How to keep extra weight off after losing it?
Congratulations! You’ve reached your weight-loss goal. But now what? At the beginning of this year, I wrote about losing weight, fad diets and weight loss myths and many of you responded that you do know how to get rid of the extra kilos. The real problem seemed to be maintaining that already achieved healthy weight. So, let’s go a little deeper into this subject.
First of all, once you’ve lost weight, it’s NOT ‘mission completed.’ You really need to rethink and adjust your mindset of how you’re going to maintain the weight loss.
Here are few ways and tips to keep lost kilos off for good.
It’s a life style. First of all, you have to remind yourself that eating food that nourishes and makes good for you, sleeping enough, being active and taking care of adequate relaxation and rest (both physical and mental) are lifelong methods of keeping yourself healthy. Those healthy habits you learned while dieting shouldn’t disappear once you’ve reached your goal whether it’s a dream weight or a smaller dress size. You’re making this for yourself and you’re the one is in full control. Just make sure that your new diet and lifestyle is reasonable: It’s so much easier to maintain weight loss when you make sustainable lifestyle changes, rather than following some unrealistic rules and restrictions that many diets focus on.
Stay accountable. Search for other people (online groups might also be viable option) who are in the same situation i.e. trying to keep their weight off. It’s so much easier to maintain good nutritional and exercise habits when you can share your ups and downs, tips and feelings with someone else, who knows exactly what you’re going through. Stay accountable and be honest!
Measure yourself and your progress in some way. You don’t have to hop on the scale (Remember that weight tends to fluctuate a few kilos especially in women according to the menstrual cycle), but use tape measure, your favorite fitting clothes, take photos, whatever, where you can see any possible changes in your body. It’s easier to adjust your life style and behaviour when those possible changes (weight gain) aren’t that dramatical yet and your weight will thus be more likely to stay in the same numbers.
Stick to your eating plan. You have already found an eating plan that works for you, so why not to stick with it. Probably you can and will add a bit more calories compared to what you ate while you were dieting, but don’t do dramatical changes. If you lost weight by eating paleo diet or followed low-carb diet, continue with that. The most important thing is to maintain the same eating rhythm and cut off all the processed food, that doesn’t make anything else than harm for you. Sweets and treats are allowed in well-working eating plan, but all weekends aren’t for cheating, if you haven’t planned that beforehand 😉 .
Read the labels and skip highly-processed food. Making better food choices can be challenging from time to time and in order to succeed in it, you have to know exactly what you put in your mouth. Most of the highly-processed foods are filled with artificial ingredients, hidden sugars, bad trans fats, all of those things that probably made you gain weight in the first place. So always read the labels and choose the ones that have the shortest and understandable ingredients list. You don’t really want to eat anything (at least not regularly let alone on a daily basis!) that doesn’t nourish and make you feel good.
Get enough sleep. It’s probably pretty obvious that the poor night’s sleep has a direct impact on your ability to control your weight. Partly it’s about hormones, that makes you want more salty and greasy food when you’re tired and they also affect on your appetite control. You’ll be probably also less motivated to do any kind of exercise. So, try to get your good night’s sleep and do something that really relaxes your mind and body even every now and then.
Keep exercising. Even though your weight LOSS journey is over, it doesn’t mean that you can skip all the workouts as your MAINTAINING journey just began. It’s proven that exercising done regularly helps you to maintain that wanted weight as it may help you burn off some extra calories and increase your metabolism, which are two factors needed to achieve energy balance (means you burn the same number of calories that you consume).
To make this all easier choose the form of exercise you really like. If you’re a group exercise-type of person, choose classes with an instructor who makes you feel excited to attend. Also, a workout buddy who is on the same level with you and having similar goals will ensure that both of you stay on track. It’s also a good idea to change up your workout seasonally as switching up your routines helps avoid boredom and keeps this all moving thing fun.
You don’t have to be perfect. And with this I mean being perfect with your weight management. There will be for sure times when you give in to an unhealthy craving or skip a workout, either unplanned or planned. And it’s totally okay! That occasional slip up doesn’t mean you should throw your goals out the window and eat all the cookies and pizzas in sight, because you didn’t “lose the game”. The thing that just happened is called life and to be more precise Your life. Simply move on, make better choices next time (if even needed) and enjoy your life.
As you can see, controlling your weight involves so much more than what you eat or aren’t allowed to eat. Weight maintenance can be effortless if you simply adopt a new lifestyle, rather than going on and off weight loss diets year after year. You decide!
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