10 Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss

10 strategies for successful-weight-loss

I often have new clients tell me they have lost weight over and over but are unable to keep the weight off. Sometimes the remedy requires a change of beliefs regarding nutrition and weight-loss. Other times a restructuring of the environment is necessary for long term success.

Usually though, just a few changes in behavior can facilitate long term success. These 10 strategies can help with both losing weight as well making it your weight loss permanent.

1. Avoid Fad Diets

Don’t get discouraged and fall for fad diets that make impossible and often dangerous loss claims. Sustained weight loss means good eating which equates to healthy weight loss not overnight loss. Amelia Smith has an informative article on the disadvantages of fad diets.

2. Make Your Eating Plan Automatic

Train yourself to make good choices and keep healthy emergency snacks on hand. If it seems overwhelming at first, choose 1 meal a day to alter and work your way through other meals as you gain confidence.

Believe it or not, a key factor to successfully sticking to a meal plan is repetition. Not only is it easier to plan and prepare for meals when they are repeated, but consuming similar meals will actually result in you eating less as your taste buds are being “excited” with every meal.

We used this 7 Day plan when our son was working on losing weight for a wrestling meet. I loved that he continued to eat healthy food throughout his “cutting” and he was amazed that he actually lost the weight he needed to by following this plan. This 5 Day plan also includes suggestions for meals as well as snacks.

If you want (or need) to go gluten-free and like the idea of having all your meals planned out for you (including snacks), then this 14 Day Plan might be right up your alley.

The biggest factor to losing and keeping weight off is to adopt a healthy diet that does not include processed foods (generally high in both fat and sugar). Cooking your own meals with fresh, wholesome ingredients will go a long way towards guaranteeing a weight management program.

eating real food is a strategy for permanent weight loss

3. Your Waist is More Important than Your Weight

If you are exercising as part of your weight loss program then, chances are, you are gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so as muscle cells grow and fat cells shrink, it is still entirely possible to actually gain weight or fail as much weight as fast as you’d like.

A better measure of how you are doing in the area of fat loss is the Waist-to-Hip Ratio Calculator. Many experts also believe the WHP is a good indicator for future health issues as where you carry excess weight on your body can be an indicator for health risks. For a better understanding of Waist-to-Hip Ratio, read Dr. Sally Norton’s explanation of WHP.

For a better measure of permanent weight loss, measure your hip to waist ratio

4. Understand Your Body and How it Responds to Food

Knowing how your body responds to different foods will go a long way toward making healthy choices. Do you have a friend that can drink a strong espresso 1 hour before going to bed and sleep like a baby, while you, on the other hand will have a sleepless night if you drink anything with caffeine after noon?

We all respond differently to food. Knowing what foods you are sensitive to and which foods can cause cravings, inflammation, insulin spikes, and many other unpleasant symptoms – and then avoiding those foods – will help you not only reach your weight goals, but help you maintain them.

So, how do you know what you react to? Start by seeing how you respond to the foods that have been identified as most problematic when it comes to food sensitivities. If you find you exhibit sensitivity symptoms after consuming any of these foods, you may want to consider eliminating or reducing them in your diet.

For more information on food sensitivities and food intolerance, check out Dr. Amy Myer’s explanation of food sensitivities and this article posted on Medical News Today regarding the causes and types of food intolerances.

5. Stay Satisfied

permanent weight loss means staying satisfied.

Picture this scenario: You’re up, dressed, and ready to start your day. You’re a little hungry but decide to wait to get something to eat. You get busy with your day and before you know it, it’s 10:00 and you still haven’t had breakfast. Now you’re starving, your stomach is grumbling, and you are craving – you guessed – something sweet or a big bagel loaded with cream cheese. Not eating to the point of “I’m starving” will make it more difficult to stick to your healthy diet.

Do not go hungry. I repeat, Do not go hungry. To maintain fat loss you need to eat healthy meals in the appropriate portions. Skipping meals or not eating enough will put your body into starvation mode where it will want to store fat rather than burn it and you will find yourself craving the foods you are trying to avoid.

Don’t make it hard on yourself, eat regularly spaced meals (or if you must skip a meal, have a healthy option readily available when those hunger pains start to hit).

Eating foods that are filling and understanding how to stay satiated can help defeat those empty stomach cravings. And if you find you are still having trouble feeling satiated in-between meals, these tips on tricking yourself into feeling full might help. https://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/7-ways-to-trick-yourself-full

6. Add Support

Enlist a friend, family member, or co-worker to take this journey with you. Can’t find someone? Join an online group or Facebook community. Not only will having social support make sticking to your plan more fun, it will increase your odds of success. The more support you have, the better. EatingWell.com has excellent suggestions for building a support network.

Workout and Nutrition buddies can help with permanent weight loss

7. Use 9″ Dinner Plates

Smaller plates = smaller portions. Eating the right amount is key to losing unwanted pounds and keeping it off. Studies have shown that we tend to eat with our eyes. If a plate appears “full” to our eyes then our stomach will feel full. Using too large of a plate encourages eating too much. In additon, putting the correct amount of food on a large plate will signal our brain that we haven’t eaten enough and are still hungry.

One way to judge how much food you should be eating is to visualize your food on your plate and use Precision Nutrition’s meal sizing technique for proper portion sizes.

Precision Nutrition's anytime meal can aid in permanent weight loss.

8. Get 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep each Night

Sleep is an important to permanent weight loss as good nutrition and smart exercise. Lack of sleep lowers serotonin levels which encourages feel good eating. Check out these 10 reasons why good sleep is important.

In fact, getting enough sleep can actually help you lose weight by decreasing your susceptibility to how lack of adequate sleep impacts the way your brain functions and the way your body responds to food (and cravings). Caroline Pullen shares 7 Ways Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight in her post on Healthline.

If life is interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Try these tips to sleep better at night.

Getting enough sleep can aid in permanent weight loss.

9. Spice it up

Add spices to your food. Not only will you enjoy the taste, but cinnamon and red pepper have been shown to aid in waist management. Studies have also shown that we’re less likely to salt our food (a big contributor to water retention) if food is seasoned with tasty herbs. Try a little cinnamon in your coffee for a yummy treat that is also good for you.

Adding spices instead of salt to food can aid in permanent weight loss.

10. It’s OK to Make Mistakes

As long as you do not have a food allergy or sensitivity that requires you to simply avoid a food or ingredient at all costs, an occasional slip to “the dark side” won’t permanently damage the progress you’ve made.

That said, if the “occasional” slip becomes every Friday after work or an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey in one sitting, then it would be best to either avoid the temptation all together or, using your social support network, get a friend to help you moderate that indulgence.

Making mistakes is part of permanent weight loss...get support from a friend.

Utilizing these strategies can not only help with initial weight loss, they can definitely help keep those unwanted pounds from slowly creeping back.

If you find that you are slowly “losing the battle”, review these strategies and see if there is one or more that you could improve on.

If you find, even after implementing the above strategies, that you are still struggling with keeping unwanted pounds off, seeking out professional help from a nutritionist, doctor, fitness coach, or even lifestyle coach might be the next step for you.

Do you have a strategy that you use to keep you at your healthy, happy weight? We’d love to hear (and share) your strategies.

For help changing your eating habits, check our out post Learn to Eat Healthy Using These 7 Tricks.

1 thought on “10 Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss”

  1. Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

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