There is tons of information out there to help you be successful in your weight loss journey, but what happens when you’ve reached your goal?
Does it mean that the work is done and you can celebrate by going for pizza, Fro-yo, and drinks?
While it is definitely a reason to cheer, using non-food items to celebrate your success is the better way to go.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be just as challenging as losing, but with a few tweaks and discipline, you can be rest assured that your hard work will not be undone. Here are 5 ways to maintain your weight loss.
1) consume (a Few!) more calories
Before you tear open that chocolate bar, keep in mind, this does not mean going back to the way that you ate before you started losing weight.
You still need to practice discipline and control when it comes to the foods that you eat. To maintain your weight, on average, you’ll need 300-500 more calories.
For a more accurate number, here is an online calculator. It takes into account your age, weight, and activity level; plug your numbers in to see how many calories you should be eating.
Calorie consumption is so personal and varies from person to person and depends on how active you are.
Another helpful way to determine how many calories you need to eat to maintain is trial and error. Keep a close eye on the scale. If the number begins to climb in the next few weeks, cut back on calories. Conversely, if you find you keep losing weight, try consuming more nutrient-dense calories.
2) resist temptation
People will assume that once you’ve reached your goal all your work is done. So turning down a piece of cake or opting for a salad when eating out might cause the occasional eye roll from onlookers.
You don’t owe them an explanation.
This isn’t to say that you’ll never be able to indulge again, but choose those times wisely and plan ahead.
Consistency is what got you here, and consistency is what will keep you here!
3) get moving!
A great way to maintain your weight is to start a fitness program or join a sport that you’ve always wanted to try.
Maybe in the past, you wanted to take up running, but the extra weight made you feel winded, or you wanted to join a soccer team but feared you wouldn’t be able to keep up.
Now is the time to make fitness a priority; test this new body of yours and see what it can do!
Now that you’ll be consuming more calories, it’s wise to stay active. Working out is also a great way to tone, especially if you’re experiencing loose skin from shedding the pounds.
4) track or keep a food diary
You’ve already made it a part of your routine, so it will be easy to continue to track your calories. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming; many food apps let you input your calories in advance, and it takes the guessing game out of trying to figure out what to eat. And it’s simple to go in and make changes should you eat something different.
Studies have shown that logging your food choices can help you lose and maintain weight. Tracking forces you to be accountable; the little bites here and there add up, so tracking may deter you from mindless snacking.
Another fabulous thing about monitoring your intake is that it enables you to see trends in your food choices and behavior. Having the information in front of you makes it easy to spot what worked for you versus what didn’t.
5) nurture your mental health
The number on the scale isn’t going to determine your happiness. It’s not going to change your personality, your financial situation or enable you to find yourself spiritually; weight loss one tool in your overall health and well-being.
It is so important to focus on your well-being in addition to diet. Managing stress and doing things to promote good mental health should be included in this journey to a better you.
Many people assume that they’ll be happy once they reach their goal, which is why it can be discouraging when there isn’t a big change. Find something to fill that void that doesn’t involve food.
Why not try doing some volunteer work, or inspire others to lose weight since your an expert now!
You’ve done a ton of work and developed habits that have contributed to your success, and that is something to celebrate! By continuing to make healthy choices, you can feel confident that you’ll be able to maintain that weight loss that you worked so hard for.