Sadly, the statistics for long-term weight loss success are not good. Recidivism with diet plans is worse than that found in our legal system. Only about 20% of individuals who lose weight (10% or more of their body weight) are successful in keeping that weight off for one year. You can combat this by planning ahead:
· Choose a diet that you will be able to follow for a lifetime. Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing a diet plan that is so restrictive that it’s not reasonable to follow on a long-term basis. Your goal should be to learn how to eat, not just to lose weight.
· Learn to splurge! If you allow treats while you’re losing weight, you will learn how to balance them into your diet and not fall back into bad habits after you reach your goal.
· Once you get started on your diet, focus on healthy eating, not just the scale. Make sure you are getting the right balance of nutrients and your weight will take care of itself.
· Make exercise a part of life. Exercise is not just for weight loss. Everyone, regardless of weight, should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Find something you love to do, and keep doing it after you’ve reached your scale goal.
· Set non-scale goals. If you are only focused on a weight goal, you may find yourself struggling once you’ve reached that goal. Create new challenges for yourself in your fitness regimen, your job, or even in community service. Setting non-scale goals while you’re losing weight will get you into the habit, and will help you keep your focus after you’ve reached your goal.
It’s so important to always look ahead. You may be setting up your groundwork now – from good foundations come good infrastructure. I reached my goal in January, and I’ve experience some of this first-hand. However, I’m determined to not fall into the traps I did before. I WILL be part of the 20%, and I know you can all do it too.
I'm so proud of my husband and all he has accomplish (and will continue to accomplish!) over this last year. If you have any questions for us, please don't hesitate to ask!