So you’ve lost the weight… What now? Dieting isn’t easy, but the good news is that once you’ve trimmed down to your goal weight you’ve already crossed the biggest hurdle. Not that keeping off the pounds is an effortless feat. We’ve all seen it happen, someone in our lives gaining everything back months after ending their diet. But that isn’t the story for everyone, and with some willpower and a little diligence you can maintain your new figure without making major sacrifices.
If you lost weight by adopting a healthy and varied diet with an exercise routine then you’re in luck. The trick to keeping the weight off is to simply keep doing what you’re doing! If your weight loss has been fairly consistent and you’re comfortable with the number you’ve achieved you can gradually modify your serving sizes until you’ve reached a level of caloric intake where you’re no longer losing or gaining weight. Do not make the same mistake some dieters do and decide you can slip back into old habits once you’ve reached your goal. If you’ve made healthy changes to your diet and fitness routine they need to become permanent. You’ve put all this work in for a reason! The longer you keep up the good habits you’ve developed the stronger they will become.
If, however, you lost weight with a diet that’s not sustainable long-term, it’s time to learn about and implement a healthy diet. What you eat is a lifestyle choice, not a tool to change how you look. Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely difficult without maintaining a healthy diet. The pounds pile on easier than they come off.
Once you’ve lost weight, maintaining your diet does not have to be a chore and should not be viewed as a choice between what you want to eat and how you want to look. Before someone loses weight, they tended to possess poor eating habits or portion control. While dieting, food intake is monitored rather strictly and “bad” foods are either avoided altogether or worked into a calorie count. The fact is, when maintaining weight loss a happy medium should be met between how eating was approached before and during a strict diet. It’s not an excuse to start drinking soda again, or re-introduce dessert, but eating a cookie once in a while is perfectly fine. Healthy lifestyles do not preclude the occasional indulgence, provided it really is occasional.
Remain vigilant in monitoring your weight for several months after you have reached your goal. Keep in mind that your weight will probably fluctuate by a few pounds between weigh-ins, and this is completely normal. Weight varies due to what we’ve had to eat or drink, our level of hydration, amongst other factors. Set a hard line that you will not go over, something like 7 pounds above your goal weight is reasonable. As soon as this is hit its time to get back into hard diet mode. Remember, it’s much easier to lose 5 or 8 pounds than it is to lose 50 or 80. Some people decide to weigh themselves daily or weekly in perpetuity as part of their normal routine, but this is ultimately a matter of personal preference.