Losing weight is one of the hardest things I have worked for in my life. The battle is not over yet, but I am already planning ahead! I wanted to know how to keep weight off after weight loss success because visualizing my future success empowers me to reach my goals today! I have found some great research and have a plan to keep weight off after I lose it!
How to Keep Weight Off After Weight Loss Success
Losing weight can take a lot out of you, physically, emotionally, mentally. When I have lost weight before I felt like those pounds would never return. But the sad truth is that it was easy to pack on the pounds soon after I lost the weight because I fell back into my old bag habits.
If we start planning NOW for how we will keep off every pound we lose…we will all be more successful with long-term weight loss.
I currently follow the Weight Watchers (WW) program and have off and on for years. Although technically this is a “diet” it is more of a lifestyle change if done correctly.
Whenever my mind says I am on a diet…I FAIL horribly. There is something about that word that puts me in a tailspin. I know this is the case with many people.
Many dieters gain back their weight and some even gain more than they lost after they stopped dieting. So instead of following some diet, we really need to change our entire outlook on food!
Don't Use Food as a Substitute
Food shouldn’t be a substitute for anything. Food needs to be eaten for our nourishment and sustainability.
So many times we use food as a way to comfort ourselves after a stressful day. We use food to celebrate when there are so many other ways we can celebrate occasions.
We need to put some distance between food and many things in our lives because food should not be a substitute.
Eat More Whole Foods
Make it a habit to eat foods rich in fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, and fish.
These give us the sense that we're full for longer, and they contain fewer calories than processed foods.
Use lots of aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic, as well as spices and herbs to make your food look, smell and taste delicious.
You can also use condiments to add flavor to your dishes so you don't get bored.
Slow down and focus on what you’re eating. I am guilty of being too busy or tired to notice how my food even tastes sometimes. Other times I am distracted while eating and don't notice that I am overeating!
This is one of the those bad habits that causes you to eat more than you should. Instead, take a few seconds to appreciate your food; its texture and smell.
Taking in the whole experience of eating allows us to enjoy our food more without having the need to overindulge and eat more than we know we should.
Hydration is Key
Don't underestimate the power of water. Drinking lots of water daily, especially before meals, keeps your body hydrated, increases metabolism and helps you burn off more calories.
Everyone knows we need to drink water, but actually doing it is what counts.
If you get bored with water you can add vegetable or fruit slices for a healthy kick and some flavor.
Strengthen your muscles
Most people know that as we age, we lose muscle mass which is why it’s crucial to start strengthening our muscles now.
This will help prevent fatigue, loss of balance and weak bones. Also, muscle tissue burns more calories, even when you’re not working out, than fat. That is my favorite reason to stretch and pump my muscles.
Accept the setbacks
There will always be days when we’re faced with difficult decisions, like a party at work or going out with friends. If we can plan ahead, then we’re one step ahead of the game.
Fill up on healthy snacks before the event, or even have something in your bag you can munch on like carrot sticks or a granola bar.
There will also be cravings that gnaw at you until you can’t take it anymore. Usually cravings are not even really about the food. They can be a signal that our body lacks a certain mineral.
Cravings could also be a reaction to a stressful day at work, or an emotional problem you’re going through. All cravings last about 20 minutes so find something to distract yourself; watch TV, read a book, even brushing your teeth will quickly kill off your craving.
The best thing to remember about setbacks is that tomorrow is a new day!
Have a Supportive Inner Circle
People who believe in the same things as you make it easier to enjoy a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.
They support you and believe in what you’re doing, and sometimes even take the time to listen when you are struggling.
If you want to know how to keep weight off…one way is to have a supportive inner circle. These are people you can depend on to tell you the truth in love and keep you accountable to the goals you set for yourself.
They will also be a shoulder to cry on if you have a setback!
And, in turn, they become your accountability partner so that if, and when, you slip up, you have someone that provides understanding and support.
Stay Mentally In the Game
It is also important to just keep your mind in the game of maintaining your weight loss. You don't have to be obsessive about it, but motivating yourself is important..especially for me.
One easy way I have found to motivate myself is to keep positive messages around the house in key locations. The encouraging motivational cards I created are a simple way to stay on track in my mind!
The dreaded E word…exercise. It is important for overall health and it is really important for maintaining weight loss long-term.
The suggested minimum for maintaining weight loss is 250 minutes per week. This comes down to about 45-50 minutes of moderate activity for 5 days. While these numbers may seem disheartening…they really are for me… it’s not as hard as we may think.
Picking activities we love makes it much easier. Start at your own pace and You can mix and match your fitness routines so you don't get bored.
It may help to get a workout buddy, or join a gym and start meeting people with similar fitness goals. After a while, exercising will become a natural part of our daily routine, and we may even start to look forward to it. 😆
Any Questions About How to Keep Weight Off?
Are you at the maintenance stage of your weight loss? What other tips do you have for how to keep weight long-term? Which of these tips is the hardest for you? My big 2 are using food as a substitute and exercising regularly! If you need more ideas…check out my Weight Watchers Ideas and Motivation page for lots more good stuff.