Dr Christina Low, Medical Director, Lifescan Medical Centre

Losing weight could be easy, but maintaining it is the real challenge! Here are some tips on how to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight!

1. Keep A Diary
Studies show that writing down what you eat is one of the most effective strategies for maintaining a healthy weight. Also, writing down when, what, where and how much you eat including when, at what intensity, and for how long you exercise, to help adjust your meals according to your level of activity.

2. Be Realistic
You should determine your BMI (the relationship between weight and height) before starting on any weight loss programme. It’s important to be realistic with your goal. Your initial weight-loss goal should be to reduce body weight by about 10 percent from your starting weight. This should take about six months, depending on how much weight you have to lose. You can safely lose 1.5kg per week. After you reach your desired weight-loss goal, start a weight-maintenance program to help keep the weight off.

3. Examine Your Diet
Consume calories based on your age, gender, and activity level. The key to maintaining a healthy weight is eating the number of calories you burn. Be consistent with your diet. Do not restrict calories during the week and overindulge on the weekend. Being consistent most days of the year and being in a habit of eating balanced, calorie-conscious meals on a regular basis makes it more likely that you will maintain a healthy weight. Choose high-fibre, low-calorie foods for the majority of what you eat. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Choose vegetables and fruit more often for snacks to feel satisfied with fewer calories. Reduce your portions.  Eating smaller portions can help you lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.

4. Exercise
You don’t have to have a vigorous exercise routine. Just aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week to maintain your weight.

5. Behaviour Modification
Make health your weight management priority. Be realistic. Have a goal to achieve a healthier you, not necessarily the lowest weight or ideal weight based on calculations or tables. Focus on a healthy eating style, not on dieting. Dieting usually lasts for a short amount of time and rarely produces long-term success. Think long term. You are developing new healthy behaviours to follow next month, in a year and in a decade.