You’ve lost the weight; congratulations! While initially losing the weight may seem like the hard part, keeping the weight off can be just as challenging sometimes. Maintaining weight is all about staying motivated, keeping good habits going, and constantly adjusting your new skills and knowledge for challenging situations. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping the weight off — for good!
1. Calculate an alarm weight.
An alarm weight is the weight at which some serious action should be taken to stop and reverse gradual weight regain before it gets out of control. A good alarm weight is 20 percent of the pounds you have lost. For example, if you started at 200 pounds and lost 20 (now 180), your alarm weight would be 184 pounds.
2. Weight plateaus are normal.
Now that you weigh less, your body may need fewer calories. To keep losing weight or to maintain your new weight you may need to further lower your daily calorie intake or increase your physical activity.
3. Keep slips in perspective.
One slip, no matter how large is not going to ruin all of your progress. Keep your slips in perspective, and get back on track at the very next possible moment, not the next day. Slips are learning experiences and can help you come up with plans and strategies that will work better than the one you tried when the slip happened the first time.
4. Continue some form of tracking.
Whether it is a weekly weigh-in, continued calorie tracking, or logging workouts, tracking is a great way to monitor progress and keep up motivation.
5. Reward yourself!
Now that you have met your initial weight-loss goal, reward yourself! Using non-food rewards to continue to motivate yourself is a great way to keep the weight off. Some examples of rewards could be a weekend trip, manicures, new shoes, a trip to the movies, etc.
6. Weigh yourself every week.
The National Weight Control Registry, an investigation of individuals who have had success at long-term successful weight-loss maintenance (who have all lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least a year) found that 75 percent of successful weight-loss maintainers weigh themselves at least once a week.
7. Eat breakfast every day.
The National Weight Control Registry also found that 78 percent of successful weight loss maintainers ate breakfast every day.
8. Limit screen time.
The average American watches 28 hours of TV per week, but 62 percent of people in the National Weight Control Registry, watch 10 or fewer hours per week. Instead of watching TV after work, take a walk, try a new healthy dinner recipe, or read that book you’ve been dying to finish.
9. Eat fiber!
Fiber is found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Fiber is not digested and will help you feel fuller, longer. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber.
10. Have a team of cheerleaders and role models.
Surround yourself with people who value the same healthy lifestyle you do. Find a gym buddy, someone to swap recipes with, or even someone who will hold you accountable to your weekly weigh in.
Keeping these tips in mind, you can continue to live a happy, healthy lifestyle while maintaining the weight you worked so hard to reach!