Dear Barb – Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Dear Barb;

I have had an ongoing battle with the same 20 pounds for as long as I can remember. I try all the latest diets and lose the weight. However before I know it I’ve gained it back. With the holiday season fast approaching I fear I may put on even more weight and not be able to take it off. Do you have any suggestions on how I can change my lifestyle in such a way that I will be able to lose this weight and keep it off permanently?

Becky in Chatham

Hi Becky,

Losing weight and, more importantly keeping it off, is an ongoing struggle for many people. Unfortunately there is no magic pill or potion I can suggest. The only true way to manage your weight is to reduce your caloric intake and increase your activity level.

An important starting point is to analyze your diet. Are you eating three meals a day? Many people skip breakfast or lunch, thinking this is the way to lose weight, but this is far from the truth. Skipping a meal will only make your starving body crave more food; therefore you will eat more at the next meal. You need to eat a balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Following the recommendations outlined in Canada’s Food Guide will assure that you receive a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and milk products.

Furthermore think before you eat. Some people snack while sitting in front of the TV, not realizing how much they are actually eating. Also at mealtime, sit at the table and eat your meal slowly, while paying attention to what you are eating. In addition, trade high fat, sugary snacks, for fruits or other high fiber choices, such as popcorn or low fat cereal bars.

Along with these diet changes you will need to incorporate physical activity into your schedule. Working out will not only increase your muscle mass, but also boost your metabolism. As a result you will burn calories more efficiently. As well, join a fitness club, or exercise class. If you are a person who prefers to exercise in your own home there are many videos and DVDs available that you can use as a guide. Some are presented by famous actors or sports figures and include weight training, high or low impact aerobics and stretching etc.

However before making any dramatic changes to your diet or lifestyle, you should consult your doctor, to make sure you don’t have any underlying health issues. It is important that you make sure you are in good health before making changes that could impact on your well being.

Good Luck Becky and remember, moderation is the key to success.

E-mail your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.