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Weight loss: practice makes perfect

Weight loss: practice makes perfect

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By Chloe McLeod, Dietitian

Weight loss maintenance, and the struggles with it, is something that I often educate my clients about.

Often they become frustrated that they have not arrived at their goal weight as quickly as they may have thought. They may feel sick of ‘being healthy’, and feel 'let down' if they feel they’ve gone ‘off the rails’.

I cannot say this enough: This is NORMAL!

Think about when you were at school or university; were you perfect and amazing at everything you did, the first time around?

Have you sailed through the rest of your life without problems?

Do you think the cyclists at the Tour de France woke up one morning, decided be a cyclist and won the tour the next day?

Not a chance. It takes hard work, and it takes practice, and it takes time - up to two years for some people. Especially if you are trying to break a lifetime of poor habits.

I recently finished reading the book ‘Bounce’ by Matthew Syed. The book discusses the idea of practice, and that practice is more important than natural talent in regards to expertise.

For example, if you have been ‘practicing’ including fruit and vegetables as part of your routine diet since you were a child, it is likely you will find this to be much more easy than someone who, for whatever reason, never ate them. This is not to say you cannot start eating them and start practicing to make them a part of your daily routine - this is exactly what you should do!

My point is that, like anything else, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight takes work. It takes practice. And, it takes time. We need to expect that there will be setbacks and imperfect days.

There is no problem with this, as long as we ‘get back on the bike’, so to speak.

Chloe McLeod is a dietitian of BJC Health.
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