Then something happens that throws it all off. That ever happen?

Weight loss is never a straight line. If you want to be successful, expect losing weight to be a process with ups and downs, and persevere.

If you make some less-than-healthy food choices or blow off exercise, you don’t need to beat yourself up about it. Just get back on track and keep going the next day or even the next meal.

2. Track your progress

How do you get from where you are to where you want to be? It’s simple, one healthy choice at a time.

When you approach weight loss this way, change happens little by little.

In the study, the people who tracked their progress were more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. Why? It serves as a reminder of where you started and provides motivation to keep going.

Here are some easy ways to track the progress of your weight loss journey.

    • Take progress pictures
    • Track daily calories with a food journal or app
    • Record daily steps or minutes of exercise
    • Step on the scale daily or weekly
    • Monitor the way your clothes fit
    • Look in the mirror
    • Keep a journal

Tracking your progress provides you with reference points you can look back on to help you see what you’ve accomplished, and stay motivated.

3. Focus on your health

What’s your ‘why’? You’ve heard that before. What’s the reason you want to lose weight?

In the study, researchers found that the people who identified their reason for losing weight were more successful at developing healthy lifestyle habits that stick.

Your reasons to lose weight may include things like:

    • Reduce back and joint pain
    • Prevent or manage diabetes
    • Lower Body Mass Index and risk for chronic diseases
    • Improve sleep patterns
    • Boost energy levels
    • Feel better physically and mentally

When you approach weight loss with a plan to make better food choices, be more active, and these THREE strategies, you’re more likely to tip the scale in the right direction and keep the weight off.

“I’ve seen firsthand that someone’s mindset and perspective are crucial to help them build healthy habits and drive sustainable weight loss and management,” says co-author of the study researcher Dr. Gary Foster. “We hope that these findings encourage other people going through a similar journey and equip them with the tools that they need to optimize their own success.”

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