Beat the Odds: 5 Ways to Maintain Your Weight LossPosted: Feb 27 in Lifestyle by Staff
So you’ve lost weight. Congratulations! Now the hard part begins – keeping the weight off. But don’t be intimidated by the often-cited statistic that 95% of dieters gain all the weight back within a few years. There are a few common reasons why so many people gain weight again, and you can be part of the successful 5% by avoiding these behaviors. Maintain your hard work by making these five habits a part of your life.
- Keep counting calories – at least for a while.
Counting calories is one of the simplest and most effective ways to control your weight, and it’s just as good for maintenance as it is for weight loss. Spending a few months counting your maintenance calories will ensure you don’t revert to your old eating habits, which is a surefire way to gain the weight back. It will also help you eyeball your portion sizes accurately if you do want to stop counting someday.
- Don’t deprive yourself.
It’s true that you’ve got to adopt a healthy lifestyle permanently to keep weight off. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat the unhealthy foods you love again, though. Moderation is key. If you count calories, work reasonable portions of your favorite treats into your daily intake. If you eat a particularly big meal one day, don’t worry about it too much – just eat a little lighter than usual the next day. Create a lifestyle you can live with, and you’ll have a much easier time sticking with it over the long haul.
- Stay active.
Moderate exercise can burn 100-200 calories per day, giving you a little extra wiggle room in your diet. Working out regularly will also make you fitter, and when you’re proud of your gym gains or your latest mile time, you’ll be less likely to backslide into poor eating habits. For extra motivation and accountability, work out with your partner or a friend.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people.
When you’re around people all the time, their habits tend to rub off on you, so choose your friends carefully. You’ll have an easier time maintaining your weight loss if you spend time with people who have similar health goals. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to cut contact with your longtime buddies who love junk food and video games. However, it’s a good idea to build up your social circle with new friends who will encourage you to stick to your improved health habits, too.
- Remember why you started.
Sometimes you might just want to throw your healthy lifestyle out the window and revert to your old ways. When you feel like it’s too much of a bother to keep counting calories and working out, think back to how you felt when you first decided to lose weight. Were you happy? How has your life improved since then? Remind yourself why you decided to make a change in the first place, and chances are you’ll want to preserve your hard work.
Losing weight is a big achievement, but switching to maintenance presents its own set of brand-new challenges. Fortunately, the self-discipline and healthy habits that you cultivated while slimming down can help you stay at a healthy weight, too. Put these strategies to work for you, and you’ll be able to enjoy your hard-earned good health for years to come.