The secret to losing weight and keeping it off

If you have started your year off with a weight loss plan and you’ve officially shed your holiday kilos, you might be asking yourself how to go about keeping them off.

Just because research suggests dieters will regain 50 per cent of the weight they lost, doesn’t mean this has to be you.

Experts discovered one of the keys to successful weight loss and maintenance was changing old habits and replacing them with new, healthy ones.

In a study involving people aged 18 and 75, 75 people were split into three groups where they either broke old habits, formed new ones or changed nothing.

Researchers found both the habit breaking and forming groups lost weight – an average of 3.1kg after 12 weeks and an additional average of 2.1kg after no intervention.

Habits formed in the selected group included:

  1. Sticking to a consistent meal routine. Having a daily regime was found to predict long-term weight loss maintenance.
  2. Opting for healthy fats like nuts, avocado and oily fish over fast food.
  3. Packing healthy snacks like fruit and nuts instead of chips or chocolate bars.
  4. Upping the daily number of steps by opting to take the stairs or getting off public transport a stop earlier than usual.
  5. Checking the fat, salt and sugar on food labels.
  6. Using smaller plates and drinking a big glass of water before eating something.
  7. Decreasing sitting time by going for walks throughout the work day
  8. Limiting fruit juice and other sugary beverages, and focusing on drinking enough water.
  9. Slowing down the chewing process and not eating while distracted.
  10. Aiming to consume fives serves of vegetables a day, regardless of whether its tinned, frozen or fresh.
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