Hundreds of fad diets, weight loss programs and outright scams promise quick and easy weight loss. However, the basis for successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. To achieve long-term weight loss success, you need to make permanent changes to your lifestyle and health habits.

How do you make these permanent changes? Consider following these six strategies for weight loss success.

1. Make sure you’re ready

Long-term weight loss takes time and effort and a long-term commitment. While you don’t want to put off weight loss forever, you need to make sure you’re ready to make permanent changes to your diet and exercise habits. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your readiness:

-Am I motivated to lose weight?
-Am I too distracted by other pressures?
-Do I use food as a way to cope with stress?
-Am I ready to learn or use other coping strategies?
-Do I need other support, friends or professionals, to manage my stress?
– Am I ready to change my eating habits?
-Am I ready to change my activity habits?
-Do I have time to make these changes?

Talk to your doctor if you need help dealing with stressors or emotions that seem to be getting in the way of your preparation. When you’re ready, it’ll be easier for you to set goals, stay committed, and change your habits.

2. Find your inner motivation

Nobody else can make you lose weight. You need to change your diet and exercise to make yourself happy. What will give you the motivation to follow your weight loss program?

Make a list of what’s important to you to stay motivated and focused. Whether it’s the next vacation or better overall health. Next, find a way to make sure you can call on your motivators in times of temptation. For example, you can post a note of encouragement to yourself on the pantry door or on the refrigerator.

Although you must take responsibility for your own behavior for weight loss success, having the right kind of support helps. Choose people who support you and who will encourage you in a positive way, without shame, embarrassment or sabotage.

Ideally, find people who will listen to your concerns and feelings. And who will spend time exercising with you or creating healthy menus, and will share the priority you have placed on adopting a healthier lifestyle. Your support group may also offer to empower you. Which can be a strong motivation to stay true to your weight loss goals.

If you prefer to keep your weight loss plans private, be responsible to yourself by weighing in regularly. By recording your diet and exercise progress in a journal or by tracking your progress using digital tools.

3. Set realistic goals

It may seem obvious to set realistic weight loss goals. But do you really know what is realistic? In the long term, it is wise to aim for a loss of 0.5 to 1 kilo per week. In general, to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day. And this thanks to a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity.

Depending on your weight, 5% of your current weight may be a realistic goal, at least for an initial goal. If you weigh 82 kilos, that’s 4 kilos. Even this level of weight loss can help reduce the risk of chronic health problems. Such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

When setting goals, think about both process and results. “Walk for 30 minutes every day” is an example of a process goal. “Lose 5 pounds” is an example of an outcome goal. It is not essential to have a result objective. But you need to set process goals because changing your habits is the key to weight loss.

4. Enjoy a healthier diet

Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include reducing total caloric intake. But cutting calories doesn’t necessarily mean giving up taste, satisfaction, or even ease of meal preparation.

One of the ways to lower your calorie intake is to eat more plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to vary foods to achieve your goals without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Start your weight loss journey with these tips:

-Eat at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit a day.
-Replace refined grains with whole grains.
-Use modest amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters, and nut oils.
-Reduce your sugar intake as much as possible, except the natural sugar in fruits.
-Choose low-fat dairy products and lean meat and poultry in limited quantities.

5. Get active, stay active

Although you can lose weight without exercising, regular physical activity and calorie restriction can help you lose weight. Exercising can help burn excess calories that you can’t eliminate through diet alone.

Exercising also provides many health benefits. This includes improving your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system and lowering your blood pressure. Exercise can also help maintain weight loss. Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term engage in regular physical activity.

The number of calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through regular aerobic exercise. Like brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Some people may need more physical activity than this to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.

Any extra movement helps burn calories. Think of ways to increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can’t do formal exercise on a given day. For example, go up and down the stairs several times instead of using the elevator. Uu park at the end of the parking lot when shopping.

6. Change perspective

It is not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even a few months if you want to manage your weight successfully and in the long term. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with an honest review of your eating habits and daily routine.

After assessing your personal struggles with losing weight, try to develop a strategy to gradually change the habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. Then, don’t just acknowledge your struggles, but plan how you will overcome them if you want to be successful in losing weight once and for all.

You will likely have the occasional setback. But instead of giving up completely after a failure, simply start over the next day. Remember that you intend to change your life. It won’t happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.