You’ve been working really hard on your weight loss goals and are finally seeing the results you hoped for. It’s been too hard of a journey to let it all go to waste, and you’ve worked too hard to lose everything you’ve achieved...
Here’s how to make your weight loss success stick for good so you don’t end up back where you started:
- Change your lifestyle – A healthy body doesn’t come from crash diets that drastically slash calories and only allow you to eat cabbage and drink apple cider vinegar water. Success in your weight loss, and the ability to maintain it comes from making a lifestyle change: adopting healthy habits that you can maintain over long periods of time and that will be your new way of living, not simply something you do for a few months. When you have reached your goal weight, don’t let your new healthy habits fall to the wayside. Maintain your new routine and continue to eat healthier foods, exercise more often and eliminate sugary processed items from your diet. These habits are what will ensure your success long-term and stop you from piling the pounds back on.
- Commit to feeling good – Listen to your body, pay attention to your hunger cues, know when you’re full and should stop eating and know when you should give in and treat yourself. Just commit to feeling good. Commit to waking up each day full of energy and ready to tackle your challenges and to feel good about yourself. Commit to making sacrifices and saying no to things you know will make you feel less than your best, like three nights in a row eating out, or greasy breakfast takeout and too many glasses of wine. You know the things that set you up for success and set you up for failure, now it’s time to put those into practice and make sure you stay on track.
- Exercise 5 days a week – You may have exercised before to help you burn extra calories so you could reach a caloric deficit and lose weight. Now you need to exercise to maintain that weight loss and to maintain your self-confidence and feel good about yourself. Don’t let exercise becomes something you de-prioritize or let fall by the wayside. It can go a long way in helping you maintain your physical and mental wellbeing, and of course in keeping those pounds from creeping back on.
- Leave room for treats - Success doesn’t come from depriving yourself or putting things off limits and having no-go foods. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance in your new lifestyle, where you don’t feel like you are constantly depriving yourself of the things that you like, but where you aren’t eating only bad foods and failing to maintain a healthy diet. Set an appropriate limit for yourself, such as one treat a day, or a treat on certain days of the week. This ensures you are still getting the things you want, but that you are conscious of how many of them you are consuming and that you aren’t simply mindlessly eating bad food. Complete deprivation will simply lead you to binge on them sooner or later, so you are better off giving yourself reasonable boundaries and sticking to them.
- Check in – Have a way of checking in with yourself and your body to see if you are headed back down the wrong path. For example, maybe you worked so hard to lose weight so you could fit into a particular dress. Try that dress on every few weeks to make sure you can still fit into it and that you haven’t let the pounds start to creep up again. Another option is to have someone in your life to help you stay accountable, such as a spouse or a best friend. It needs to be someone who you see often who can remind you of how great you are looking when you seem to be reaching for the chips a little too often, or who can kick your butt into gear when you haven’t been exercising lately. You don’t have to be in it alone: seek support to help you maintain your success.