The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) reports that less than five percent of adults in the US participate in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day.  Only one out of every three adults actually gets enough physical activity each week to stay healthy.  The PCFSN also reports that a typical American diets surpasses the suggested consumption of fats, sugars, salt, refined grains, and saturated fat.  Not only do Americans eat a diet high in fats, sugars, and sodium, but also eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.  It is no surprise that recent statistics postulate that obesity affects over 78 million American adults.  It is also projected that by 2030, half of all adults in the United States will be obese.

Keeping off the weight:

Although obesity in the country in a major health concern, it is not for a lack of trying on the part of Americans to lose weight.  The Boston Medical Center estimates that 45 million Americans diet each year and spend tens of billions of dollars on weight-loss products in their pursuit of weight loss goals.   

Initial weight loss can be challenging, but not nearly as hard as losing weight and keeping that weight off. There are many pitfalls that can cause weight to pile on back even after making great strides in the right direction. The following are some common pitfalls of weight loss you should try to avoid:

Unrealistic goals

1-2 pounds per week is healthy and attainable goal.  Trying to lose too much weight at once is unhealthy can be discouraging as this is not realistic to maintain.

Alcohol

Getting your calories from a liquid diet is an easy way to lose sight of your weight loss goals.  Alcohol packs a lot of calories, while giving no nutritional value. Furthermore it can mess up your sleeping patterns and slow your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight.

Fad diets

These diet plans can be very difficult to adhere to, if not detrimental to your health long term. You may lose weight initially, but once you are off the diet – weight gain is inevitable.

Hunger

This will predispose you to binge eating, and taking in more calories than you would if you did not allow yourself to get hungry throughout the day.

Refusal to change

Losing weight is a commitment to change.  Without making changes to lifestyle – diet and exercise – you cannot expect to reach healthy weight.

Although not one method works for everyone, the general key is to make long term lifestyle changes that will help you to maintain weight loss goals. Here are some great ways to keep off the weight:

Make a plan

Plan meals and time for exercise in advance.  Without a plan it is easy to make excuses as to why you can’t make it to the gym

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals can slow your metabolism and cause overeating later in the day when hunger catches up to you. Try eating small meals throughout the day instead.

Stay committed to a healthy diet

Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Include choices from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources.

Be active

Just because you lost weight doesn’t mean you should cut back on your workouts. Maintaining a healthy weight takes work and dedication. Physical activity is one of the most important aspects of keeping weight off, so make sure you’re building it into your daily routine.

Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team and the chief medical correspondent for am970 in New York City. Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter and Facebook.