Temporary weight loss can happen from almost any diet or program, but permanent weight loss is the hard part. Permanent weight loss takes consistency, changes in behavior and hard work.
Here are some practical tips that can help for permanent weight loss.
#1 – Eat fibrous foods
Some people associate losing weight with constantly feeling hungry. However, for permanent weight loss, feeling hungry all the time probably won’t work. Eating fibrous foods allows you to eat a high volume of food without a lot of calories, and fibrous foods make you feel full.
# 2 – Eat balanced meals
Keeping blood sugar stable can help with regulating hunger levels and can help lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Eating foods high in sugar or meals with only carbohydrates can raise blood sugar levels, which stimulate release of insulin, which promotes fat storage.
Eating meals balanced with healthy carbohydrate, protein and fats can help keep blood sugar levels stable.
A carbohydrate source should have fiber, like fruits, vegetables or grains. Healthy fats can be nuts, avocados, olive oil, organic butter, coconut oil, etc. Healthy proteins could be lean meats, dairy, tofu, legumes, etc. Put meals and snacks together that include all three macronutrients for stable blood sugar.
#3 – Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for many reasons, and being properly hydrated can also help with weight loss. You may feel hungrier when you are dehydrated which can work against weight loss goals.
Drinking a glass of water before eating can also help keep food intake down and can be a healthy habit long term.
#4 – Don’t drink your calories
Liquid calories can add up quickly, and humans do not do an accurate job of “tracking” liquid calories. For example, 500 calories from solid food will make you feel fuller than 500 calories from a drink. For permanent weight loss, avoid the habit of having drinks that are high in calories or sugar like soda, cocktails, coffee drinks, etc.
#5 – Keep moving
Most people realize exercise is critical for weight loss, but what a lot of people may not realize is that weight maintenance requires just as much if not more exercise.
It’s important for permanent weight loss to have a high activity level and to keep moving whenever possible. Sometimes people can let their guard down with exercise after they hit their goal weight.
Once you are at your goal weight, you need to maintain your activity level.
#6 – Be consistent
Permeant weight loss doesn’t mean you need to eat perfect all the time. However, you need to be consistent with a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy and exercising should be the norm not the exception.
If you get off track, get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Don’t stay stuck.
#7 – Don’t have an all or none attitude with eating
This all or none attitude with eating can enforce staying in unhealthy behavior. If you make an unhealthy choice that you know won’t help your weight loss, make healthy choices the rest of the day.
Don’t have the attitude of once you make a bad choice the whole day is shot so you may as well keep making unhealthy choices.
Another example is if you do want to have a treat, have just one. If you have one cookie, for example, leave it at that. An all or none attitude would say if you have one cookie you may as well eat the whole box.
#8 – Plan ahead
The road of weight loss and weight maintenance is bound to have some ups and downs. It is important to realize this and not expect a perfect smooth ride to your goal.
Have a plan in place for when things get off track. For example, when you know you get off track with your exercise goals, maybe a plan to have in place is that you will work out longer the next week.
Another way to plan ahead is to have a plan for holiday events or other parties. Have a game plan for how you will handle different celebrations, vacations or unexpected life events in terms of keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Planning meals and making a list for grocery shopping can also help make healthy choices the easy option. Planning meals and doing meal prep a certain day of the week can also be a permanent change that can make weight management doable.
#9 – Have support
Staying on track with weight goals is much easier if you have a strong support team and encouragement. Having friends or family that have the same goals as you can help enforce healthy behaviors for the long term and keep you honest.
#10 – Eat real foods
For general health and for weight maintenance, eating real foods is always best. Make eating real, unprocessed foods the norm, not the exception. Aim to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day along with lean proteins, dairy, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Make eating pre-packaged food, junk food or fast food the exception.