Once you found a method that works best for helping you burn more calories and meet your weight loss goals, it is just as important that you learn new, healthy habits that will last a lifetime, thus helping you keep the weight off.
A weight-management plan is just as important as a weight-loss strategy. The following are the very best tips for maintaining your new, healthier you, compiled from those who have been able to successfully lose weight and keep that weight from returning.
- Stay active. Once you have lost the weight, it is important to still maintain the habits you started during your journey, and exercise is key. You need to do something every single day that benefits your physical self. Walking is a popular choice. You should also do something to work your muscles a few times per week, as well. This could be weight training, resistance work, yoga, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Build activity into your daily routine, and make sure you keep moving, even after you reach your goal weight.
- Eat breakfast. When you start the day with a nutritious breakfast that fills you up, you have the energy you need to tackle your day, and you are less likely to make unhealthy choices later when you are starving.
- Track your weight and activity. Once you’ve lost weight, it can be easy to never want to step on a scale again. But, tracking your weight is valuable feedback. It can tell you if you’re slipping back into old habits and provide you with information to help you make minor adjustments in your habits. Many people who lose weight stop monitoring themselves and are surprised when, six months later, they step on a scale for the first time and see ten or more extra pounds. Stay on top of it by weighing yourself once a week, and you can deal with it before it becomes a problem. You can also wear a fitness tracker that measures your steps, heart rate, calories, and other input. This data should be used to inform your activity and dietary choices.
- Avoid the small screen. Watching too much television means you are not engaging in other, more active pursuits. Those who watch the least TV tend to have the fewest problems with regaining lost weight, so turn the set off, and find other ways to spend your time.
- Focus on why you eat. Many people have an unhealthy relationship with food that led to their initial weight gain. It’s time to understand why you reach for food, when you are more likely to select unhealthy choices, and how to break these cycles. Track your emotions as they relate to your eating habits and make a note of times when emotions guide your food choices. If you are eating from stress, it is time to find new outlets for stress reduction. If you are lonely or bored, seeking out other people is better than seeking out food. Eating out for anger or other intense emotion indicates a need for different types of support.
- Be more mindful. Learning to focus on just one thing can not only reduce stress but also lead to making better choices. Mindfully eating means being aware of all aspects of the eating experience. This can help you avoid overeating and making unhealthy food choices. Mindfulness makes it easier to recognize when you are full and to stop eating, too.