Congratulations! You lost those unwanted pounds and are finally happy with what is staring back at you in the mirror. The road might have been tough, but you did it. Now comes the real test—keeping it off for good. All too often, people who lose weight tend to fall back into old and unhealthy habits that got them to their overweight status leading them back down the path to weight gain. However, you can lose weight and keep it off for good. Here are nine proven ways to make sure those pounds do not find their way back.
1. Stay active. No doubt you achieved weight loss success by including exercise as a part of your lifestyle. Keep it up as you did while trying to lose the weight. Don't assume that you can stop exercising now that the weight is gone. Not only will it help you keep the weight off, but it is good for both your cardiovascular and mental health.
2. Weigh yourself. Sometimes regaining weight creeps up suddenly and you may not realize it until your pants seem tighter or the buttons on your shirt won't fasten. Instead of waiting for that to happen, get on the scale once a week just to make sure you are still where you want to be with regards to your weight. A two to three pound fluctuation is perfectly normal, but if you see the scale continually going in the wrong direction, it's time to reassess your diet and your level of activity.
3. Watch your portion sizes. Continue to be as meticulous with portion sizes as you were when trying to lose the weight. This will result in keeping your calories at a normal amount without much worry. Remember—the smaller the portion, the lower the calories, carbs and fat. Check out these 22 high-tech, Skinny Mom approved food scales to sustain weight loss.
4. Remember why you lost the weight. It may have taken you weeks, months or years to lose the weight, but you should always remember why you wanted to lose it in the first place. Did you have health issues, were you depressed, did you lack energy or have a poor quality of life? Whatever the reason was to lose the weight should be the reason you use to keep it off.
5. Don't go any lower on calories. If you were eating, for example, 1500 calories per day as part of your plan to lose weight, do not go lower even after you reach your goal weight. Why? Dropping too many calories will actually contribute to weight gain which you don't want. Stay where you are in terms of calories, but make sure you're still getting adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Think high volume foods with less calories rather than dropping food altogether.
6. Drink. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Not only is this good for your body, but it will also fill you up which means less bingeing on junk foods that aren't good when you're trying to consistently maintain a healthy weight.
7. Keep a motivational picture in sight. You probably have a few pictures of what you looked like pre-weight loss. Keep them in plain sight as a reminder of how far you've come and why you don't want to go back. Think of those pictures as the beginning of a healthier new chapter in your life.
8. Track your food. This may seem unnecessary now that you've lost the weight, but if you continue tracking what you eat each day, you will hold yourself more accountable by really being able to see what you're eating and if you're going off track and slipping back into old patterns and habits. And because it is right in front of you, you can make any necessary fixes sooner before the weight starts coming back. Here are 12 Skinny Mom approved food journals to help sustain weight loss!
9. Tune in, not out. Many people eat as a result of the way they feel whether it's boredom, stress, fatigue or depression. Don't use food as a way to deal with these emotions and feelings. Always be in tune with your body and how it feels. Don't ignore any signs your body is giving you. There is a reason you feel the way you do, but food should not be the way to deal with it. Address the problem head on without running for the gallon of ice cream or package of cookies. If these feelings were your triggers that got you to your heaviest weight, you were able to overcome them once and should continue to do so now that you are at a healthy weight.
You've come this far and lost the weight. Keep up the hard work that got you to your goal. By now, all the tools you used to lose the weight should be your lifestyle rather than a plan that comes to an end once you are where you want to be. Let others know that you intend on staying the course and not going back to your old ways. Close friends and family can help you stay accountable and remind you of how much you accomplished. Follow these tips and you will definitely be able to keep off the weight for good!