Top Tips for Permanent Weight Loss

Permanent weight loss with dietMD Hawaii

I’ve talked many times about lifestyle change as critical to permanent weight loss. Patients who come to my weight loss clinic are discovering how to make the specific lifestyle changes that are key to permanent weight loss the natural way.

Let’s look at some of the specific things that work for them to keep weight off long-term.

Orienting to Outcomes, Rather Than Goals

Permanent change isn’t about aspiring to something “out there”… it’s about taking action with small steps in the direction of a measurable outcome. You know what you want, but more importantly you’ve made the decision to go after it, and you’re enacting that choice.

Valuing Health

When health becomes your goal, rather than “losing weight”, it becomes easier to get and stay on track for weight loss as well. Once you discover and pay attention to how good you can feel on a healthy diet, it’s easier to make day by day choices that support keeping that feeling.

Shopping and Stocking Smarter

If you don’t buy unhealthy foods, you don”t have them around the house. Of course, as you make the lifestyle changes you’ll learn in our program and reading these articles, many things will leave your cupboard shelves permanently. You’ll choose to shop to eat clean. You’ll have more fresh food in the house, and less packaged and “convenience” foods. You’ll probably learn to use your freezer more, whether it’s just to make smoothie prep easier by batch-freezing ingredients, or because you’ve discovered the powers of your slow cooker.

Reading food labels becomes second nature, and the ones with long lists of chemical ingredients or high carbohydrates and low fiber get rejected. They no longer deserve shelf space in your health-oriented home.

Drinking… Right

Permanent weight loss is made much easier by developing the habit of drinking lots of water. Dropping the habit of drinking pop, sweetened juices, and other sweetened beverages is essential, as is limiting alcohol. If you can make green tea a habit, you’ll reap many health benefits beyond fat loss.

Increasing Fresh and Raw Portions

Increasing what you eat may seem counter-intuitive, but we’re talking about what you eat in specific categories here. The more fresh vegetables you can consume, the better. A wide variety is ideal. Fresh fruit, raw (unroasted) seeds and nuts, and even raw fish if you enjoy sushi. The less your food is processed and the fresher it is, the more healthy enzymes it will contain.

I’ve heard people say that salads are boring, but they’re thinking of a typical “green salad” with a few tired lettuce leaves, a couple of chunks of tomato, and a few slices of cucumber on a good day. When you learn to build a really healthy salad, you’ll find they can become a taste treat – and 15 different ingredients may just be a starter. I’ll write more about that soon.

Planning Ahead

This is about having healthy meal ingredients available, having stocked healthy snacks, packing your own lunches, keeping an emergency snack in the car or your office desk, and generally making sure you’re not caught having to eat fast food or dealing with unnecessary hunger cravings. You shouldn’t be hungry – and if you’re eating right, with sufficient fiber and slow carbs, your meals will digest slowly and your blood sugar shouldn’t be spiking. You can’t skip meals – it makes it much more difficult to sustain weight loss.

You’ll be eating more fresh, green, natural food, so plan on shopping every three to four days. A weekly trip just won’t do it when you need to keep fresh salad and smoothie makings on hand.

Get Moving

Find an activity that gets you out of your chair, that you enjoy. It could be walking, an organized sport, a martial art, Tai Chi, yoga, biking, rollerblading, bouncing on a trampoline, skipping rope, going to the gym… there are dozens of possibilities.

If you really haven’t hit on one yet that you can become attached to, try signing up for a different class each month. Often there are introductory deals – try online deal sites for your local area. Your body needs to move to be healthy.

Don’t worry about needing to do hard exercise – you don’t. If you are more active than you were previously, even if it’s a few 20 minute walks a week, you’re trending in the right direction. Family activities are great too, if that is appropriate.

Eat Mindfully

Watch portion sizes. Never eat from a bag or large container – serve the amount you want to eat in a separate dish. Consider smaller plates or bowls. Pay attention to cravings. Notice and turn off the TV if the commercials are triggering eating, or find a way to watch your favorite shows commercial-free. Sustaining weight loss involves a lot of mindful attention to changing small habits that have a big impact over time.

Have a small salad, some fresh veggies or fruit, or a small portion of homemade soup before your meal. If you can do that about 15 minutes before, you’ll find you naturally eat much less of the main course. Enjoy your food, chewing slowly and savoring it. Wait twenty minutes before “seconds” to give your stomach time to signal your brain that you’ve really had enough.

Don’t clear your plate if you’re not hungry. You can always put it away to eat later. Sustaining weight loss can mean reprogramming some bad food habits you were taught as a child. You can do it – you’re in charge now.

Don’t Take Yourself Out

If you have emotional eating or self-sabotage issues, get the help you need. If there are people in your life that sabotage your weight loss, set appropriate boundaries. If the self-sabotage is coming from you, find help so that long-term patterns don’t reoccur and you can achieve permanent weight loss. If your lifestyle is truly healthy and you still can’t reach or maintain a healthy weight, there’s a medical issue. It may be an allergy to dairy or gluten, a side effect of a prescription medication, or a thyroid or other hormonal issue. Get the help you need to live a healthy, long life, where your weight loss is permanent.

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10 Responses to Top Tips for Permanent Weight Loss

  1. Nick Anthony March 26, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    I really loved the part about Planning Ahead. I think this will be the most important part of losing weight for people, because when you have the meals you need to eat readily available there will be no need to go searching elsewhere.

    For example, if you’re hungry, then you might want to go out to eat where you cannot track the macronutrients or caloric intake properly. Instead if you have meals prepared, then you won’t have to deal with that thereby permanently keeping off the weight, because all your meals are prepared in advance.

  2. alexis March 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    I don’t need to lose alot of weight only about 10 to 15 pounds. And them I need to get tone. But I don’t want to do all the work to get the body I want and them lose it. Which is what has happened. Once I get to the weight I want to be I think it’s okay to slack off. And then I get back to where I’m unhappy. So there for I need tips on keeping it off and staying toned. I’m always reading things like this for tips. I want to know what vitamins I can take to help and the ways I should eat. Eating unhealthy is the reason I’m never happy with my boby. And then I’ll start working out and never stick to it.

  3. gracer April 5, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    I just realized something that I’ve been doing wrong for a long time now. I realized that it’s not wrong to leave food on your plate if you feel full already. Anyway, it can still be kept for consuming at a later time.

    It has been my habit to eat every thing on my plate up to the last bite because of the guilt of the untouched food being wasted. I have also taught my child to do the same. Little did I know that it’s actually a bad eating habit when it comes to health and proper food consumption.

  4. purduepete April 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    I think losing weight mainly consists of three things: diet, exercise, and sleep. As far as diet goes, I’ve been making a conscious effort to only buy organic food from my local organic grocery store. This way I never have any junk food or soda around the house to tempt me. For exercise I like to jog three to five miles a day and then do push-ups and sit-ups. Honestly, the hardest part of weight loss is getting eight to nine hours of good sleep every night. Also, every couple of weeks I allow myself a cheat meal to reward myself.

    • DrBruce May 7, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Sounds like you’re on the right track. And yes, sleep is very important!

  5. Chris November 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    Trying a new class every month, until you find something you love, is a great idea.

    Tai Chi is not the best calorie burning exercise… But every hour doing Tai Chi is an hour you weren’t snacking! Ha ha.
    Chris recently posted…The Automotive Applications of Tai Chi ChuanMy Profile

  6. Odessa February 24, 2017 at 5:00 am #

    I think the hardest thing about the weightloss journey is planning and setting boundaries. Sometimes you can be on the right track but family and friends derail you since they always wanna “go out” with you. I’m grateful that I have learnt to train my mind to stick to “the plan”. It was the hardest part for me but when I realized I wasn’t progressing, despite all the hardwork I thought I was putting in I decided enough is enough. I decided to focus and train my mind to resist when necessary and to stick to the plan, never over do excersises but at the same time never over do ‘eating healthy’. I have some cheat days so that I don’t feel like I’m punishing my body.

    • DrBruce July 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

      Getting your mental attitude right is definitely necessary for success, Odessa!

  7. treino intervalado para emagrecer April 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Congratulations on your article! I really loved the part about Planning Ahead. I think this will be the most important part of losing weight for people, because when you have the meals you need to eat readily available there will be no need to go searching elsewhere.

  8. Jason Maine April 11, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    Nice review.
    Studies show that diet is responsible for around 70% of weight loss (I do not have the proper link at the moment). The rest 30% is exercising. The best, of course, are martial arts 🙂 – many additional benefits as well.
    Jason Maine recently posted…15 Amazing and Proven Benefits of Martial ArtsMy Profile

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