Weight loss is a lifestyle change.

Most of us are intimately familiar with the perils of the “diet cycle”: We find a diet that doctors and scientists verify as being effective.

We stick with it for weeks or months and sure enough, the pounds usually come off. Once we reach our goal weight, however, and cease to restrict our food intake, they slowly but surely pile back on.

Though we’ve been led to believe the reason for this yo-yo effect is metabolic (our bodies going into “starvation mode” after we restrict calories), this isn’t actually the case. Instead, we seldom achieve long-term weight loss because once our diets are complete, we return to the same old lifestyle habits.

To lose weight and keep it off, you therefore need to make a thorough assessment of your mindset, lifestyle, and everyday habits. You require a holistic approach, not a band-aid solution like a temporary diet. You have to decide what changes are needed, understand why they are needed, and then stick with them.

Unfortunately, this is a lot more daunting to tackle than just going on a diet. Most of us have spent two or more decades falling into unhealthy habits of self-neglect, so it takes a lot of analysis and effort to start to turn back that tide. The good news? Even changing small habits can make a real difference if you’re committed and consistent. For example, did you know that:

  • Eating a small breakfast rich in protein and fiber can help control junk food cravings for the rest of the day. The fiber and protein produce lasting feelings of fullness while also moderating insulin levels, preventing the blood sugar “crashes” that frequently contribute to junk food cravings. According to data provided by The National Weight Control Registry, the vast majority of “successful losers” (people who have maintained a weight loss of 15-plus kgs for between 1-5 years) consume a healthy breakfast.
  • You can lose 2 or more kgs in a year just by removing the sugar from your daily tea and coffee. If you drink one cup of coffee and one cup of tea per day (with two teaspoons of sugar per cup), you’re consuming a whopping 23360 additional calories annually. If you drink multiple cups of coffee or consume “fancy” coffees (like lattes) this figure may be far higher. Substituting these beverages with plain black tea and coffee can therefore melt away anywhere from 2-5 kgs in a year.
  • Walking 10,000 steps per day can cause you to lose a possible .5kg every week. Accomplishing this is easier than you think, too. Taking the stairs at work, walking around the office at lunch hour, and other small alterations in your schedule can rapidly add up to 10,000 steps.
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