In order to lose weight and keep it off for good, a person must develop the mindset necessary for living a healthy lifestyle. There is much more to being healthy than showing up to the gym every day. In fact, exercise is only one-eighth of the total equation. If you really want to achieve personal wellness, focus on improving the following categories of health.
1: Diet & Nutrition
You already know the main reason you gained weight. Too many trips through the McDonalds drive-thru, late night snacking on junk food and poor dinner choices. You do not have to eat a diet of bland salads and yogurt, but you do need to limit the amount of trigger foods that you caused your weight gain. Replace your current diet of high sugar, high-fat processed foods with those found in the produce and lean meat department as often as you can.
2: Fun & Recreation
What makes you happy? Going to the movies? Ice Skating? Playing the guitar? Whatever it is, you must find time for it on a weekly basis (if not daily) in order to maintain good mental stability. Your activities and hobbies should not include junk food or alcohol. Going to the movies is watching the movie, not eating a tub of fatty buttered popcorn. Be happy with what you are doing without the unnecessary evils.
Drinking enough water throughout the day is the part of the equation that gets overlooked. People do not consider drinking as important as eating and it is! You should not be drinking soda or processed juices every day. Why? Because they deplete your body of vitamins and minerals while loading you up on sugar. Alcohol is even worse. Do yourself a favor and keep a water bottle with you at all times. Drink, drink, drink. I cannot stress this enough.
4: Unhealthy Habits
Not eating the wrong foods is just as important as eating the right foods. But unhealthy habits are not just about food, are they? Smoking and the use of other drugs, prescription or not, is probably the worst thing a person can do to their body. This is the only one you have! Take care of it. Alcohol is OK on occasion but not recommended on a daily basis to anyone interested in living a healthy lifestyle.
5: Weight Management
Have you ever noticed that weight loss really is not the issue that people struggle with? Most everyone has lost weight at one point in their life. Keeping that weight off is the obstacle that most people can not overcome. Think about it logically. If you gained weight by eating twinkies, then lost weight when you stopped eating twinkies, do not go back to eating twinkies. The person who eats twinkies on occasion (not every day) does not struggle with weight fluctuation.
So there you have it! Focus on improving each of these and you will be on a successful path to overall wellness.