Lost Weight? Here’s How to Avoid Gaining It Back
You lost the weight you wanted to shed – congratulations! Celebrate, treat yourself to a new outfit, a trip somewhere nice, or whatever reward you had planned for when you hit your goal weight – then get back to work. Because now, you have a new focus: maintenance. Preventing yourself from gaining weight requires a different approach than losing the weight in the first place. Here are some tips to help you on your lifelong journey.
- Do it for you. Take some time to determine what’s really important to you and how it relates to your weight loss. Whether you want to run a 5K or be there to see your grandkids grow up, let these goals drive your desire to maintain your new, healthy weight.
- Don’t skimp on exercise. It’s possible to lose weight based on diet alone, but exercise is crucial to maintain that weight loss. People who have lost a substantial amount of weight are much more likely to keep it off when they exercise – even a daily walk.
- Deal with your baggage. You can no longer turn to food when you’re stressed, sad, or anxious. Instead, find new ways to handle unpleasant emotions, whether through walking, jogging, gardening, yoga, or even talking with a friend.
- Find support. Everyone needs a support system, and this goes double for you. Find like-minded friends or family who will help keep you accountable and maybe even join you in preparing healthy meals or exercising, at least some of the time.
- Limit screen time. The time you spend in front of your phone, tablet, computer, or TV tends to be idle time – and also time when it’s all too easy to overeat. So set a time limit for these activities and stick to it. Limiting screen time will undoubtedly help you stay more active overall.
- Weigh often. This goes against the popular advice to limit your weigh-ins to once a week, but when you’re trying to maintain a specific weight, it’s helpful to know immediately if you’ve gained. And have a plan for when your weight creeps up past where you want it, such as skipping dessert or cutting portion sizes for a few days or weeks.
The longer you practice your new habits, the easier it becomes. These strategies can help you keep the number on the scale where you worked so hard to get it.