It’s no secret that eating healthy is one of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight, but sometimes losing that weight and keeping it off can be difficult.

The most common reasons why you might lose weight only to gain back the weight you’ve lost is due to fad dieting. Unlike low-carb diets such as Ketogenic, Paleo and South Beach diets, which are designed to not only help you lose weight but maintain that weight loss long-term, fad diets are designed as a “quick fix”; when in reality, there’s no true quick fix out there. Losing weight is all about making healthy choices and sustaining them.

Weight loss is also about portion control. While that might sound like you need to eat tiny amounts of everything, that’s not necessarily the case. It does, however, mean paying attention to how much you put on your plate. At home, rather than serving your meals on large plates, use plates that are smaller (if you have them.) When eating, also pay attention to what your body tells you. It’s easy to tell when you’re full, but we’ll often overeat. In order to control portion size, it’s also important to know serving sizes, which can be found on most food labels. For example, one serving of vegetables is equivalent to the size of your fist, while meat, fish and poultry are the size of a deck of cards. You can find more information on serving sizes here.

You should also be careful when snacking. While it’s easy to pick up a bag of potato chips, chocolate, or other sugary or savoury foods, the nutritional value in many of these types of food is extremely low. If you have a sweet tooth, try swapping that sugar for fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, apples) and Greek yogurt. If you’re craving something more savoury, swap that bag of potato chips for nuts such as almonds, pecans and pistachios. Nuts are low in calories, high in fibre, and also provide a wide range of essential nutrients that are great for your overall health.

Along with eating healthy, Dr. Ali Ghahary also recommends patients introduce some form of low-impact exercise into their daily routines. You can find much more information on the many health benefits of exercise (including how to figure out the best type of exercise for you) by clicking here.