Losing weight is not easy, but maintaining it off long-term is where people tend to fight the most. The statistic often stated, is that only 5 percent of those who lose weight are able to maintain it long term. Whether this is accurate or not, it is clear that regaining weight is something many can relate to.
There are many selections at our fingertips to help with losing weight. Diets, juice fasts, shakes, detoxes, calorie or food group limiteds and intense fitness programs can all help you lose weight initially. Plus, the initial motive and exhilaration you feel to reach a weight that you’re happiest with, helps you stay on track.
But once you reach your goals and life starts throwing obstacles your way, the motivation and exhilaration you felt in getting to that phase fades-out. It is difficult to maintain the weight loss you achieved for life. Though, it is not impossible; not if you adopt lifestyle habits that last, well, for a lifetime.
Below I am sharing five secrets to help you lose weight and keep it off for good. I know from experience. Each of these have helped me achieve long-term weight loss, while I still enjoy foods I love and living life more now than ever.
1. Don’t Diet
Diets connote an end point, unrealistic goals, like as losing a lot of weight in only 30 days and typically come with unpleasant and unsustainable rules or changes.
By the time you reach your goal weight or end point, you most likely feel deprived. Since it took so much willpower and felt difficult at times, you want to reward yourself. Rewards can be a great motivator, but often come in the form of favorite indulgences, which can lead down a route of regaining the weight that was lost.
Even if you continue eating healthy after a diet, you haven’t necessarily learned a sustainable and enjoyable approach to weight loss and maintenance. To be successful at both, it is important to adopt new lifestyle habits that work best for you. These lifestyle habits can look different for everyone and suit personal schedules, predilections and aims. The lifestyle approach offers so much more flexibility and allows the process to actually be enjoyable.
2. Make realistic short and long-term goals
The saying slow and steady wins the race applies to weight management among many other things. Diets promising drastic weight loss in a short sum of period are typically too good to be true, and even if they deliver on the promise, what happens when it’s over?
Those that are successful in losing weight and maintaining it off, make small goals that help them achieve their larger aim. For instance, a small goal could be walking 5,000 more steps a day or cutting sugary liquor consumption down by half. Making small, manageable changes over time is helpful to develop a new routine, rather than trying to master many changes at once.
The long-term goal comes in handy when you feel less motivated or don’t feel like following through with a short-term goal. Long-term aims give purpose to the short term ones and can help you stay on track. The bigger goals that keep you going aren’t necessarily as simple as losing 50 pounds; they’re more like, fitting into your old favorite dress, being able to keep up with the children and feeling more confident in a bathing suit. These various kinds of goals are typically the true motivators.
3. Abolish cheating
Knowing when to indulge and when to cut back is important in the lifestyle approach. Indulgences are not considered cheating and weekends consisting of a happy hour, a BBQ with friends and skipping the gym are not considered falling off the wagon. It’s considered balance, and those with this in mind, think nothing of getting right back to their routine of healthy eating and exercising after allowing some fun indulgences. In a lifestyle scheme, “were not receiving” diet or strict rules, so there’s no cheating.
4. Manage stress and feelings in other routes than food
Emotional eating is one of the main factors contributing to overindulging in comfort foods that are high in carbohydrates, fats and calories. Those utilizing the lifestyle approach often realize that this ritual doesn’t actually construct them feel better. It typically feeds impressions of guilt and failure, causes sugar accidents that worsen those feelings and constructs it difficult to get back to a healthier eating pattern.
It’s impossible to completely separate feelings from feeing, but it’s better to refocus the feelings to positive ones and associate eating with nourishing the body, enjoying day with friends and family and feeling energized, happy and healthy afterwards. This style, preferring healthier foods becomes enjoyable.
Other ways to manage stress and negative emotions are meditating, finding a workout you love like yoga, stroll, swimming, CrossFit, Barre or spending period doing other enjoyable activities like playing an instrument or learning a new ability. The prospects are endless, and can help you improve your wellbeing as well as preserve weight loss.
5. Plan and prepare
Life can get busy and depleting. Between working long hours, never aiming to-do lists and traveling, it’s no wonder you’d wishes to rely on fast and convenient snack and snack alternatives. Opting less healthy foods to save day can take its toll after the years, but can cause fatigue and weight gain in the present. Those who successfully lose weight and keep it off long term, plan ahead to avoid relying on foods of convenience.
Anticipate the bumps in the road that make you less motivated or hurl you off track, like having no time, being tired and feeling emphasized. Then scheme how you’ll make it easier to keep going when obstacles arise.
Meal planning and preparing for the week is one of the most common ways to stimulate healthier life and feeing easier. Simply plan meals based on what’s in season, on sale, or what you’re craving. Then, dedicate a couple hours at the start of the week to prepare, like clean and chop ingredients, pre-make the time consuming components and even portion dinners so they’re “re ready for” you to grab and go.
I hope we can take a collective stand against dieting, say no to deprivation, extreme calorie or food group regulation and adopt habits that promote health, weight management and enjoying life. Very few people are able to lose weight and keep it off long term, but approaching it in a different way than dieting can make all the difference and help many more succeed.
Those extra pounds likely took years to put on, so there are no quick fixes in losing them and keeping them off. It’s nearly impossible to build drastic changes in a short quantity of time. It’s best to adopt healthy habits slowly and sustain them. Maintaining these five approaches to weight loss in intellect, can assist you reach your goals and enjoy the process while allowing for flexibility.
Starting slow and adopting simply one at a time can still prove great benefits.