Losing weight is hard, hard work. You need to make yourself a diet that works, stick to that diet every day, and put in your time working out as well. There are a thousand little sacrifices that go along with losing weight and making it to your goal. So once you do hit that goal, you want to celebrate. All that hard work is over, now you just have to maintain the weight you’re at; no problem, right? But the issue with so many diets is exactly that: dieting can help you lose weight, but unless you want to live on that specific diet for the rest of your life, dieting can’t help you keep off the weight you lose. In order to maintain a healthy weight once you’ve hit your goal, you’ll need to figure out sustainable ways to keep yourself there. Here are some tips to help you accomplish that.
Don’t Do Crash Diets
The most important part of any diet plan you make is that it be sustainable. The issue with crazy diets like the cabbage soup or grapefruit diet is, they might help you lose weight quickly, but there’s no way that you’ll eat nothing but cabbage soup for the rest of your life. If you treat your diet as a path to a fixed goal, and something you can drop as soon as you get there, then it will not be successful. The moment you revert to your old eating habits, you’ll just gain all of the weight that you lost back, and you won’t garner any long term benefit. Even worse, many of those crash diets are just bad for your health. You don’t get all of the nutrients that you need for proper function, and such harsh restriction can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Getting to your target weight doesn’t mean that you get to stop exercising. By far, those who are able to keep their weight off are those who get regular exercise. It doesn’t need to be necessarily the same intensity as the workout that got you here, though maintaining that couldn’t be a bad idea. Still even if you just make sure to walk every day, it will go a long way in maintaining your weight. As long as you don’t allow yourself to fall into sedentary patterns, then you’ll be able to keep your metabolism going strong.
Do It Together
When the only one you’re disappointing is yourself, it’s a lot easier to make excuses and let your weight slip. If you can involve others in your journey, then just the knowledge that someone else is paying attention might be enough. Friends, partners, an online group, no matter what it is, having other people involved helps keep you accountable. Especially once you’ve managed to lose all the weight you were intending to, it’s very easy to allow yourself to slip, and having social support could be the thing you need to keep yourself honest.
Watch Less TV
A bit of television watching can be enriching, especially when you are watching something because you’re specifically seeking it out, and have a fixed amount that you are planning on watching. However, having a habit where you get home and turn on “whatever’s on” is a great way to lose progress on your weight loss. Having the TV on all evening is a sort of mind control that keeps you fixed in your seat and not burning calories. Furthermore, there’s a reason movie theaters sell popcorn; when you sit idle, the desire to eat grows. Sitting on the couch glued to the TV becomes a sort of unrestrained snack time. If you do want to watch shows, that’s fine. If you want, you can use that to your advantage, setting up a treadmill where you watch TV and making sure to get exercise while you’re viewing.
Fixed Diet Plan
If you’re coming off a stricter diet and you’re figuring out what you can eat to maintain your weight, high variety is something to avoid. When you’re eating a ton of different foods, it's hard to keep track of the calories and nutritional qualities of each one. You can loosen your diet a bit, but still make sure that you’re eating similar things in similar amounts every day, so that your body can be used to the regime and so that you can be sure of the nutritional quality in everything you eat. It’s ok to occasionally cheat, but make sure that the brunt of your diet is relatively fixed.
Get Enough Sleep
One factor that unites most people who are able to lose weight and keep it off is that they get enough sleep. If you don’t sleep enough, your body won’t be working at its peak capacity, which interferes in the proper functioning of your metabolism and your digestion. Even worse, when you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t have enough energy to go through your day. We rely on food for energy, so when the body is low on energy, it craves food, which will make it even harder to stick to your diet on days when you had less sleep. Make sure to get 8 hours every night, in particular by making sure you go to bed at the same time every day, and not allowing yourself to oversleep.
Keep Track of Your Weight
Regularly weighing in is very important when you’re losing weight, so that you can see exactly what progress you’re making, and determine what’s working and what doesn’t. It’s possible, though, that keeping track is even more important once you’ve actually lost it. When you’re losing weight, you should have a basic idea of your trajectory, but when you’ve already lost it, it’s very easy to start gaining it back without realizing it. Weighing yourself regularly will make sure that you aren’t slipping back into your old weight patterns without being aware that it’s happening.