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The 3 Best Ways to Achieve Sustainable Weight Loss, Expert Says

Following these important principles can help you maintain a healthy weight for life.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

Losing weight is a great step toward a potentially healthier lifestyle, however, keeping it off is the ultimate goal for many people who opt to make changes to their diet and routine. If sustainable weight loss is something that you want to achieve, then it's important to ignore fads and instead stick to a few key habits, according to one expert.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," says Cory Ruth, who is an RDN, Women's Health & PCOS Expert, and the CEO of The Women's Dietitian. "The problem with a lot of trendy, fad diets right now is that they're incredibly restrictive. Yes, you may lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks by dropping all carbs, but the moment you even look at a slice of bread, all that weight (and maybe more) is going to come piling back on."

"Weight loss needs to be sustainable over time," adds Ruth, "and it needs to come in the form of healthy, long-term habits. Losing weight at a slower pace can help you keep it off for now and for life."

When it comes to sustainable weight loss, Ruth suggests the following three steps as the best things you can do to achieve long-lasting results. Keep reading for her tips, and for more, check out 8 Things You Must Know Before Trying to Lose Belly Fat.

1

Actively seek out calorie information

Woman counting calories on her phone for a junk food dessert treat doughnut
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When it comes to how much you're eating, Ruth explains, "Staying in a calorie deficit is critical to weight loss, so knowing how many calories you need to be eating consistently to be in that deficit is key. Calorie tracking with something like MyFitnessPal is not necessary, but it's super helpful to help us figure out how to better navigate correct portion control."

Related: One Surprising Effect of Cutting Calories, New Study Says

2

Eat at home

female friends in kitchen preparing together vegetarian meal
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Enjoying a meal out at a restaurant can be a nice way to treat yourself, however, it might not be something that you want to do too often if you want to keep excess weight off.

"[Eat] the majority of your meals and snacks in your own kitchen," Ruth says. "When we eat out, we inevitably take in more calories, fat, and sugar. Being the one in control of what and how much of an ingredient goes into your food is a foolproof way to eat better for weight management."

Related: 100 Easiest Recipes Anyone Can Make at Home

3

Use the "plate method"

healthy plate
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What you eat is just as important as how much you're consuming and where, says Ruth. That's why you should aim to "fill up half your plate with low-starch vegetables, one-quarter protein, and a small serving of carbs."

As Ruth explains, "This 'plate method' is one way too easily and visually balance your plate for better weight control."

For more tips…

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To find out more about sustainable weight loss, be sure to read Eating Habits for Weight Loss That Experts Say Actually Work. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter for more of the latest health and food news!

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Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more