There’s an old joke that goes like this:

Question: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Answer: Practice, practice, practice?

Sure, it’s corny. But it’s true! If you want to succeed at anything in life, it takes developing your skills, and that requires practice. Weight loss is no different.

The definition of the word skill is very simple. It means the ability to do something well. Even those who are born with natural skills have to work on them day in and day out to maintain a high level of performance over time.

Think about it. Even the world’s well-known talent must practice their skills to keep them up to snuff. Let’s take Adele, one of the most outrageously gifted popular vocalists of our day. Do you think she wakes up, has a cup of tea, and steps out onto the stage for a performance? No! She religiously rehearses her pieces with intense focus and refines where necessary. She also spends time doing exercises to keep her vocal cords healthy. How about professional basketball star, LeBron James? The man is a superhero on the court, but he still practices shooting drills to enhance the precision of his game. And he works out off-court to make sure he’s fast and strong dribbling down the lane.

The point is that, while it may not be glamorous, the steps required to achieve any level of success come down to good old-fashioned dedicated practice that works towards improving skills.

Weight loss and long-term weight maintenance skills require the same kind of dedication. Every day you need to commit to behaviors that support your ability to lose weight and keep it off. This includes the proven practices of wise food choices, physical activities, quality sleep, and stress reduction among other key behaviors.

Just to be perfectly clear in what we are saying, you need to practice these things every day if you want to master weight loss skills. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting on the sidelines wishing you were the star of the show.

Now this doesn’t mean there can’t be setbacks. Actually, you should expect setbacks. It’s just a natural part of most people’s journey. But with your refined weight loss skills, bouncing back from them will be that much easier.

So now that you see weight loss is a skill, what’s the best answer to the question, how do you lose 20 pounds? Practice, practice, practice?