What factors ensure success in achieving long term weight loss?

Lisa Lillien
Nutrition & Dietetics
In order to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss, you must change your lifestyle! In this video, "Hungry Girl" author Lisa Lillien discusses committing to healthy food swaps for a lifetime, if you want to maintain long-term weight loss. 

The key to long-term weight loss is first understanding the relationship between calories and body weight. When the calories exceed your needs on a daily basis your body fat increases. When calories are less than your needs on a daily basis your stored fat will come down. When we understand that food is the source of all body fat then we will understand that controlling food becomes the long-term key to successful long-term weight loss. 

The main factor that determines your success in achieving long term weight loss is adherence! It doesn't matter how good your nutrition is or how hard you workout if you don't stick to it for a long enough time frame.

There are a lot of factors that play into adherence though. In order to adhere to a program you need to be motivated to lose weight. Have a why behind the what. This means figure out your reason for wanting to lose weight. Is that reason reward based (to look better for your significant other) or fear based (don't want to be at a higher risk for disease)? Don’t just pick a random number and make sure it is realistic. Losing 60lbs is a lot easier said then done, but it can be done.

Once you are motivated (which usually requires reoccurring attention), you need to follow a balanced nutrition program and comprehensive exercise prescription. Your nutrition plan needs to be realistic and one that supports your workouts. Think of nutrition and exercise as yin and yang. They need to complement each other. Your exercise program should consist of cardiovascular exercise, weight training, flexibility and rehabilitation if necessary.

To ensure long term success, your exercise program should also be tweaked constantly. Your body will get used to what you are currently doing and it will plateau, bringing your results to a screeching halt. Your program should also progress in intensity as your body becomes more and more capable. I cannot stress enough the importance of progressing your workouts at the correct rate. If you jump into advanced programs too quickly, you are likely to injure yourself and then have to start from scratch.

A positive mind-set is also a vital part of achieving long term weight loss. If you let small setbacks like "I am too tired to workout today" snowball into "I give up, I am just never going to lose weight", then you are obviously going to continue to fall short of your goals.

The reasons listed above only scratch the surface of what it takes to achieve long term weight loss. One of the best ways to help ensure your success is to work with a professional fitness coach or personal trainer. This individual will design your nutrition and workout programs, tweak them as needed, and keep you motivated and on track!

Continue Learning about Weight Maintenance

Weight Maintenance

Weight Maintenance

Losing the weight is only one step in the journey to better overall health. After the weight is gone, it's all about maintenance – adopting a lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating, daily exercise and continued goal setting. A...

nd there are lots of different ways to maintain your weight that help make the lifestyle switch easier: eat breakfast daily, load up on fruits and veggies and establish manageable weight loss habits like walking once a day. All of these can be easily incorporated in your healthy weight maintenance plan and keep you from putting the pounds back on.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.