How To Keep The Weight Off
For many, weight maintenance is a lot harder than losing weight in the first place. Here are five weight maintenance tips to help you stay at a weight you’re happy with - without driving yourself crazy.
1. If you feel like you know what you need to do to lose weight but you’re not so sure what you need to do to maintain that loss, keep in mind that weight loss and weight maintenance are really two sides of the same coin. It’s not as if you’ve crossed some invisible finish line (and that your diet is over), and you’re now free to shift gears and do something else. What you did in order to get your weight down is more or less what you’ll need to continue doing in order to maintain that loss.
2. That said, if the diet you stuck to during the weight loss phase was very restrictive, you’ll want to work towards eating more normally. Part of this process involves learning to do things like making wise choices in restaurants, dealing with cocktail and dinner parties, working in a treat from time to time, or lightening up your cooking style. As you practice eating normally, you’ll learn that you can trust yourself to manage your weight.
3. Keep your expectations reasonable. When we see photos of celebrities who have dropped 30 pounds (13.6 kg) in 30 days, we expect we should be able to do that, too, and that our bodies should look like theirs when we’re finished. But not only is crash dieting an unhealthy approach to weight loss, it’s not an approach you can or should adopt for the long term. Accept that slow and steady is not only a safer way to lose weight, it also gives you time to practice making the positive lifestyle changes that will help you to look and feel your best in the long run.
4. Rather than setting a single number as your maintenance weight, allow yourself a modest range of a couple of pounds or kilos. Most people’s weight fluctuates a little bit, and as long as your average weight over time doesn’t shift you’re doing a good job at maintaining. The best weight for you is the one you achieve once you’ve established a healthy eating pattern and an active lifestyle that you can maintain for life.
5. Since weight loss itself is so goal-oriented, you’ll want to set some new goals for yourself during weight maintenance. Think outside the box a little bit so you’re not just focused on the scale. Maybe set a new fitness goal, like mastering a new yoga pose or shaving a few minutes off your morning run. Or aim for a food-related goal, like cooking more meals at home or revising some recipes to make them healthier.