7 steps for permanent weight loss

Weight loss can be challenging, and keeping it off long-term can be even harder! This simple seven-step guide may help you on your way to weight loss success!

Step 1: Determine if you’re ready to make changes

First things first, are you ready? If you’ve only just started to think about wanting to lose weight and are not sure if you can commit to it, you may not be ready. I recommend writing a pros and cons list for your weight loss goal before committing wholeheartedly. Seeing the benefits of taking the next steps written on paper will help consolidate your motivations and get you moving towards your goals. I can almost guarantee the pros will outweigh the cons!

Step 2: Setting Goals

Set appropriate goals. We have created step-by-step goal setting blogs to help you do this that will help guide you through the process of deciding how much weight to lose and choosing realistic targets. This involves setting realistic, measurable, specific and timely goals. Please see here for more detail.

Step 3: Tracking progress

Track your goals and measure progress. This is covered in detail in the SMART goal setting section (in step 2’s blogs). To determine whether progress is being made, your goal has to be measurable, for example, using scales, girths, or photos. This allows you to assess a plan’s success accurately or whether some tweaks need to be made. If you aren’t losing weight fast enough, you can choose to exercise more or follow your diet plan more accurately.

Step 4: Change the way you eat

If you eat mindfully, this can have a hugely positive effect on your weight loss efforts. Paying attention to your food can mean that you can feel satisfied faster as you recognise your fullness signals more easily, chew your food properly, and aid digestion. Please take a moment to savour the smell, sight, texture and taste of the food as you enjoy it. Try to remove distractions such as noisy TVs and smartphones, and put your knife and fork down between bites to slow down the speed of the meal.

Step 5: Incorporate regular movement

Exercise is not the be-all-end-all when it comes to weight loss. You can certainly lose weight without committing hours and hours to exercise if you focus on your diet. However, numerous studies show that those who exercise regularly during weight loss and after weight loss are much more likely to keep the weight off. As I’m sure you aren’t aiming to lose the weight and then put it straight back on, it’s essential to start incorporating regular movement into your life. This has carry-over effects to improve all aspects of your health, such as reducing your risk of chronic disease, so it’s not just a one-dimensional part of weight loss. My top tip for incorporating exercise is to make it enjoyable; choose a method of exercise that you enjoy, such as group classes, strength training, walking, pilates or yoga. Making plans to meet up with a friend can help you stay on track too, as we’ve outlined in our other helpful blog here.

Step 6: Create a support network

Ensure that the people close to you are on board with your goals and understand how important this is to you. People aren’t mind readers, and they won’t know your goals and commitments unless you’ve communicated them! Finding a weight loss buddy or joining a supportive community such as Facebook groups can be really helpful. You can join the Tony Ferguson Facebook group here to ask any questions along the way. 

Step 7: Have long term goals and plans

After you’ve achieved your initial weight-loss or health goal, don’t stop your healthy habits. Change your focus to maintaining your results. It would help if you kept practicing healthy principles that you may have picked up along the way. Cementing healthy habits means that your default mode will be to incorporate regular exercise, include lots of fresh and healthy food, and engage in healthy behaviours with friends, such as catching up for a walk!

Domino Puttick

Dietitian (APD)

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