How to Live to 110, a guide for all ages on how to stay healthy and live a long life.

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Tips for losing weight

How to lose body fat permanently

(Why dieting leaves most people fatter, and what to do to avoid this)

For many people, losing fat means going on a slimming diet. Unfortunately, scientific studies have shown repeatedly that...

People who undergo slimming diets generally end up fatter in the long run

They lose some body fat, but once they stop dieting they end up putting it all back on, with extra. This isn’t down to lack of willpower. There are physical reasons why losing fat makes you hungrier and more likely to eat.

If you need to lose body fat, don’t despair. Plenty of people manage to lose a lot of fat and keep it off year after year. However, this takes more than just a slimming diet (despite what the slimming industry might tell you).

Some key points for losing weight

One of the keys to permanent fat loss seems to be daily physical activity. The people who lose a lot of fat and keep it off will typically do an hour of physical activity (such as brisk walking) every single day, continuing this indefinitely. (It doesn’t need to be a continuous hour: two half hour walks could work.)

You also need to address why you have put on too much fat in the first place. If you don’t make changes, when you finish your slimming diet you will probably fall into the same old routines and put the fat back on. Indeed, if you make the right changes you might even find that you don’t need to slim at all.

If you do decide to go on a slimming diet, studies suggest all the main respectable diets work pretty much as well as each other. Choose one that attracts you and that you think you can stick with. Many people benefit by slimming as part of a group, either formally or with friends. But avoid any diet that sounds like a fad, or focuses on a very limited range of foods, or makes wild claims. (You are unlikely to lose more than about a pound (half a kilo) of fat a week.)

It is important to lose fat slowly so your body has time to get used to it. Rapid fat loss lowers the amount of a chemical in your blood that decreases your feeling of hunger. Without this chemical, your hunger becomes more intense.

If you have a lot of fat to lose, don’t be too ambitious to begin with. Losing 10 per cent of your body weight will do a lot for your health. Once your body has grown accustomed to this, you might think of losing more.

What you can do

Have a look at our ‘body check’ page, which will work out for you how much fat you might need to lose.

If you need to lose fat, as a starting point increase the amount of physical activity you do each day and cut out as many sweet things as you can (other than fruit).

Then you need to work out the reasons why you have put on body fat, and build a plan to address these. This is where our book can really help you.

You might find that eating more healthily and exercising a bit more is enough for you to lose fat without a slimming diet.

Only once all this is in place should you consider starting a slimming diet.

What the book covers

We explain why your body needs stores of fat, and what the risks are when you have too much.

We then take you step by step through developing a plan of action specific to you. This involves analysing why you put on too much fat, considering for example

Each reason is accompanied by suggestions of specific actions to consider, from which you can choose the ones most likely to work for you. There are also more general suggestions for dealing with hunger and overeating – some based on techniques used for overcoming drug addiction.

The book also covers

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Selected references for the book




How to Live to 110: Longevity, living longer and the steps to take for a healthy old age