You’ve struggled hard, pushing yourself to exercise daily while saying no to cheat meals. After many months of this painstaking effort, you have finally reached your goal weight! This is an incredible accomplishment that is worth being proud of.
But one thing still worries you: can you keep the pounds off now that the diet is ‘over’?
There are countless stories of people who lose weight but end up gaining all of it back (or even more!), and this can be frightening. You hate the thought that all of your effort may end up going to waste, right? This is something that many dieters worry about.
Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid the simple mistakes that lead to weight gain. This post will help you transition from “weight loss” to “weight control” easily.
The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss
First of all: You can’t just starve yourself for a few months and then go back to your old lifestyle.
People usually gain their weight back because they start eating a huge amount of junk food again, or just way more calories than their body really needs. These bad eating habits are what made them overweight in the first place, so it’s only natural that they start putting on the pounds again when they let go of their discipline.
Basically, what it means is that the most effective way to lose weight is by building good habits that you will continue even after reaching your goal. There is no replacement for a healthy lifestyle. You shouldn’t think of dieting as one extremely difficult short-term ordeal that you have to get through, but a bunch of gradual healthy changes that you can live with.
While that might sound intimidating to someone who hasn’t tried it yet, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be if you take things a step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once! For example, many people start their diets by giving up soft drinks during the first week, then chocolate or fast food the next week. This kind of ‘dieting’ is easier to maintain than just starving yourself, and it has a higher success rate too.
Now if you have already reached your goal weight, what you need to do is to find your new ‘normal’.
That means you need to come up with a balanced meal plan that still cuts out most of the bad stuff like junk food, but has enough calories and nutrients to meet your daily needs.
Otherwise, you might find yourself just eating whatever you want, whenever you want, without even realizing how much of that is going to your flab.
5 Tips to Help You Keep the Pounds Off for Good
Of course, staying motivated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be hard. Here are some tips on keeping your weight loss results once you’re finished ‘dieting’.
- Be consistent with meals - Having your meals at a set time every day helps prevent unconscious snacking, and makes it easier to track the calories you consume. This is one of the most helpful tips for weight control.
- Continue exercising - Even if you don’t hit the gym, make sure to at least do light cardio every day. Don’t slide back into a sedentary lifestyle! The more you exercise, the healthier your body will be and the easier it is to keep your calorie intake under control.
- Learn to cook - If you haven’t yet, try learning how to prepare your own food. Eating out all the time can sabotage your weight loss. Cooking at home is often both healthier and cheaper, so it pays to know at least a few nutritious and yummy recipes.
- Watch the scale - Don’t forget to weigh yourself at least once a month to make sure that the pounds aren’t creeping back without you noticing! While a person’s weight may fluctuate, it shouldn’t be by more than a few pounds.
- Reward yourself - Finally, don’t forget to have a planned cheat meal every now and then (but no more than once a week). This will help prevent binge eating. The cheat meal shouldn’t be excessive, but enough of a treat that you will look forward to it.
Weight loss can be very difficult, so successfully pulling it off is always worth celebrating. Keep yourself accountable and don’t take your achievement for granted. Enjoy having a much healthier lifestyle, and all of the good that comes with it!