6 Tips to Help Keep Your Weight Loss Goals On Track

Weight loss is the most frequently abandoned goal in the United States. It may be easy to agree with your doctor that you need to lose pounds for the sake of your health, but how exactly do you stick with a weight-loss plan day in and day out?

Dr Jason Leonard is board certified in Obesity Medicine, and he has offices in Columbia and Sumter, South Carolina. Having a physician who is a board-certified expert in offering the support and medically sound therapies required to help you reach your weight-loss goals is essential.

Dr. Leonard has put together a list of the top six things you can do to help keep your weight loss on track.

1. Change how you think about weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, many people acknowledge the problem but come up with the wrong solution. Whether someone wants to lose weight for better health or to build confidence in their appearance, they think the solution is to do so as quickly as possible. This thinking is flawed, and it will fail to take you closer to making your objectives a reality. Fad diets and trendy products won’t give you the lasting results you want. 

There are fundamental reasons that you chose to eat what and when you do. Eating feels good - we associate it with pleasure. When we feel either emotional physical distress, we often use food as an outlet for these feelings. If you use food to deal with your negative thoughts, then you need to examine these responses to negativity and problems so you can change them. For this change to be permanent, we need to re-wire our brains and modify our associations to pain and pleasure. 


2. Make your weight-loss goals real

An important part of reaching your weight-loss goals is making them real. You don’t, for instance, just decide you’re going on a vacation someday and hope it happens. Rather, you’re most likely to circle a date on the calendar and then proceed with actions you need to take to turn that dream vacation into reality. 

The same can be true with weight loss. Don’t just think about losing weight, but set a realistic goal that you can commit to achieving. Understand that it’s a reality you can accomplish, and start making plans and taking the necessary steps to make it happen. 


3. Reach out for help

Once you’ve decided that your weight loss can become a reality, reach out for help from your medical community. At Colonial Healthcare, you’ll find a support system that can get you past those days when you’re tempted to pitch your weight-loss goals in the trash.

To support your weight-loss efforts, we offer:

We also help you develop an exercise plan that you enjoy and that burns calories.    


4. Break your weight-loss goals into easily managed steps

One way that successful people accomplish their goals is to break a large project into easily managed chunks that get you where you want to go one step at a time. 

Record your ultimate weight-loss goal and then write down an action plan for getting there. You may decide, for instance, to lose so many pounds per month or increase your activity level by so many minutes per week. We can help you develop a chunk-size strategy for weight loss that’s reasonable and attainable.  


5. Plan for the hard times

There’s going to come a time when you’d rather eat than stick with weight loss. It’s hard to know when cravings will strike, so it’s best to develop an alternative plan before they hit. You can, for instance, stuff your cupboards and fridge with foods you can eat without guilt. 

Start with fresh fruits and vegetables that take time to eat but satisfy your need to chew. Toss the takeout menus that are stacked up next to the fridge. 

When you’re hit with a craving, set a timer that gives you 15 minutes to think before you eat. Take a shower, clean out a closet, walk the dog — whatever works for you to overcome that temporary craving.


6. Forget about the number and focus on health

If you spend your free time hovering over the scale or daydreaming about when you’ll be able to eat again, it’s hard to get your mind off food. And thinking about food just makes you want to eat. If you focus instead on the health benefits you gain by losing those extra pounds, and maybe take a walk as you think, you may find it easier to stick with your plan.


We can help you reach your weight-loss goals. To find out more, schedule a visit with Dr. Leonard. Call the office or book your visit online.

Jason Leonard, MD, FAAFP, DABOM Dr. Leonard has been practicing medicine in central South Carolina since 2007 and holds board certifications in both Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine. He was received numerous honors including being named as a Top 10 Family Medicine physician in South Carolina and serving on the South Carolina Medical Board as a expert reviewer for medical and ethical cases.

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