Weight Loss Strategies that Last
If you’ve read the blog post Keto Diet – Short Term Only you may or may not be tempted to give the ketogenic diet a try for a few days. However, it is not for everyone and it does not solve the problem of how to maintain a healthy weight in the long term. Fear not! There are many other simpler ways to improve health and lose weight. A study has found that if you want to lose weight and keep it off there are several strategies that have been proven to work.
The research was done by surveying 5000 members of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) who had lost an average of 50 pounds and kept it off for more than 3 years. Participants were asked about the weight management strategies that worked for them. These results were compared to a control group of people with obesity who had not gained or lost more than 5 pounds in the past 5 years (1).
Strategies that Work in the Long Term
Here are some of the top strategies used by the participants who lost weight and kept it off:
- Making healthy food choices
- Setting daily food intake goals
- Recording what was eaten each day
- Weighing and measuring foods
- Using positive self talk
- Thinking about past successes
- Remaining positive even when they gained a bit of weight
The study also found that these behaviours became easier over time as they became more habitual in those who maintained their weight loss (1).
Health Benefits of Weight Loss
Not everyone needs to lose weight. We live in a society that celebrates thinness even though thinness does not equate to health. But, being obese puts you at increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Obesity is characterised by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30. However, if you have a lot of muscle your BMI may be high even though you are healthy and fit.
For those who are obese losing weight is likely to have many health benefits as well as improved quality of life. Employing some of the strategies above may be a good way to gain health and feel better. See also the blog post Breakfast Like a King for another easy way to improve your health and your weight.
1. Phelan S et al. Behavioural and Psychological Strategies of Long‐Term Weight Loss Maintainers in a Widely Available Weight Management Program. Obesity, 2020; 28 (2): 421