You may have seen the news recently about Biggest Loser Season 15’s winner, Rachel Frederickson, who dropped 155 pounds to win the $250,000 prize and loads of criticism in the process. The feature in many a gossip magazine over the last few weeks, Rachel’s story looks a lot like those of patients I’ve counseled over the years. Whether it’s a wedding, high school reunion, or competition for a cash prize, that initial diet motivation and/or extreme behavior seemed to be worth the reward. But after the vows were said or the winnings deposited, most were right back where they started – overweight and looking for the next best diet to “cure” them.

If you’re dieting to lose weight, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to get the idea that this is “just a diet” out of your head. While you may be eating less and (hopefully) better to lose weight now, if you go back to your old habits once you’ve hit your target, you will gain it back.

Instead of thinking of your diet as a short-term fix – it’s not a Band-Aid! – think of it as changing your life permanently, and for the better. Not doing so is the primary reason why crash diets fail. You spend time torturing yourself, eating very little, or something horrifically unappetizing, and hating every minute of it. Once you either reach your goal or can’t take it anymore, you quit. Then you gain all that weight back and often more. The only way to succeed is to stop that cycle.

Start Slow and Get Help

If every time you try to lose weight, you just get frustrated and give up, then gain it all back, you’re doing it wrong. But you’re also not alone. If weight loss was an easy, simple process with a fast reward, everyone would do it. If short-term crash diets kept the weight off for good, everyone would stick with them for their prescribed time and be healthy forever. That’s just not how your body works.

If you don’t know where to start with a healthy weight-loss program, talk to your doctor. Hopefully, you’ll get very personalized advice about what kind of exercise and diet plan you need to get healthy and stay that way. If you’re looking for a medically-supervised weight management program, check out Physicians Weight Management Centers. They have a proven method for achieving lasting results with a practical plan that encourages healthier habits for a lifetime – not a TV season.