Losing Weight Long Term

So it has been thirty months since I started living healthy. My lowest weight was 123 pounds, and I have gained 12 pounds since; eighty percent of which is muscle mass. Thirty months is long enough to claim that this was no fad. In fact, I have clinically reversed diabetes, lowered my resting heart rate, improved my lipid profile, exercise regularly and feel healthy. So what have I learnt?

First, while your motivation to start might be weight loss; you need to realise that excess weight is a symptom. Your actual goal is to prevent disease. Second, there are no shortcuts and anyone who promises you a quick fix (shorter than a few months) is selling you snake oil. Getting fit, especially if you have been abusive, takes time. Third, living a healthy life is not about a diet plan or starving yourself. Instead, it is about understanding the vital role of nutrition in making a healthy you and knowing what to eat. Once you know what to eat, you can eat to your heart’s content. Fourth, once your excess weight is gone, adding some form of exercise builds an active cycle of reinforcement. The training will produce endorphins. It will also teach you the discipline to keep eating healthy. Sadly, this is unlikely to help you lose weight. Fifth, you need to watch for cliffs. These are periods when you will fall off the waggon. Arresting this early is vital as fast sugars, and processed foods are addictive as hell. It can take up to a week to detox from a meal of processed food. Sixth, this is a lifestyle change. Treating this as a quick fix that you can start and then turn off is suicidal. You will end up even more unhealthy than when you started.

Finally, a healthy life requires support at home. In my case, my lovely wife turned out to be my biggest motivator and supporter. She always catches me before I fall. I couldn’t ask for more.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.