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Posted by J.J. Ellis on 12/12/2020

3 Things to check to see if your weight-loss plan is sustainable

3 Things to check to see if your weight-loss plan is sustainable

3 things to check to see if your weight-loss plan is sustainable


A weight-loss plan is useless if you just put the weight back on later. Some plans will result in rapid weight-loss, however, if they are not something that can be maintained once they are finished, then without a new plan to follow afterwards (one that can be maintained), then you are likely to revert back to your old habits/routine/lifestyle, and the factors that made you over-weight before will just make you over-weight again. Therefore the old cliché that health and fitness is a lifestyle has much truth in it. Whilst it might be imperative for some people to get their weight down because they are high risk for certain diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, it would be a shame to see them waste six months (or however long it takes) of hard work and disciplined eating, to then put all of that weight back on over the following years because they had failed to make a long-term plan that they could sustain. A short term plan is fine, just so long as you then have a sustainable plan to follow after you’ve lost the weight. A sustainable plan is one that fits in with the demands of your lifestyle (ie. takes into account factors such as your work and family commitments), and is something that you enjoy.


The three things that you need to consider when developing your long-term plan are;


  1. Does it fit in with your time commitments (for example, your work and family commitments)?
  2. Have you found a form of exercise that you enjoy?
  3. Are you following a diet that you enjoy?


Many people do not enjoy exercising. This may be because they find it tedious, or because they find the feeling of being breathless unpleasant. If you find going for a run or going to the gym tedious, then maybe playing a sport might make exercise a little more fun for you. The benefits of playing a team sport is the social side. The camaraderie whilst training and playing together shifts the focus from that of ”I’m doing this because I have to for my health and fitness” to “I’m doing this because I like hanging out with my friends and having fun and joking around”. Or if you have injuries (many people have knee issues or lower back issues) that restrict you from certain sports, you could consider joining a walking group. There are many walking groups across the country, you just need to try a Google search to see if there is one near you ( the Heart Foundation runs a number of groups around the country).


If you do not enjoy team sports, then maybe solo sports might be more to your liking. There are many sports that you could try, such as tennis, squash, triathlons, hiking, canoeing, dancing, rowing and orienteering, just to name a few. Don’t be afraid to try a sport and then move onto another one if you’re not enjoying it that much. (Treat yourself how most parents treat their children – they let them try a number of different sports until they find one that they like.)


Or if sports are simply not your thing, then maybe a personal trainer is something that you might like. Some people enjoy the one-on-one personal attention, and the social aspect of catching up each week with their trainer. A good trainer will not only give you guidance on exercise, but they will also make you feel comfortable whilst exercising and try to find ways to make it enjoyable. A good trainer will get to know you and how hard you want to be pushed. Whilst some people like to be pushed hard, an experienced trainer will know how hard they can push each of their clients before they start to find it unpleasant. It is no good if you dread your workouts because sooner or later you will start cancelling more and more sessions until you get to the point that you’re not coming at all, and this is not fulfilling your long-term goal. Good trainers will be constantly trying to shape your mindset to that of “I’m looking forward to my workout”, and this means always trying to find ways of exercising that you enjoy.


Just as you need an exercise plan/program that is sustainable, you also need a diet that you can sustain. Restrictive dieting is one of the most difficult things to maintain. But eating to lose weight does not need to be difficult. Consulting a dietician is one of the best ways you can spend your money. See it as a gift to yourself. Dieticians will work with you and suggest meals that are both in line with your weight-loss goals and also meals that you will enjoy. Whilst your weight-loss progress may not be as rapid as you might like by avoiding excessively restrictive diets, it is something that you are more likely to be able to maintain. Imagine being at your goal weight in a year or two and being confident that you will be able to maintain that healthy weight for the rest of your life because you actually enjoy your diet/eating habits. This could be you if you change your expectations and accept the fact that it may not happen as quickly as you might like. A difficult decision to make, but a worthwhile one.


To re-iterate, a short term plan that aims at rapid weight-loss is fine if;


  1. It is not TOO rapid (anything greater than 2kg/week starts to risk your health)
  2. You are still eating a complete well-rounded diet that meets all of your body’s nutritional needs
  3. You have put in place processes and a plan that IS sustainable once you finish your

short-term plan


If you are about to embark on a weight-loss journey, these are the factors that you need to consider. If you get your plan right, then you are setting yourself up for success.

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