Losing weight can be difficult and for some, keeping it off can be an even bigger challenge. For decades, people have tried countless methods and products just to achieve a slimmer figure, and weight loss remains one of the most lucrative segments of the wellness industry. What many fail to take into account however, is that certain methods of weight loss while being effective for their purpose in the short term, are not sustainable and may even be detrimental to health. Many resort to “quick and easy” ways, and end up suffering for it.

Always remember that good health begins with your mindset , and any plan you choose to follow should be holistic and sustainable. Don’t sacrifice long-term health for short-term “results”!

Here are some of the unhealthy methods that are commonly used to lose weight:

“Yoyo” or Crash Dieting is when someone goes on a short-term, very extreme diet where they eat very few calories or selective foods. While highly effective short term, crash dieting is not sustainable and most often does not address the main issues of eating habits and lifestyle choices that cause unhealthy weight gain. They can also be dangerous as the body may be starved of certain essential nutrients.

“Celebrity Diets”
While the dietary plans of the Hollywood ‘s rich and famous may appear highly effective and glamorous, celebrity diets can be dangerous and are most often fads rather than solid, science-based eating plans. Always remember that different things work for different people, and it’s important to find what is effective and sustainable for you.

Liquid Fasts
A highly restrictive liquid diet can result in more muscle being reduced than fat, and is dangerous if done without medical supervision. It also doesn’t address the problem that once off the diet , many people go back to their previous eating routines. It is much more effective to make gradual, sustainable changes for long term results.

Diet Pills
The dangers of diet pills for weight loss need no introduction! We’ve all heard the horror stories. Diet pills represent the “quick and easy fix” mentality that many people apply to their health. Remember that nothing worth doing is easy to do. We only get one body – let’s give it the very best possible!

Meal Replacement Formulas
Meal replacement formulas and weight loss shakes are favourites within the weight loss industry. While appearing to be effective and healthy at the same time.

Many dieting methods often remove important foods and important nutrients – they are designed for rapid weight loss but not to keep you healthy. They put people at risk nutritionally, and as a result we often see quite severe health effects which can range from fatigue or constipation to more serious health risks like heart disease, kidney failures or osteoporosis. Long-term dieters may notice dry skin, brittle nails, and even hair loss, and those who lose weight too quickly may increase their risks of suffering from a heart attack.

Now that we’ve looked at a few things NOT to do in managing your weight, let’s talk about methods that lead to a healthier and wholesome lifestyle!

Mindset Is Everything
Maintaining a healthy weight starts with maintaining a healthy mind. Losing weight can be a difficult
process at times, therefore it is important to keep your eyes on the prize while you’re munching on green salads with low fat dressing. Here are a few things you could do to stay focused and motivated towards healthy weight loss:

Set reasonable goals
When starting a weight loss plan, it’s natural to want to lose as much weight as quickly as possible. Statistics have shown however that people who lose between 0.5-1 kg of weight per week tend to be more successful at keeping the weight off!
Setting reasonable goals and benchmarks that you can achieve on a weekly I monthly basis will make your weight-loss journey far more enjoyable, and allows for you to set yourself up for success from the beginning . Give yourself a long term goal of your ideal bodyweight (or ideal body
composition, i.e. body fat %) and then break it down into smaller benchmarks that you can track on a weekly basis.

Have a support system
Don’t do it alone! One of the most important factors to success is having a solid support system. Share your goals with your close friends and recruit a “workout buddy” to exercise with. If you’re willing to make a bigger investment,
find a personal trainer or a fitness studio that you can train with. Being part of a community that encourages you to keep fit and healthy will make it so much more fun and enjoyable!

Reward your achievements
Everybody needs a little “sugar”. Make it a point to celebrate your
achievements and reward yourself for sticking to your diet and exercise plan. Rewards are a great way to keep yourself on track and motivated! So go ahead and book that beach vacation while you work towards a trimmer figure!

Do you eat to live or live to eat?
The way we look at food has a huge impact on our eating habits. Many of us eat purely for the pleasure of it, and this can make it hard to give up certain foods that are hampering your weight loss plan. Start looking at food as sustenance for life, and keep an open mind towards healthy recipes that you could use at home. It’s amazing how delicious healthy food can be!