Dear Dr. Levister: My New Year’s resolutions include the usual getting rid of clutter in my apartment and completing my Associates Degree. But what I really dream of is losing weight. How do I get past the no surgery, no exercise, no gimmicks hype? G.W.
Dear G.W.: Start by making a commitment! People Magazine’s January 5, 2015 weight loss centered issue “Half Their Size” hits us between the eyes. For sure the case studies were impressive and inspiring. But one is left with the million dollar question, what’s the real secret to losing weight and keeping it off?
In our busy lives, it is very easy to get caught in the trap of eating too much and doing too little. For many of us, this will inevitably lead to us gaining weight, and so if we are to reverse this trend we need to change our habits. Even if we eat a healthy and balanced diet, we can still gain weight if we eat too much, or if we don’t burn that food off with exercise.
While drastic diets can seem attractive as they may bring quick results, the chances are that they won’t work long-term as it is almost impossible to maintain the lifestyle that comes with them. After you have stopped, you are likely to put the weight back on (and sometimes even more than before) if you return to your old eating habits. Instead, by changing to healthy foods and exercise, you are more likely to stick to your new habits, keeping the weight off long-term.
Make a commitment. Permanent weight loss takes time and effort — and a lifelong commitment. Make sure that you’re ready to make permanent changes and that you do so for the right reasons.
To stay committed to your weight loss, you need to be focused. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change your habits. So as you’re planning new weight-loss-related lifestyle changes, make a plan to address other stresses in your life first, such as financial problems or relationship conflicts. While these stresses may never go away completely, managing them better should improve your ability to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle. Then, once you’re ready to launch your weight-loss plan, set a start date and then — start.