Setting long-term goals and behaviour patterns

Top Australian nutritionist Susie Burrell has revealed that she believes looking at long-term goals and behaviour patterns are the best way to ensure this success.

To help you make 2018 your healthiest year yet, Burrell has revealed to the Daily Mail’s FEMAIL her top five tips for creating better long-term habits and achieving your weight-loss goals – for good.

1. Keeping track

Burrell suggests keeping yourself accountable and having an awareness of how much you’re eating and how often you’re moving.

“Being mindful of our day-to-day food and activity habits and incremental changes in body size is a crucial aspect of long-term weight control,” she told FEMAIL.

She also added that banishing scales from your home isn’t necessarily the best idea.

“Keeping an eye on our weight via regular check ins with the scales reminds us to pull back when we see those numbers start to creep up.”

2. Allow yourself small indulgences

While most of us believe in order to lose weight we need to cut out everything unhealthy, Burrell explains that this method doesn’t lend itself to long-term success.

Instead, she recommends practising moderation rather than complete restriction for two reasons:

Firstly, people are hardwired to enjoy eating treats and food that tastes good. Restricting certain items can encourage binge eating.

The second reason stems from a psychological point: Restriction impacts blood glucose regulation, which can cause cravings for the very foods we’re trying to avoid.

3. Change your environment

Keeping treats out of your home altogether is the best way to avoid indulging your naughty cravings.

Burrell explains: “If we can see the lollies, we will eat double the amount we would if we could not see them.

“The larger the plate, the more we will eat. Working backwards this simply means if you do not want to eat it, do not buy it, and simply serving yourself less is a powerful weight control technique that we have 100 per cent control over.”

4. Planning is key

“Planning is the key to dietary success,” Burrell says.

She also adds that falling into the trap of eating whatever is most convenient is detrimental, both long and short-term.

“How many times do you travel, go to a conference or to a social function and find yourself eating poor quality, high-calorie food because you have nothing else on hand and are hungry?”

In order to avoid this, Burrell suggests having a supply of foods with you in order to make sure your food choices align with your long-term health goals.

5. Be consistent

Before you go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for having a healthy work week – and turning a blind eye to a treat-filled weekend – Burrell says aiming to be “good” all the time is better than aiming for a “good” week or day.

“It does not matter if it is Christmas, a birthday or if they have been ‘good’ in the week, individuals who control their weight keep their basic dietary intake consistent,” she states.

She added: “Just as exercise consistency is the key to success so too is dietary consistency.

“So no more taking the weekend off, or starting again Monday, just start now, with your very next meal or snack choice.”