Losing weight is no easy task, but maintaining a trim body often presents a new set of difficulties that leads many dieters to regain their lost weight. Studies have shown that between 80 to 95 percent of dieters regain lost weight, often gaining more than when they started (Tremblay, 2013). The key to maintaining your weight is adopting healthy lifestyle habits that are repeated day in and day out. Keeping extra weight off requires effort and commitment, through changes in eating habits, exercise and state of mind. These five tips will help you maintain, and keep pursuing new challenges to improve your health and fitness.
Tip #1: Stop Restricting Calories
Losing weight through extremely low calorie diets can wreak havoc on your metabolism, leading to chronic fatigue, suppressed immune and thyroid function, and adrenal stress. If you eat less and exercise more in order to lose weight, your body responds by increasing your appetite and lowering your resting metabolic rate, making it increasingly difficult to lose weight (Teta, 2013). In order to maintain your weight loss, you must learn to eat full, balanced meals consisting of lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Tip #2: Acknowledge Progress and Reward Results
Maintaining your weight loss can be done through establishing a routine of healthy habits that become part of your new lifestyle. As time passes and your health and fitness continue to improve, it’s important to acknowledge your progress and continue to reward the results you show. Set weekly and monthly goals, and reward yourself when you hit your targets. Have you completed all of the workouts you committed to? Can you jump out of bed free of back pain? Are you finally starting to see some definition in your abs? Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate!
Tip #3: Stop Wasting Money on Crutches
If you’re considering taking on a second job in order to afford the protein shakes and organic pressed juices, boxed meal programs and supplements that helped you lose the weight, it is time to rethink your priorities. All of these are crutches, and are stopping you from taking control of your diet and sustaining a healthy weight. Take time to analyze your schedule throughout the week, and set a schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Commit to cooking your own meals so you can control the portion sizes and ingredients used, and stick to eating your meals on the same schedule every day.
Tip #4: Stop Sacrificing Sleep
If you suffer from a lack of sleep, your body cannot maintain a regular appetite and eating schedule. Your hormones become imbalanced, stimulating your hunger and decreasing the production of Leptin, which suppresses appetite. If you regularly sleep less than seven hours a night, studies show that you may be as much as 30 percent more likely to be obese than those who sleep nine hours or more (MD-Health, 2013). Avoid watching television or bringing unfinished work in your bedroom, and keep your sleeping environment cool, dark and quiet in order to get the best quality sleep.
Tip #5: Stay Active, Stay Accountable
Finally, if you want to maintain your weight loss, you must stay active and accountable for continuing to live a healthy lifestyle. Just because you have achieved your goal does not mean you should regress back to old habits. Share your success story and tips through a support group or online forum, and find new motivation in inspiring others.