Reaching your goal weight can be equated to the pause in the middle of a roller coaster. You’ve reached your weight loss goal and you’ve been on this roller coaster before. Can you keep it off and stop the roller coaster? Here are some tips to get you on solid ground.
Develop a maintenance plan ASAP! Create or find a structure to keep you from sliding back into your old eating habits and support you in moving forward confidently. One idea is to figure out what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain this new weight. This calculator will estimate how many calories you need based on your gender, age, weight and activity level; use it as your guide. Or make a daily eating plan so that you have a road map and don’t go off course. Whichever approach you choose — one of these or another of your own choosing — it will take practice to make it habit. The good news is that it will become second nature after a while, and one way to do it is going through the S.T.A.R Plan® - Steps To Avoid Regain.
Develop a mantra (or two). Your mindset is one of the biggest keys to your success. Choose two or three mantras and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. You might want to try “Maintaining my weight is easier than losing weight.” Or “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” “I am eating for my health” may encourage you to make healthier choices. When tempted to have that extra piece of cake, you can also remind yourself what you like about being this current weight.
Find motivators to stay on track. Plan a trip where you have to wear a bathing suit. Shop for new clothes that look good and admire yourself when you wear them. (A little vanity doesn’t hurt anyone.) Find other motivators that work for you.
Stock up on healthy snacks. Pack a piece of your favorite fruit, a handful of nuts or a tasty yogurt so you have a satisfying snack for when hunger hits, wherever you may be. This will support you in avoiding the vending machine or the sweets in the office lunch room. Robard provides a variety of portion controlled protein snacks that can be ideal to stay away from those vending machine cravings.
Weigh Yourself Daily. Best way to know if you are gearing up to ride that roller coaster again is to keep a close eye on your weight. If you gain a pound or two, reset your weight by going back on your diet until you return to your goal weight.
Exercise is the magic pill. It’s not a pill, but being active does make it easier to stay on track. You burn more calories, your metabolism gets a boost and your appetite is suppressed for a while after you exercise. You also feel good about yourself. It doesn’t have to be every day and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Choose any activity you enjoy. I have a friend who exercises every other day and has for years. She says she looks forward to it on the off days and looks forward to the off days after she exercises. That has helped her stay motivated for the long term. Find your formula.
We all know that we need more than willpower for the long haul. Use these tips to help build a support structure for your long time weight loss success, and if you are at the beginning of your weight loss journey and would like some assistance fill out our brief Find a Clinic form and we will locate a center near you!
This Guest Blog was written by Sima Michaels Dembo, MPH (pictured, right), who is a health care consultant and writer in North Bethesda, MD. She writes on nutrition, weight loss, exercise and other health care topics. She is the principal of SMD Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in writing on timely health care issues for lay and professional audiences.