Losing weight isn’t easy, there’s no doubt about that. But sometimes, maintaining weight loss can be even harder. Once you start getting close to your goals, you may find that you ease up a little on your regimen. You may start to eat a little more or exercise a little less. You may find that you’re just not as diligent about counting calories.
While this is normal, it’s not a trap you want to fall into. After you do all that hard work to lose the weight, the last thing you need is to gain it back because you slowly veer off track. Believe it or not, there are actually a few habits that those who are successful at keeping off weight have in common – and we’re going to share that with you.
Do Some Physical Activity Every Day
According to research, one of the biggest predictors of how successful you’ll be with long-term weight loss is exercise. Research actually goes a step further to say that while proper nutrition is number one when trying to lose weight, regular exercise is number one when trying to maintain that weight loss.
The more you move every day, the better – so try to turn a sedentary lifestyle into an active one.
Pay Attention to Portions
Even if the food on your plate is healthy, it’s still possible to eat too much of it. Calories count – whether they’re coming from baked chicken or macaroni and cheese. Sure, you can eat more of the chicken, but if you eat too much of it, it adds up – and can sabotage your weight loss. Fill your plate with mostly veggies and keep your portions in check.
Monitor Your Progress
The scale isn’t always the best indicator of your weight, but it can definitely serve to monitor your progress and keep you on track. If you weigh yourself daily, for example, you’re able to identify when you’re starting to get off track more easily. If you see the scale move up a couple pounds, you know it’s time to get back on track. If you only weigh yourself once a year or every few months, you may gain a significant amount of weight back before you even realize it. Don’t get too caught up in what the actual number is, but just use the scale as a tool to keep you where you want to be.
Make Healthy Food a Part of Your Life
Maintaining weight loss is all about making healthy choices your lifestyle. There’s no way you can stick to a diet forever, so don’t think of it like that. You’re allowed to indulge every once in a while, but just make sure to get right back on track after. Don’t let one indulgent meal turn into a weekend binge. Focus on eating lots of fiber-rich fruits and veggies, lean meats, and healthy fats most of the time.
Find Ways to Deal with Stress
A lot of people tend to turn to food as a source of comfort during stressful or emotionally difficult times, but this can quickly lead to gaining back the weight you lost. Instead of turning to food, find something else that can help you relieve your stress. Try a yoga class or learn about deep breathing. Keep a journal. These are all healthy ways to reduce stress without taking in extra calories.
Research also shows that keeping the weight off gets easier over time. According to research done by Brown Medical School, those who keep the weight off for two to five years are more likely to keep it off for good, so hang in there! Follow these tips to make the new you the lasting you.