A Dietitians secrets to sustained weight loss and overcoming the diet cycle:

Learning the skills of healthy eating and maintaining those habits is by no means an easy concept to grasp. The bottom line is that being healthy is a long term commitment and something that has taken me majority of my adult life to accept. Forget the diets, weight loss pills and weight loss shakes whether they work or not, typically they don't fit that mould of healthy eating.

The real secret is learning how to live a general healthy lifestyle. In other words, don’t put the focus on weight loss or on a particular diet, you just want to eat and be healthy.

Step one: start by changing your worst habit.

This usually comes by accepting your main failures when it comes to eating. When we started to change eating habits all advice seems start with ‘this is what you should be eating’ or ‘this is what you should be avoiding’, so let's rewind and start a little bit earlier in the piece. Start getting into the habit of thinking about what it is you’re eating, before you actually eat it. Get into the habit of asking yourself what each food will do in your body, this may help you become more conscious about your food habits.

Step two: surround yourself with healthy likeminded people.

If you're not eating healthy right now you're likely not surrounded by healthy eaters. You have two choices, either spend less time with those that may jeopardise your success to maintaining healthy eating or change the minds of the people who are setting the bad example. For example, if you spend evenings with your partner who loves dessert, this is something you want to focus on finding a solution to.

Social media is a great way to increase positive influences and health messages, follow topics that are trending around health and healthy lifestyles.

Step three: cater to your faults and focus on your strengths.

Your level of success will be determined by how achievable and realistic your goals are. We all have weaknesses and there is no way of escaping them. This is most probably exactly why fad diets don't work in the long term. For example, someone may go on a low carbohydrate diet meanwhile the whole time thinking about how they're ever going to avoid their cherished carbohydrates that's what ends up derailing them in the end.

One of my weaknesses is I tend to give into my sugar cravings ‘I love a good dessert’ for example I love ice cream ask anybody I know. One of my strengths is that I also have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the impact of energy, sugars and fats on my body and my metabolism. Therefore, the outcome for me is all about compromise. In order for me to have the option of flexibility with regards to my beloved ice cream I have a commitment to myself to exercise regularly, this allows me more flexibility with the odd bowl of ice cream – no guilt attached.

So if you don’t know already work on figuring out what your weaknesses and strengths are, and how you can use them to your advantage.