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Getting on the weight loss bandwagon is tough, but falling off is all too easy. Long days at work, sick kids and yet another weekend birthday party seemingly conspire to derail fitness efforts, and before long, weight loss success has fallen off the tracks. The good news is that this time, a temporary stumble doesn’t have to lead to failure. Here’s how.

 

Build a Solid Foundation

Healthy habits take effort, but when obligations at work and home mount, time for fitness often evaporates. To stay on track, build wellness habits into the daily grind. Keep healthy convenience foods handy for days when the schedule is tight to prevent trips through the drive-thru, and when there’s no single block of time for exercise, add movement a few minutes at a time by parking a little farther from the supermarket door, doing a few lunges in the kitchen and taking a few laps around the office. At the end of the day, it all adds up.

 

Replace Food with Fun

Food should be nourishment, not a consistent crutch. Enjoying treats is must, but making them therapy for bad days paves the way for a constant struggle against extra pounds. When the going gets tough, don’t turn to cheeseburgers and sugary baked goods. Brighten the day with fresh flowers, a new sweater or a calorie-free hug.

 

Find Support

Forget the crash, dieters. After the oath to a healthy lifestyle is writ, make an effort to connect with like-minded people with the same goal. Research supports the idea that having a weight loss buddy improves the odds of long-term success.

 

Find Permanent Motivation

Fitness isn’t an event, it’s a way of life. High school reunions and beach vacations are powerful incentives for quick weight loss but are poor long-term motivators. After crossing the finish line, enthusiasm for vegetable wanes, and the commitment to hit the gym every morning crumbles.

Stop the cycle by accepting that good health isn’t a destination, it’s a journey — a permanent way of approaching wellness that never ends, but also makes food and fun a guilt-free part of everyday life.

Dropping pounds is never easy, but with planning and the right focus, anyone can take a permanent seat on the weight loss bandwagon.