“Most all of us have lost weight numerous times in the past and gained at least some, if not all, of it back. For most of us maintaining a healthy weight is an ongoing battle, but how can you lose weight and keep it off?

Choose the Right Diet

People are successful losing weight doing all different sorts of diets. One question you should ask yourself when choosing what diet is right for you is, “can I see myself eating this way forever?” If your way of losing weight is far from the way you live your life then it may be wise to look at different diet options that better fit your lifestyle. If you know you will never give up carbs forever, it is very unlikely that you will keep weight off after losing it on a low carb diet. One of the top reasons people gain weight back after dieting is because they didn’t learn any new habits while dieting that they are willing to stick with long term. Going back to your old ways can lead weight gain so make sure to choose the diet or way of eating that is right for you and teach yourself habits that can last!

Incorporate Real Life

Another tip for long term success is the general idea of incorporating your life into your diet. If you cook for your family every evening, you may initially think it’s a good idea to make one meal for them and a separate diet meal for yourself. How long will that last? Probably not long if you are like most of us. The more realistic option for a long term solution is to find meals that your family will enjoy that will not blow your meal plan either. Maybe the only difference is that you get a measured out portion of the meal? If it’s your routine to eat out and you don’t see that changing then continue to eat out! Just find what you can have at each restaurant that is a wiser choice. Most people would be surprised at how much making subtle changes, that don’t uproot their lifestyle, can lead to long term success.

Incorporate Your Vices

Most all of us that have weight to lose have a food that we love that most diet plans tell you to avoid. It can be mentally overwhelming for some people to feel as if they will never enjoy these things again. For most of us this doesn’t have to be the case. Yes it’s true you cannot have unlimited amounts of unhealthy food and you may not be able to have it often, but some people really benefit from the idea that they will treat themselves to their favorite high calorie vice every once in a while. Another good tip is to find healthier versions of your cravings that are actually ok to have on a more regular basis. If you love French fries, maybe you decide to have some oven baked fries once a week and once every 6 weeks treat yourself to those fries you used to love and have too often from your favorite drive through. Moderation is the key to lose weight and keep it off!

Self-Monitoring Post Weight Loss

When you have reached your goal weight give yourself a nice pat on the back, but don’t breath too big a sigh of relief because your work is never done! The realistic truth is that life happens and pounds creep back on to the best of us. Make sure to have a scale handy and weigh yourself about once a week. If a couple pounds come back on, then be a little stricter on yourself for the next week or two until they come back off. If you ignore or do not realize pounds are packing back on, a couple extra pounds can turn into 20. Make sure to pay attention to how your clothing fits too. If those jeans are too tight it may not be that the dryer just shrank them. You will thank yourself later for being aware of 5 pounds gained and dealing with it rather than letting the pounds pile back on.”

Sarah St Clair, FNP-BC

Sarah St Clair, FNP-BC