OPINION: Keeping kilos off is biggest weight challenge

THE problem that we have with our weight is not that we can't lose weight - millions of people lose weight every day.

Losing weight is actually easy to do and we know exactly how to do it.

The problem is that we can't keep it off and while there are several reasons for this, the main reason is that we haven't approached weight loss the right way for decades.

If you need to lose weight quickly to fit into a wedding dress in three months, for example, then approaching weight loss with specific diets and complicated, vigorous exercise programs is probably the way to go.

The problem is that when it's all over and you fit into your wedding dress, what happens then?

If you want to lose weight properly and in a way that lasts, you have to approach weight loss in a more sustainable way.

You have to realise proper weight loss is not for a short period of time, it's for 50 years, so if you don't lose weight in a way that is easy and do-able for the next 50 years of your life, all your efforts to lose weight will basically be for nothing.

Being healthy for six months of your life counts for nothing if you're obese and diabetic a year later.

To put this as simply as possible, weight loss needs to be achieved in a way that also allows you to do the things you enjoy.

Allowing yourself a few luxuries and naughty treats is actually essential for good, sustained weight loss. It's possibly the most important thing.

Completely restricting yourself of things that you enjoy will result in weight loss while you can keep restricting yourself, but eventually you'll be sick and tired of it and maintaining that approach is unsustainable.

Weight gain doesn't happen because you eat some chocolate now and then, it happens because you eat too much chocolate, too often.

If you like chocolate, you can still eat it but you just can't eat a lot of it.

The ideal weight loss approach is when you can still eat some chocolate, because you enjoy chocolate, while also losing and maintaining your weight.

That is a sustainable approach because it's not too restrictive or unpleasant.

 - Gavin Tierney, The Right Weigh

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