Permanent weight loss is a process, and one that you will want to take one day at a time. I have found that you have to create a plan, stay with it, and make the necessary lifestyle changes to support it. You have to stay with your plan everyday, and be compassionate with yourself when you stray. If you do some things that are counterproductive to weight loss, simply start over the next day. You will want to work towards your goals to the best of your abilities, and think of every day as a new start.
A solid plan to take the weight off for good includes a diet that is low in fat and calories, and regular exercise. I have been working out and eating a low fat diet since March, and I have managed to lose about 40 pounds. There have been times, especially in the first few weeks where I would get overly frustrated with my diet and my weight. I would lose a few pounds, plateau, and lose a few more pounds. That is normal, and when you experience weight loss plateaus, you need to realize that they are really no big deal. I learned that you have to be patient with yourself, and keep on moving forward. Some tips that I used to get past the weight loss plateaus included drinking more water everyday, and doing more of my cardiovascular exercises with 5 miles of walking and jogging instead of just my normal 3 miles.
If you are striving for permanent weight loss, you need to have a proper diet. When you are wanting to lose weight, you simply want to burn more calories than you take in. I choose a diet that is low in both fat and calories. There are a few simple ground rules that I follow too. For example, I always eat breakfast. A simple bowl of cereal with low fat milk, or a protein bar with a banana, or a breakfast smoothie loaded with fresh berries, and protein powder can be very satisfying, and give you the morning energy that you need.
The second diet trick I have been using is to eat when I am hungry. I have found that it is not about how often you eat, especially when you are exercising on a regular basis, it is what you are eating that really counts. Making good food choices that work with your diet and exercise plan are critical for your success.
Regular exercise is the best part of permanent weight loss. If you are getting up and moving for at least 20 to 30 minutes at least 3 to 5 days a week, you will start to burn calories and fat. My own workouts for weight loss include nightly runs on my treadmill. I alternate between walking and running for about 50 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes 4 to 5 days a week. I also walk to my local grocery store a couple of times a week to get fresh air and a few more miles of exercise in for the week.
The secret to keeping the weight off is to keep working at it. Don't jump in, overwhelm yourself and give up. Take pleasure in the challenge, and really put in the work everyday. When you turn your attention to what you really need, you can experience really powerful results.