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Maintaining weight loss after dieting

Feet_on_scaleMaintaining weight loss after dieting can be tricky. Now you’re down to your ideal weight, what’s stopping you from putting it all back on again? I mean after all, you no longer have to watch every single thing that goes into your mouth. You can indulge a little more. Right?

Wrong.

Maintaining your weight is an ongoing process. You shouldn’t, and can’t, forget about it once you’ve reached your target weight – at least not unless you enjoy the weight loss process and want to go through it all again!

So here are five tips and techniques to help ensure you keep the weight off:

1. Exercise.

It’s easy to lose momentum on the fitness routine once you’ve reached your ideal weight, but in fact this is the best time to keep going. You’re fitter, leaner, stronger and healthier than ever, so why stop working out?

Instead, vary your workouts. Try something new. Talk a friend, partner or family member into doing it with you. Challenge each other by creating new fitness goals. Aim to run a half marathon, or get back into tennis that you loved so much when you were a kid.

Whatever activity you choose, make sure you enjoy it and keep doing it. You’ll continue to feel better because of it, and most importantly, keep the weight off.

2. Don’t skip meals.

Skipping meals means your metabolism will slow down and your body will start storing fat, since it doesn’t know when its next meal will be.

So the best thing to do is to drink lots of water and continue eating healthy, low calorie meals. If you feel hungry between mealtimes, choose a healthy snack over a bag of crisps.

3. Weigh yourself weekly.

One of the most successful ways for dieters to maintain their weight loss is by regularly stepping on the scales.

Set yourself a time and day each week to check in and make sure you’re staying on track. If you’ve gained (or lost) weight in that week, try to figure out why. Look back at the food and drink consumed and the exercise you’ve done to see where you went wrong, or right!

4. Keep a food & exercise diary.

As touched on in the previous tip, it’s important to look at what you’re eating and drinking, and how much exercise you’re doing in order to stay on track.

There are plenty of meal and exercise diaries available to buy, but you can easily create your own. Simply chart out each day and break the day into sections.

  • Morning
  • Afternoon
  • Evening

Then within those columns, have space to write the food, drink and exercise you’ve consumed and done. Don’t worry, you’re not expected to exercise every day, but it just allows you to track everything you’re doing to maintain your weight loss.

So your plan could look something like this:

  • Monday
    • Morning:
      • Food: …
      • Drink: …
      • Exercise: …
    • Afternoon:
      • Food: …
      • Drink: …
      • Exercise: …
    • Evening:
      • Food: …
      • Drink: …
      • Exercise: …

Then at the end of each week weigh yourself and write it on your weekly diary.

You’ll soon start to see what works for you to maintain, or lose, weight, and those week’s where for one reason or another you’ve slacked. This method allows you to continually adjust your diet and keep to your target weight.

5. Stay positive.

And finally, staying positive. Being motivated is a state of mind. The more positive you are about your weight loss, weight management and weight in general, the more motivated you’ll be to stick with it.

Celebrate your successes – fitting back into your favourite pair of jeans; running that half marathon – but don’t be too hard on yourself when things haven’t gone quite as well. Dust off those days when you’ve eaten a bar of chocolate or couldn’t be bothered to hit the gym, and start fresh the next day. You’ll be far more likely to succeed.

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