Author: Troy Theodosiou
Maintaining weight loss requires continued modification of your lifestyle. If you go back to the habits that caused you to be overweight in the first place, weight gain is inevitable. Permanent weight loss calls for healthy eating and exercise routines, just like the ones you developed while you lost the weight. Many people relax their vigilance too much after they lose weight, then gain it right back.
Don’t crash diet if you want to lose weight and keep it off in the long term
Crash dieting sounds dramatic. And it can be; but not in a positive way. Many people embark on a harsh, low-calorie diet to lose weight quickly. People who crash diet think that “less is more”. But if you diet too hard, too fast, your body will eventually fight back. You could end up in a worse position than when you started.
Losing weight by making drastic changes to your normal diet is bad news for your body and mind. You will lose weight, but it won’t all be from unwanted body fat. You will also lose precious muscle tissue. Your metabolic rate will drop (making it harder to lose weight in the future). And you risk severe food cravings and binges on a crash diet. The rebound effect from crash dieting can be severe. You could be left clueless about how to get back on track.
Keep your motivation high and don’t let setbacks get you off track: If you fall off the wagon, just brush yourself off and return to your winning ways. If you can learn to think like a thin person and act accordingly, you’ll stay thin forever. And the more you practice, the easier it becomes. By the time you get to the maintenance level, chances are you have identified patterns, techniques, and skills that have proved to be helpful in keeping you on track.
Take diet breaks when needed
A diet break is typically a 1-2 week period where you come out of the deficit and back up to your maintenance level for the purpose of briefly allowing many of the things that suck about fat loss (i.e. hormonal and metabolic adaptations) to recover a bit and go back to normal (or at least, closer to normal).
The more you practice something, the easier it becomes. It takes time to etch those healthy habits into a routine. Be patient with yourself, and don’t let all your hard work go down the tubes. Know your weaknesses and be prepared.
- Slow and steady wins the race: Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week so you’re losing fat rather than water and muscle.
- Set goals to keep you motivated: Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident or become healthier for your children’s sake. When temptation strikes, focus on the benefits you’ll reap from being healthier.
- Use tools to track your progress: Smartphone apps, fitness trackers, or simply keeping a journal can help you keep track of the food you eat, the calories you burn, and the weight you lose. Seeing the results in black and white can help you stay motivated.