Losing a significant amount of weight is a great achievement. But now that you’ve lost the weight, you need to shift your strategy to make it last. Maintaining weight loss requires a different approach than losing weight because the food is no longer the main focus. Here are a few things you can do to be a successful weight maintainer:
Make the transition seamless
Losing weight in a way that is close to what maintaining will feel like can bring about the most success. If you lost weight on an unusual diet where you only ate one type of food or were on a liquid meal plan, it makes transitioning more difficult. You need to lose weight by eating a wholesome diet and incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine. This will help build healthier, long-lasting patterns.
Effective weight maintainers often log up to 200 minutes a week of physical activity. What type of exercise you do isn’t that important, you just need to move more, even if it’s a brisk walk. Successful maintainers are often more active than people who have always been at a healthy weight because they are dedicated to keeping the weight off.
Limited screen time
Decreasing your screen time means you have more time for fitness, being outside and more productive activities. It’s healthy to watch less than 10 hours of TV a week, but the average American adult watches around 28. TV time also means snack time for many people, so by cutting down on screen time and increasing activity there is the benefit of additional calorie burn and reducing unhealthy eating.
Consistent eating habits
Successful weight maintainers stick to a set of foods they know they’ll be successful with. You need to be consistent at all times, which means not splurging on weekends, holidays or other special occasions.
Accomplishing any goal feels more attainable when you have a support system. Social support is linked to weight loss and maintenance in both research and anecdotes from couples, friends and family. Whether you make a date with a gym buddy or work on getting 10,000 steps together, sharing maintenance plans with a support system helps you stay accountable.
Get enough sleep
When we don’t get enough sleep, we rely on more food to energize us through the day. Unfortunately, sleep-deprived cravings are usually not the most nutritious option. Skimping on sleep won’t ruin weight maintenance, but sufficient rest is essential for overall health.
Track progress, but don’t fixate
When you’re trying to maintain weight, it’s important to weigh yourself regularly. However, you need to keep the number on the scale in perspective. There will always be fluctuations based on other things than fat tissue, whether it’s fluid retention or gastrointestinal problems. Don’t let the number on the scale discourage you and determine how you feel about yourself for the day.