Lose Weight and Keep It Off
If you're reading this article, chances are you've met your weight-loss goal. Give yourself a pat on the back, but it's not over yet. For many people, the most difficult part of losing weight is maintaining the weight loss. It's not dieting that's terrible difficult, it's adjusting the rest of your life to keep that weight off. If we change the way we think about dieting and weight loss, we'll help ourselves maintain a healthy weight for the rest of our lives.
A Lifestyle Change
The key to keeping that weight off is to adapt to new foods and eating habits. You probably feel an extreme sense of relief and accomplishment for having met your weight loss goal, and you should. Where people go wrong here is when they feel they can now quit the diet and still keep their new shape. It's important to realize that for many people, maintaining weight loss may be a life-long challenge. Especially as we age, our bodies find it more and more difficult to lose weight and much easier to gain. Adapting new habits now will affect your body for the rest of your life.
No More Deprivation Dieting
Chances are you're pretty tired of the bland, boring diet that helped you lose those pounds in the first place. Now is the time to revamp your diet and eating style to incorporate fun, delicious foods that are just as healthy for you. Grab a new cookbook or two; there are tons out there dedicated to healthy eating. Seek out an ethnic cookbook for new flavors and food ideas - try Thai, Mediterranean, or Italian for fun ideas. Go vegetarian once in a while for more variety and flavors. Build an accumulation of basic recipes that you can whip up when hungry. Once you're familiar with new flavors, food combinations, and ingredients, you will have so much variety in your diet. Eventually you won't need the cookbooks at all.
Track Your Progress
You probably tracked your weight as you worked to lose it. Don't give up that habit! Studies have shown that people who continue to track their weight are much more likely to keep it off. Keep a chart by the bathroom scale and continue tracking. If you notice a few pounds weight gain you'll be more likely to address it immediately.
Find Your Motivation
Before, you probably used a number, your ideal weight, as motivation to stick to the diet and exercise plan. Now that you've met your weight, what's the motivation to keep it off? Figure out why it's important for you personally to maintain your current weight. Write that reason down, tell friends what it is, or make a picture or collage. Put that statement where you will see it regularly; remembering that eating well is a choice and not a punishment will help you maintain focus, dedication and enthusiasm.
It's also important to re-asses your diet and exercise habits. You may want to explore new exercise classes or take up a sport. Many gyms or cities have adult leagues people can join. Take a cooking class or two to learn some new food and eating techniques. Keep an interest in food and physical activity will also help you maintain your enthusiasm and your ideal weight.