These days, we live in a quick-fix society. If it doesn’t happen quickly, we don’t want it: we demand fast food, speed dating, and weight-loss schemes that promise almost instantaneous results. But these quick-fixes usually don’t work, especially over the long term. To achieve permanent results – weight that stays off, and a healthy body that lasts a lifetime – it’s necessary to change not just our diet and our exercise habits, but our mind-set.

Implementing Diligence

Diligence is the determined and persistent effort to achieve a goal. Diligent work doesn’t have to be extremely hard, but it must be consistent and bounce back after a set-back. Diligence means having an eye for the long-term, a willingness to put forth an effort every day, and an understanding that obstacles will arise but that they can be dealt with.

Thinking Long-Term

Who wouldn’t love to lose weight instantly and effortlessly? In fact, millions of dollars have been made promising the impossible, with weight-loss schemes involving pills that prove dangerous or diets that are impossible to stick to longer than a few weeks. The unfortunate reality is that weight comes off slowly and only with effort. Weight that drops away suddenly is likely to be stored water or else lean tissue banished by an unsustainable starvation diet (Mayo Clinic). Real, permanent weight loss is a long term goal, not something that can happen in a weekend.

Creating a Sustainable Weight Loss Plan

If real, permanent weight loss is going to take time, then it’s important to develop a plan that can be diligently followed for the long term. It needs to be sustainable; that is, it needs to be thought of as a lifestyle, rather than a diet. A diet that focuses on the eating of a single food or food group, for instance, is hardly sustainable. An exercise regime that involves spending hours in the gym every day – unless the exerciser is unemployed and has no family – is not likely to be sustainable either. Finding a plan that can be diligently followed for a long time, with a reasonable weight loss goal of a pound or two a week, is the first step in creating long term transformation (Mayo Clinic).

Anticipating Obstacles

One of the main weight-loss pitfalls is the unanticipated situation. For example, the dieter might be confronted by a cake someone brings into work one afternoon. Or maybe the dieter gets home from a long day, exhausted and stressed-out, and can’t imagine spending an hour cooking something healthy. What to do? It’s tempting to throw the weight-loss plan aside at these moments. That’s where diligence comes in to play: the diligent loser has planned for these moments and has a strategy for dealing with them. Maybe he has a bag of sugar-free candies that can only be opened if someone brings treats into the office. Maybe she has the phone number of a Chinese restaurant that delivers healthy, diet-friendly dishes programmed into her phone.

Planning for Maintenance

Once weight-loss goals have been achieved and celebrated, it’s time to look at diligent maintenance. Weight has a depressing tendency to come back on if there’s not a plan in place to maintain the loss. In fact, some dieters find that diligence is even more necessary in the maintenance phase than in the losing phase, because some of the original energy has faded. If maintenance has been planned as part of the overall weight-loss program, the transition from the losing phase to the maintaining phase can be made much less rocky. Diligence makes the difference.


Henry Sanderson writes on health, fitness, wellness, nutrition, health education, the healthcare industry, and other such topics. Though losing weight naturally is desirable, oftentimes it may be necessary to look elsewhere for solutions; if you’re looking elsewhere consider Dr. Altamira for liposuction in Houston.