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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Ask a Health Coach: How can I lose weight so that it “sticks”?

Jan 02, 2024 06:00AM ● By Hope Knosher

I have tried to lose weight many times before, only to lose weight and then gain it all back—plus more. What am I doing wrong?

I understand your frustration, and it’s great that you’re seeking guidance to make a lasting change in your weight and overall health. Achieving long-term weight loss success involves more than just diet and exercise; it’s about making sustainable lifestyle changes. Here are some steps to help you start a plan that will “stick” this time.

Set Realistic Goals. Begin by setting specific, achievable goals. Instead of aiming for a drastic weight loss, focus on smaller, attainable milestones. This approach makes your journey more manageable and less daunting.

Understand Your Motivation. Reflect on why you want to lose weight. Your motivation is a crucial driving force. Whether it’s for better health, increased energy, or improved self-esteem, knowing your “why” will keep you committed.

Develop a Balanced Diet. Focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid crash diets and extreme restrictions as they tend to be unsustainable. Ask yourself if the changes you make are sustainable over the long term.

Practice Portion Control. Pay attention to portion sizes since overeating can contribute to weight regain. To effectively achieve portion control, here are two great hacks: practice mindful eating and use smaller plates during meals. 

Commit to Regular Exercise. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Find exercises you enjoy—for example, walking, swimming, cycling or dancing—and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

Create a Support System. Share your goals with friends and family, or consider working with a certified health coach. Having a support system can provide encouragement and accountability.

Manage Stress. Stress can lead to emotional eating and weight gain. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises into your daily life.

Track Your Progress. Keep a journal to track your meals, your exercise and your feelings. Monitoring your progress can help you identify areas that would benefit from improvement and support you in celebrating your successes.

Focus on Long-term Habits. Shift your mindset from short-term fixes to long-term habits. Think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet.

Be Patient and Persistent. Understand that weight loss takes time and setbacks are a part of the process. Stay committed and keep working towards your goals—even if you face challenges.

Seek Professional Guidance. Consider consulting with a certified health and wellness coach. Health and wellness coaching is a partnership between a coach—who understands how human behavior impacts motivation and health—and their client, who wants to change. Health coaches help their clients set and achieve goals and build new habits. Simply put, they are change agents. They support their clients to make lifestyle and behavioral changes critical to their health. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, and it’s okay to seek professional guidance to tailor a plan specifically to your needs. The key to lasting success is making gradual, sustainable changes and staying dedicated to your health and wellness journey. Take care not to be too hard on yourself. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll see great progress. ❧
Based in Atlanta, Hope Knosher is the founder of Healthy Living with Hope, which offers health coaching, yoga classes, and retreats. She is a national board-certified health and wellness coach, a certified yoga therapist and a certified E-RYT 500 yoga teacher. Contact her at 770-789-7782.
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