Keep the Weight Off for Good from 10 Tips to Help You Keep the Weight Off for Good
10 Tips to Help You Keep the Weight Off for Good
Keep the Weight Off for Good
So, you finally reached your goal weight. Congratulations, because that’s an incredible accomplishment. But now you might be wondering, what things do I need to do in order to make sure I don’t gain the weight that I lost back? To find out the answers, we consulted three fitness and nutrition experts and the following tips that they shared will help you make sure that you’ll keep the weight you lost off for good.
Enjoy the learning process.
“Weight loss is awesome and an amazing goal to achieve,” says Jessica Lopez, a certified personal trainer at The Boxing Club in San Diego, Calif. But she warns against approaching it with a negative mindset. “You might get the job done for a certain event or goal, but you will easily fall back into an old routine soon thereafter. If you learn to enjoy eating healthy and the process, it will be easier to keep the new habits for a lifetime.” Lopez also mentioned that this rule applies to nutrition. “[Continue to ] educate yourself on nutrition. The more you know, the easier it is to make the right choice.”
Continue to set new goals.
Lopez suggests that after you’ve crossed an accomplishment off of your list, you should always make sure to create new goals for yourself. “Life is about growing, learning and changing,” she said. “There is always another level to hit or another challenge to meet. Why get complacent? Why stop?”
Be open to new workouts and challenges.
Lopez says that if you continue to follow the same exercise routine for too long, your body will eventually adapt and you’ll find yourself at a plateau. “If you keep doing the same exact thing you did to achieve your weight loss goal, you will plateau at some point,” she said. “Challenge creates change, so continue to find new opportunities to challenge yourself with.”
Continue to be calorie conscious.
“Chances are, to lose weight you cut calories,” says Rene Ficek, a registered dietitian and the lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating. “If you want to maintain that weight, you need to be just as, if not more, vigilant about how many calories you consume.” She pointed out that this might require you to continue monitoring your caloric intake using a food journal or calorie counting app for an extended period of time. “When it becomes habit and routine enough, you can typically ease off the measuring and counting,” she adds. “It's important to ‘spot check’ once in a while, though. Maybe once a week or so you still bring the measuring cups and spoons out to remind yourself of what a portion size is and should be.”
“Hopefully the importance of breakfast was discovered while weight loss efforts were underway,” says Ficek. “If not, it's important to jump on this bandwagon now, as eating breakfast is a key factor to maintaining weight loss for several reasons.” She points out that data from the US National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a large on-going study that monitors the habits of people who have lost weight successfully, reveals that 80 percent of study participants who kept the weight off ate breakfast every day. Ficek continues, “The explanations for this observation include the possibility that breakfast does the following: suppresses mid-morning hunger; produces better blood glucose and elevates basal metabolic rate; yields fewer episodes of imbalanced, impulsive or excessive eating later in the day; increases fiber intake (e.g. from cereals, fruits, and whole grains); reduces dietary fat intake; and encourages improved health consciousness.”
Continue weighing in.
Ficek says that checking in with your scale is an integral part of successfully maintaining weight loss. “Monitoring weight on a regular basis is a form of accountability and self-monitoring,” she said. “And consistent self-monitoring is associated with improved weight loss maintenance.” She suggests weighing yourself one or two times each week, making sure to do so at the same time of day each time in order to maintain accuracy. “Dieters must detect and correct small amounts of weight gain before weight escalates and becomes unmanageable,” she adds. “It is also possible that frequent and consistent weighing is an indicator of interest in and enthusiasm for weight control efforts.”
Find new sources of motivation.
“The first goal you set is likely to be a weight based goal,” says Tim Bauer, a marketing professional who successfully lost 200 pounds in 374 days and who blogs about his health and fitness journey at TinierTim.com. “And as someone who had a number on a post it note in his car for years, I won’t discourage you from having a number in mind that you are visualizing for your weight loss journey. But the weight goal obviously expires, so why not aim for other health and fitness goals?” He suggests aiming to achieve performance oriented accomplishments like time goals for running races, finishing a long-distance event like a marathon or triathlon or experiences like climbing a difficult hike. “To make sure that maintenance doesn’t swallow you up, at some point early on start setting goals that aren’t scale related,” he said. “You should never stop stretching for the next objective.”
“I remember exactly what I ate the day after I hit my goal weight,” says Bauer. “It was the exact same thing I ate the day before I hit my goal weight. This seems self-evident, but if you go back to eating exactly what you ate when you were at your heaviest, chances are you’ll get back there.” In other words, after you reach your goal, make sure that you won’t revert back to the old unhealthy habits that led you to gain weight in the first place. Set goals and make plans so that you'll easily be able to stick to your exercise routine and healthy eating habits.