For successful long term weight loss you must continue to make permanent changes to your lifestyle habits. It can be difficult changing habits of a lifetime but think of losing weight as a lifelong commitment.The longer you stick to your new healthy habits, the easier it will be to keep your weight off.
Strategies for successful long-term weight loss
- Plan ahead and set yourself SMART Goals (Specific, Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic and Timed Limited) and regularly check and record your progress and achievements. Don’t set yourself impossible goals this will just lead to you failure and you will feel bad about yourself!
- For more information on SMART healthy eating goals visit Eat Well Feel Great
- For more information on SMART physical activity goals visit Get Active Your Way
- Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to lose weight and the benefits you will feel. Display your completed Making Lifestyle Changes worksheet this will be a constant reminder
of the benefits you feel you’ll gain from losing weight.
- Keep a daily diary – Write down what you have eaten and how much activity you have done and note down any emotions, feelings and thoughts – self monitoring is a great way to help you stay on track. It makes you feel more in control and can help you identify triggers to slip ups. Use the Food and Activity Diary to monitor progress.
- Weigh yourself – Continue to weigh yourself weekly and record your weight on this Weight Record Card. Use the Weight Tracker Chart to track changes in your weight.
- Continue to eat regularly and monitor portions sizes and watch that they don’t start to get bigger over time. Refer to Eat Well Feel Great for more healthy eating tips.
- Limit the amount of time you sit around watching TV or in front of a computer or games console instead get up and get active your way.
- Acknowledge that set backs or lapses are normal – Expect to hit difficult times even although you feel you are trying very hard. They will happen! Try to learn from your set backs and move forward with a positive attitude. Remember you are trying to change your habits, it won’t happen overnight!
- Stay focused and think positive – Use difficult times as a learning experience, allowing yourself time to identify risky situations and explore triggers which may lead to slip ups in the future.
- Using a Food and Activity Diary will help you to do this. Think of ways to deal with triggers to get you back on track.
- Seek support – Don’t feel you have to do this alone. Seek support from family and friends – this can be very encouraging and can help keep you motivated. Don’t be afraid to suggest ways they could help for example being an exercise buddy – finding an activity you both enjoy and commit to doing it regularly or just offering a listening ear when difficult times arise.
- Be patient and persevere!– Remember reaching your goal weight will not happen overnight. The key to successful long term weight loss is to remain realistic and develop techniques which make your new eating and exercise habits an enjoyable way of life!
Still Struggling : What Next?
If you have taken time and worked your way through these ‘Choose To Lose’ webpages, used the supporting information, resources and self monitored your progress using the downloadable worksheets but still feel you are really struggling to lose any weight then contact your GP or Practice Nurse for suggestions of other supporting weight management services that are available to you.
Further Information (External Websites)
Self Monitoring Tools (pdfs)
Continue to work through our ‘Choose To Lose’ webpages, take control, self monitor and manage your own weight.