The Secrets Of Sticking To A Healthy Weight
From Free Stock Photos
As many of our readers will know, losing weight is a huge challenge, and once you’ve hit a certain target, it can feel like summiting Everest. From there, you have an entirely new challenge to worry about – maintaining a healthy weight. This is an issue that’s been causing even the most diligent dieters to slip up for years, and putting on weight again, or even slipping below a healthy BMI, is much easier than some people seem to think. If you’ve managed to reach your weight goal, and you don’t intend on letting it slip through your fingers, this post is for you. Here, we’ve listed some of the most effective strategies for keeping your body at the weight you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Make the Transition from Loss to Maintenance as Easy as Possible
If you’re getting close to your weight loss goal, and reading this post more in preparation, then you should go out of your way to make the transition as smooth as possible. Try losing weight in a way that feels fairly close to what maintaining a certain weight will feel like, and minimize the drastic changes that can cause people to falter. If you’ve been losing weight through an unusual diet, for example if you’re only eating one kind of food or sticking to a liquid meal plan, it can be very difficult to transition yourself to plain maintenance. Sure, you know what you have to do to help along your weight loss, and this has become a force of habit, but now you have to relearn the habits it takes to stick to a normal, healthy diet. Try to get used to a normal, healthy diet as soon as possible. In an ideal situation, you should be making the transition in a series of small, incremental steps. This will facilitate your step from sweeping change to consistent maintenance.
Stop Depriving Yourself
From Max Pixel
If you don’t eat enough calories on a day-to-day basis, you’re almost certain to start eating later on. Perhaps you’ve been on a strict diet that imposed limits on the amount of calories you took in, but it’s going to be near impossible to stick to these strict quotas now that you’ve hit the goal you set for yourself. The one thing you should never do is let it get to a point where you feel like you’re starving – where your belly’s constantly growling and grumbling for lack of sustenance. Once you reach this point, every healthy eating strategy you’ve been sticking to for so long will be forgotten as you rush towards the promise of a double cheeseburger with a milkshake pairing. Your body has changed a lot over the course of your diet, and you need to adjust your dietary habits accordingly. If you’re straining yourself too much to make healthy decisions, it’s almost certain to come back to bite you.
Treat Yourself, Just in Small Doses
If you love raspberry ripple ice-cream, but you’ve quit it for good, this self-imposed limitation may cause some problems further down the line. This is tied in closely with our earlier point. The longer you carry on without allowing yourself some kind of treat, the greater your risk will be of breaking down, and wolfing through a pint of that delectable cold stuff in one sitting! From there, you’ll gradually grind down all the rules you’ve set for yourself, and a bad body image or a pinched nerve will be just around the corner. Everything, as you’ve probably heard, is fine in moderation. You can make self-imposed moderation easier by getting your favorite treats in individually wrapped packs, or creating your own servings out of the larger container. The take-home point here is that you should never try to convince yourself you “can’t” have something. As we all know from experience, it can be pretty easy to crave the things we can’t have.
Eat Less Food, But More Often
To keep yourself from feeling deprived and starving, and in turn, picking up the phone and calling your favorite pizza place, it’s a good idea to eat less food, just more often. Small meals simply don’t mesh with everyone’s weight-maintenance plans, but if you want to keep feeling satisfied for longer periods of the day, then spreading out your set meals is a great way to do this. By eating five or six smaller meals, you can make a massive, positive difference to your energy levels, and how good you feel overall. When you tend towards larger, heavier meals on the other hand, your body will only find them harder to digest, which can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. Smaller, yet more frequent meals are the best way to keep yourself feeling light, while still keeping a tight handle on your cravings.
Drink More Water
In some cases, what feels like hunger can often just be thirst playing tricks. If you’re always getting cravings to stroll down to the vending machine in the hall, make a point to keep yourself nicely hydrated before you give into your desire for a snack. It’s common knowledge that most of us should be drinking more water, but this can be tough when you’re busy trying to hit deadlines, rushing to meetings, and taking care of small children. Still, it’s been shown that drinking water is a great way to fight off cravings when your body really doesn’t need any food. One great way to make sure you’re getting enough water is bringing a large bottle with you to work, and aiming to finish it by the end of the day. This sets a clear goal, and by taking occasional sips here and there, you’ll be able to achieve it fairly easily. You might want to add a tasty dash of berries, cucumber slices, or citrus fruit to keep yourself sipping.
Choose your Snacks Wisely
We all snack, and despite what some magazines and blogs might tell you, that’s not a bad thing! However, it’s the choices we make in terms of snacks that can really get us into trouble with our weight goals. When it comes to things that are full of white flour and sugar, such as cakes and cookies, you’ll get a little burst of energy, but then inevitably crash, and lose that powerful can-do feeling before you can get stuck into work. When you’re feeling tired, stressed or frustrated, it can be very tempting to reach for these kinds of “comfort snacks”. However, your body needs actual fuel, not just something that tastes good and feels good for a few minutes. Try to ditch the chips and cookies, and replace them with healthier options. Here are a few suggestions:
– Halved apple covered in almond butter
– A handful of raw almonds
– Low-fat yoghurt topped with frozen raspberries, flax seeds, or both
– Vegetable sticks with humus or a similarly healthy dip
– Low-sodium vegetable or fruit juice
– Celery sticks and peanut butter
Review your Plate at Meals
Your plate at mealtimes is often a great indicator of whether you’re going to have a hard time maintaining your ideal weight or not. If you’re piling it up with meat, along with simple carbs such as pasta, bread and potatoes, you’re going to have a lot of trouble sticking to your intended weight. An ideal plate should be roughly half vegetables, a quarter wholegrains and a quarter protein. Like most of us, you might have that internal inner child sticking their tongue out at the very mention of vegetables. However, if you’re picturing half of your plate full of raw carrots, this certainly isn’t your only option. Try eating some chopped raw broccoli, garnished with dill and low-fat yoghurt, sprinkled with crushed almonds or pomegranate seeds. This is just one of the tasty creations that will ensure you’re getting enough nutrients, without having to force down any of your food. The possibilities really are endless, so start experimenting with different veg and seasoning combos until you find one you can’t get enough of!
Eat More Whole Foods
If you’re striving to maintain a healthy weight, one thing you should certainly do is trade out pre-packaged and processed meals for more whole foods. If you need some ideas, have a wander around your nearest farmer’s market when the opportunity comes up next. There’s usually a huge range of wholefoods here, which are generally much more colorful and appealing than the things you’ll find boxed up in your supermarket. If you know you’re not much in the kitchen, wholefoods can be a little daunting. However, a lot of fresh, seasonal farmers’ produce doesn’t take too much work. Simple preparation and presentation is best for a lot of them, and you won’t have to worry about grinding for ages over a hot stove to make your meal. Obviously, it can be a little tough to abandon all those pre-prepared, diet-friendly meals with their calorie counts printed clearly on the packaging. However, these aren’t going to hold the nutrition your body needs to keep healthy.