To keep weight off, you need to carry on eating a healthy diet, and it is especially helpful to be as physically active as you can. But these things will happen only if you decide that they will – that’s why it is recommended that you take positive action. For weight loss, it is recommended to both reduce your energy (calorie) intake and increase your physical activity. A combined programme of healthy diet plus increased physical activity provides greater long-term weight loss than a programme of healthy diet only or increased physical activity only. Ask your physician for an adequate programme of healthy diet plus increased physical activity, and get support from your family and friends. Many people go on special weight-loss diets for a period of time, often with some success, but regain the weight as soon as they come off the diet. It is just as important to keep off any weight you lose as to lose it in the first place. This means that any change in your lifestyle habits – eating, drinking, and being active – has to become a permanent part of your life, not just for a few weeks or months on a temporary regimen.

Some people find that smoking helps to control weight, or are afraid that quitting might lead to weight gain. Although this can occur, being aware of the problem can help to make weight gain less likely by sticking to the healthy behaviours described above. In any case, the health benefits from quitting smoking far outweigh the disadvantages of gaining a kilo or two.