If you were to do a google search on permanent weight loss, you’ll find an array of articles that will tell you it’s likely impossible.  They’ll tell you permanent weight loss is a myth, and the only way it’s possible 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 me explain further.

If your method to losing weight is through extreme dieting, you often lose a lot of weight in a short period of time.  By nature, we as humans are impatient. Even if you know it’s not serving you, the quick fix appeal is hard to keep away from. It’s very convincing when you see all of those people out there that appear to be successful with commercial diet programs and have these amazing transformational before and after photos.  The problem with all of this is the quicker you lose, the quicker you also gain the weight back.  That is the part you don’t see in the headlines or testimonials.  So, don’t be fooled in thinking everyone else has it all figured out and you are failing.

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 largest 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 of time to determine overall habits, trends, and what ultimately leads to the most success.   There were several common habits that the most successful participants had:

  • They ate breakfast every day
  • The 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 trends, 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 with a professional who can guide you along the path of a healthy weight loss, and optimal physical and mental health.

Weight Loss Barriers

There are many barriers to losing weight, with some being real and some perceived.  

You may be afraid of not losing weight, failing, or giving up your favorite foods – so you don’t fully commit 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 so you just don’t think it’s possible.  You may also feel like you’re not going to be able to stick with it, so why bother.  

In addition, if a lot of your friends and family who you’re around the most 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 that for you, and so you see nothing wrong with it until you get close to hitting rock bottom.  You will easily pick up on the habits of those whom you spend the most time with.

Habits of the Most Successful

Based on all of the research to date, here are the most common habits of successful weight losers:

  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 body.  
  4. The 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.

It’s important to remember that the process of weight loss or weight maintenance is a journey. 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 now. It takes plenty of time and practice to see what works best for you, what weight feels good for you, and how to maintain that weight more than a year or two.  If you’re ready to stop trying to figure it all out on your own and stop wasting time on diets that prevent you from fully enjoying your food – let’s get on a call.  I’d love to chat with you to see how I can help you.

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!