Maintenance is the holy grail of weight loss.
Having lost and gained hundreds of pounds throughout my life, I am one of those people who can usually lose weight. But keeping it off? Well, that's another story.
I routinely fall off my own wagon, but it doesn't mean I don't know how to drive. I do know that there are certain habits of success that make maintenance an achievable goal.
Here are 5.
When you know better, you do better. Knowing your nutritional plan for the day, or even the week, removes the guess work. Your choices are made; make good ones.
2. Be accountable
Whether you use a paper and pencil or an app like My Fitness Pal or Spark People, track your food. You may not have to do it forever, but knowledge is power. That handful of nuts you grab while cooking may have more of a caloric punch than your anticipated. Know what you're eating. Acknowledge it. Own it.
3. Build community.
I am so blessed to be part of my local gym community. The instructors, trainers and members of my gym are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. We are all working toward a common goal. When we miss a class or haven't been seen in a while, we check in on each other. We are connected in person and on social media, like Facebook. We encourage each other and celebrate each other's success.
Create a community of friends who share your fitness goals. Try a new class. Introduce yourself. If you're not a gym person, see if there's a local fitness club or class offered at a community center or local park. Check out www.meetup.com. Maybe there people who like the exercise you do and are eager to find others who share that fun.
4. Discern between hunger and appetite.
I often mistake hunger and appetite. Hunger is a physical need to eat. Appetite is an emotional desire to eat...also known as head hunger.
I often eat when I am probably thirsty.
I eat when I'm bored or watching tv.
Tune in to your body. It's normal to get hungry every 3-4 hours. Grazing all day...not so much.
Looking for alternatives to snacking? Start here.
5. Get back on the wagon.
We all make mistakes. Eating candy after breakfast or in the middle of the day does not mean you have to start over tomorrow. Acknowledge the bad choice and turn it around. Get back up on the wagon and move forward.Take the emotion and shame out of it. Eat to live.
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy weight?