Use these tried-and-true methods to shed pounds and improve your health.

Numerous weight-loss programs, fad diets, and outright scams all make the promise of rapid and simple weight loss. But maintaining a healthy, calorie-restricted diet along with more exercise still forms the cornerstone of effective weight loss. You need to permanently alter your lifestyle and health-related routines in order to lose weight successfully and sustainably.

How can those long-lasting adjustments be made? Think about implementing these six successful weight-loss techniques.

1. Make sure you’re ready

Time, effort, and a sustained commitment are necessary for long-term weight loss. While you shouldn’t put off losing weight indefinitely, you should be prepared to alter your eating and exercise habits for good. To assess your readiness, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have the desire to shed pounds?

Am I getting too sidetracked by other demands?

Do I turn to food as a stress reliever?

Are You ready to pick up new stress-reduction techniques or apply existing ones?

Do I require additional help from friends or professionals in order to manage my stress?

Am I willing to change eating habits?

Am I willing to change activity habits?

Do I have the time to devote to these modifications?

Consult your physician if you require assistance managing stressors or emotions that appear to be impediments to your preparedness. You’ll find it simpler to make changes to your habits, stay committed, and set goals when you’re ready.

2. Discover your own motivation

You cannot force someone else to lose weight. To please yourself, you have to make dietary and exercise changes. What will give you the intense motivation to follow through on your weight-loss plan?

To help you stay motivated and focused, write down your priorities, such as an impending trip or improved general health. Next, figure out how to ensure that, in times of temptation, you can access your motivating factors. For example, you could write a positive message to yourself and stick it on the refrigerator or pantry door.

For weight loss to be successful, you must accept responsibility for your own actions, but having the right kind of support is helpful. Choose allies who will uplift you rather than cause you any embarrassment, guilt, or harm.

Ideally, surround yourself with people who will share your commitment to leading a healthier lifestyle, listen to your worries and emotions, and spend time working out or cooking nutritious meals with you. Accountability is another benefit that your support group can provide, and it can be a powerful incentive to maintain your weight-loss objectives.

If you would rather keep your weight-loss strategies a secret, hold yourself responsible by weighing in on a regular basis, keeping a journal of your food and exercise regimen, or monitoring your progress with digital tools.

3. Set realistic goals

It may seem obvious to set realistic weight-loss goals. But do you really know what’s realistic?Long-term weight loss of one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) per week is a wise goal to pursue. Generally speaking, you need to burn 500–1,000 more calories per day than you take in through regular physical activity and a lower calorie diet in order to lose 1–2 pounds per week.

At least as a starting point, 5% of your current weight might be a reasonable objective, depending on your weight. Nine pounds (4 kilograms) is what you weigh if you weigh 180 pounds (82 kilograms). You can reduce your risk of developing long-term health issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes by even losing this much weight.

Consider both process and outcome goals when creating your goals. “Take a 30-minute daily walk” is an illustration of a process objective. “Sheet 10 pounds” is an illustration of an outcome target. While process goals are more important than outcome goals, it’s important to remember that habit change is the key to weight loss.

4. Savor wholesome cuisine

Reducing your overall calorie intake is a necessary part of embracing a new eating style that encourages weight loss. However, cutting calories doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor, contentment, or even convenience in meal preparation.

Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are plant-based is one way to reduce your calorie intake. To help you reach your objectives without sacrificing flavor or nutrition, aim for variety.

Start losing weight by using these suggestions:

Consume three servings of fruit and at least four servings of vegetables each day.

Use whole grains instead of refined ones.

Make use of healthy fats in moderation, such as nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, and vegetable oils.

Limit your intake of sugar to the least amount possible, excluding fruit’s natural sugar.

Select lean meats and poultry in moderation, as well as low-fat dairy products.

5. Get active, stay active

Exercise alone won’t guarantee weight loss, but consistent exercise combined with calorie restriction will give you an advantage. If you can’t lose the extra calories through diet alone, exercise can help.

Numerous other health advantages of exercise include elevating your mood, fortifying your heart, and lowering blood pressure. Losing weight can be maintained with exercise as well. Research indicates that long-term weight loss maintenance is associated with regular physical activity.

Your activity level, frequency, and duration all affect how many calories you burn. Regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes most days of the week is one of the best ways to lose body fat. For some people, this level of physical activity may not be enough to help them lose weight and keep it off.

Any extra movement helps burn calories. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can’t fit in formal exercise on a given day. For instance, when shopping, park at the far end of the lot and make multiple trips up and down the stairs rather than using the elevator.

6. Change your perspective

If you want to successfully manage your weight over the long term, it takes more than just eating well and exercising for a few weeks or even months. These routines need to become second nature. Making honest assessments of your daily routine and eating habits is the first step towards changing your lifestyle.

Once you’ve evaluated your unique obstacles to weight loss, try developing a plan to progressively alter behaviors and mindsets that have undermined your previous attempts. Then move beyond simply recognizing your challenges — plan for how you’ll deal with them if you’re going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.

You likely will have an occasional setback. But after a failure, just pick yourself up and try again the following day. Recall that you intend to make changes in your life. It will not occur in one go. The benefits of maintaining your healthy lifestyle will be worthwhile.