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permanent weight loss habits

Upon a quick google search on permanent weight loss, you’ll probably find piles of articles that will tell you it’s almost impossible.  They’ll say the act of losing weight permanently is a myth, and the only is with invasive methods like weight loss surgery.  While it’s true that approximately 95% of the time we gain our weight back, it’s largely because of the methods we are using to lose that weight.  

Let’s dive into what is wrong with popular methods of losing weight, how to stay motivated, and key habits of the most successful permanent weight losers.

Popular Weight Loss Methods

Like most people, your weight loss method may involve extreme or strict dieting. You’ll often lose a lot of weight in a short period of time.  By nature, we as humans are impatient. And even if you know it may not be the healthiest way, the quick-fix appeal is hard to keep away from.

When you see all the seemingly successful weight losers out there, It’s very convincing to think strict diet programs are the solution. They have amazing transformational before and after photos. But remember that every person is different, and one picture on Instagram is only ONE small snippet of a person’s life. It’s not fair to compare your journey to theirs when you don’t know what is really happening behind closed doors.

One of the problems with quick-fix diets is that the faster you lose weight, the quicker you tend to gain the weight back.  That is the part you don’t see in the headlines or testimonials. It therefore may appear that everyone is losing weight permanently, but that’s not the reality  Don’t be fooled into thinking everyone else has it all figured out and you are failing.

Also, fat loss vs. weight loss is two different things. Real fat loss (versus water weight loss) takes time!

Weight Loss Research – How many people actually keep it off

Many research studies discuss how weight loss success in the long term is grim.  However, there are not many studies conducted in the long-term to date.  

One of the most significant long-term observational weight loss studies is the National Weight Control Registry Study. 

In this study, over 10,000 participants are observed over 5 years. They tracked habits, trends, and factors that led to the most success.  There were several common habits that the most successful participants had:

  • They ate breakfast every day
  • They weighed themselves at least once a week
  • They watched less than 10 hours of TV per week
  • They exercised regularly

It’s important to keep in mind these are common trends seen, but everyone is still an individual.  For some, weighing yourself weekly can trigger unhealthy food obsessions and eating behaviors.  There is no guarantee on what will work the best for you until you work towards this process yourself.

Ideally, you’d be working on this process together with a professional who can guide you. A Registered Dietitian can motivate you and guide you along the right path.

Weight Loss Barriers

There are many barriers to losing weight, some being real and some (most) being perceived.  

You may be afraid of not seeing results, failing, or giving up your favorite foods. If so, you’re probably not fully committing to a plan or changing your habits.  Another barrier could be that you’ve tried to lose weight in the past and weren’t successful. You may think it’s not possible for you.  You may also feel like you’re not going to be able to stick with it, so why bother?  

In addition, what if a lot of your friends and family turn to food to deal with their emotions or frequently overeat? That may make it harder for you to break out of that cycle.  They may normalize those behaviors, so you see nothing wrong with it until you get close to hitting rock bottom.  It’s all too easy to pick up on the habits of those whom you spend the most time with, no matter how much you adore them!

Despite these challenges, I promise you permanent weight loss is possible. It all comes down to a few key habits that are practiced consistently, and this is what I teach my clients as well.

Habits of the Most Successful

How is weight loss possible in the long run? What do you have to do to increase your chances of success?

Here are the most common habits of successful weight losers. This is based on the research to date and my own personal experience of working with weight loss clients for 15 years:

  1. They eat a variety of foods that they enjoy. 
  2. They don’t avoid their favorite foods.  
  3. They are mindful eaters who listen to their bodies.  
  4. They exercise regularly – and mix up their exercises so it doesn’t get boring. 
  5. They surround themselves with positive people.
  6. They drink plenty of water. 
  7. They get guidance and support from a professional.  
  8. They stay consistent with habits that work for them.
  9. They don’t make excuses or beat themselves up.
  10. They become disciplined instead of waiting for motivation.
  11. They celebrate their wins and practice self-care.

These habits do not have to be (and shouldn’t be) implemented all at once, so don’t let this list intimidate you. They should be practiced one by one until they become an automatic habit, then you can move on to the next. The secret to permanent weight loss are automatic habits, where you actually WANT to do all of those things instead of feeling like you’re forcing them.

The Verdict: Is Weight Loss Possible Long-Term?

Permanent weight loss is possible, but the process is a is a journey. Enjoying the ride versus focusing solely on your destination will make it feel so much easier. It’s all about switching your mindset. It does not have a start and end date, and it shouldn’t have one.  

It’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out right now. It takes plenty of time and practice to see what works best for you, what weight feels good and sustainable for you, and how to maintain that weight for more than a year or two.  Take it day by day and remember that every habit you practice is getting you closer and closer to your weight goal and you becoming the very best version of yourself.

If you’re looking for a dietitian writer for your blog or weight loss brand, contact me to see how my content writing services can meet your business needs.

What do you think about the concept of permanent weight loss? Do you think it’s possible? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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