10 Tips to Lose Weight, and Keep It Off

10 Tips to Lose Weight & Keep It Off, by Dr. James Hill

Tis the season when many people decide it’s time to lose that extra weight once and for all. The reality is, however, that while most will lose some weight, very few will keep it off.

Here are 10 tips for long-term success based on decades of work with people who have been successful in keeping extra weight off. While diet and exercise are important, it is also critical that you approach weight loss in the right way. Keeping weight off takes hard work – but it is worth it.

  1. Get in touch with your “why.” Why do you want to lose weight? How will losing weight help you accomplish your important goals in life? Write down your top 3 reasons for losing weight and refer to them often. Weight loss is hard and you need to constantly remind yourself why it is important.
  2. Make the commitment. Permanent success in losing weight takes time. Most people are successful in getting the weight off but not in keeping it off. Your goal is finding a lifestyle you can maintain forever and this takes time. Plan to devote the next year to losing weight and changing your lifestyle. Tell your supporters of your plan and ask them to help you be accountable.
  3. Make movement part of your day. You don’t have to exercise to lose weight but you do have to become an exerciser if you want to keep your weight off. Plan on gradually increasing your movement until you get to 70 min a day, for 6 days a week. This may seem like a lot, but it is the best predictor of long-term success. Exercise does much more than burn calories; it ramps up your metabolism.
  4. Become a foodie.  There are many diet plans that will help you lose weight. What you eat should change as you lose weight and your diet plan should get you to a diet you can live with forever. Be picky about your calories. Value quality over quantity.
  5. It is about much more than weight. Yes you need a good diet plan and a good exercise program but you also need to make sure you are getting quality sleep and managing stress. You need to maintain a positive attitude and expect success. For most people, it’s really not about weight, but more about achieving a better quality of life. See your weight loss journey as an adventure and embrace change.
  6. Get uncomfortable. Change does not happen within your comfort zone. Force yourself to try new foods and exercises. Seek out new friends and new groups who value a healthy lifestyle. You have the chance to transform yourself into the person you want to be. See this as an adventure.
  7. Identify your supporters. List those among your family and friends who will support your journey and those who will not. Try to spend more time with those who support you and consider talking to those who do not to get them on your side – or at least not to actively work against you.
  8. Look around. Make sure you have the right foods in your house. Plan ahead for meals eaten outside of your house. Keep track and take advantage of walking routes near your house or your work.
  9. Develop a Colorado mindset. A Colorado mindset is a positive attitude with a solid plan.
  10. Bounce back when you slip. You will have setbacks during your transformative weight loss journey. The key is getting back on track as soon as possible. Anticipate that setbacks will occur. Don’t let a slip or two get you off track.

Dr. James Hill is the co-author of State of Slim and Executive Director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

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