February 10, 2016

A recent article claimed to have identified the six types of obesity, and what to do about each. While it may well have been based in science, it offered no practical strategies for lasting weight loss.

Instead of just identifying a type, here is a practical 6 step guide to help you on your weight loss journey. Combine the elements and you’ll be well on your way to success, whether your extra weight is caused by lifestyle, medical or genetic factors.

  1. Desire

If it’s just a wish or a fleeting thought, people are very likely to be unsuccessful. Wishing for weight loss is like wishing for a million dollars: the wish won’t make it happen. Action needs to be taken, and to take action you need to really want to lose the weight.

  1. Change

It sounds obvious that change is required, but change can be scary and many people want to hold on to their old habits – the very habits that lead to a dissatisfaction with their body. Change can be gradual or dramatic, and may affect one aspect of your life or all. The choice is up to the individual.

  1. Sustainability

Adopt a program that will last. This is a process of changing not just your weight, but your daily habits and choices. If the program or strategy that you decide to follow can’t be done forever, it won’t give you forever success. There are no quick fixes, no short-term solutions that will give long-term results. What you do to lose weight is what you need to continue doing to maintain your new weight.

  1. Support

Some people are embarrassed and so are reluctant to tell people. While understandable, the support of those around you can have a huge impact on your success. As an example, imagine the regular morning tea at work with coffee and a couple of biscuits. If they don’t know that you want to make change, how can co-workers know to not offer the biscuits?

  1. Exercise

While exercise alone makes little difference to weight, when combined with dietary changes it can make the world of difference. If you don’t currently exercise, start with a gentle walk – to the clothes line and back is a start. Gradually increase the time and intensity as your body becomes able. People who exercise feel good about having done it and so they’re more likely to make good food choices. Of course, exercise also has fabulous health benefits that go beyond your weight loss goals.

  1. Perseverance

Losing weight can be a long process. The initial flurry of motivation and enthusiasm can taper off, and old habit re-emerge. This is where the support network you have is so important. People who can pep you up, hold you accountable, give you a kick in the butt, and hold your hand are all essential when making long-term change. These may be friends, family members, co-workers, or a professional coach who can help keep you actively working toward your goals.