By Melinda Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDCES
It’s easy to get discouraged when it comes to weight loss, but there’s good news. Here is a list of suggestions that have been shown in clinical studies to contribute to the success of those who’ve lost weight and kept it off. While there isn’t one thing that works equally well for everyone, review these ideas and focus on a few that you think might work best for you. Avoid making too many changes at once – look for changes you can make that are sustainable, and ones you can stick to forever.
Choosing What We Eat…
Fill Up on Fiber
- Use whole grains (versus refined, processed grains) as much as you can, and aim for five servings of fruits and veggies each day.
- Avoid drinking sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, coffee drinks, and fruity beverages. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, or try seltzer & unsweetened teas.
- By starting the day with a nutritious breakfast, you’ll be less likely to overeat later in the day.
- Focus more on choosing whole, unprocessed foods and less on counting every calorie or gram. Aim to follow the 80/20 rule: healthy choices 80% of the time, allowing room for treats.
- The more you plan out what you eat, the less likely you are to over-eat at times of uncertainty. Consider having a meal replacement drink, snack bar, or frozen prepared meal on-hand in case you get hungry.
Talk with a dietitian.
- If you struggle with what to eat, need help creating a personal meal plan, or want to work on challenges you face with balanced eating, a dietitian can help.
Join a support group.
- Our Facebook group, Personal Health Revolution Weight Management, can help you stay motivated while sharing experiences regarding weight management with others. You can share your experiences, and see what’s helped others through weight struggles.
Ask about weight loss medications.
- There are many medications available that can help you manage your weight that may be helpful. Ask your doctor which may be right for you.
Think about bariatric (or metabolic) surgery.
- Another thing to speak with your doctor about is whether bariatric surgery (such as gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgeries) may be a good option for you.
- Talk with your family members & friends about ways they can help you (and not nag you!). Have a buddy you can call if times get tough – or when you want to celebrate success!
Establish a routine.
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of activity a week. If you’re having trouble getting there, start small!
- Every day, inside or outside, walking is a great form of exercise. You can keep track of steps to motivate yourself, and try new locations to walk at!
Strengthen your body.
- Exercises that help you build and strengthen muscles are very beneficial. Try using resistance bands or light weights to start out!
Establish New Behaviors and Attitudes
Think lifestyle – not diet.
- Managing weight is usually a lifetime process. Don’t think about a “diet” – something you go on & off… but a healthy way of living!
- Learn how all foods can fit when you eat slowly, and without distraction.
Avoid eating after 9pm.
- Set your own limits, and become aware of the times during the day when you’re more likely to overeat. Aim to eat three meals a day, snacks if desired, and try to avoid eating after 9pm at night.
Use a food journal.
- Keeping a food journal of what you eat everyday helps you identify your eating habits, and where you may want to focus more attention. Try it for 4-5 days to be more aware of what & when you’re eating!
Set small goals.
- Small changes, done consistently over time, can yield big results.
For many people, diet and exercise alone are not enough to reach a healthier weight. There are now safe and effective non-surgical medical treatments that have been proven to help people be successful over the long-run. Talk to your doctor or check out our physician locator to find a doctor near you who specializes in the medical treatment of weight.
Sign up for our free email program on reaching a healthier weight here.