Congratulations! You’ve taken the first steps toward losing weight and living a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle. Now that you’ve lost some pounds and are feeling better than ever, it’s time to shift strategies and focus on keeping off that weight for good. Here are some tried-and-true ways to maintain your weight loss and overall health for the long haul.
This may sound counterintuitive, but eating three healthy meals and a few snacks each day will never give your body a chance to feel hungry. You will be far less likely to overeat or overindulge in unhealthy snacks, and your metabolism will work at a steady rate, burning calories and keeping you lean.
Don’t Overindulge in High-fat Additions
Salads are a great choice for any meal, but if you pile on the cheese, croutons, and heavy dressing, you are probably adding way more calories than you think. Just a slice of cheddar on your sandwich adds 100 calories to your meal. Instead, opt for healthy, but flavorful additions – sunflower seeds, grainy mustard, onions, pickles, or extra veggies. You don’t want to nix your favorite foods altogether, just think of them as rewards and not your day-to-day reality.
Schedule Your Workouts
You are much more likely to stick to a workout routine if you write it down. Just like grocery shopping and doctor appointments, your exercise routine is too important to skip. Sit down each week and pencil in your physical activities. If you know you have a crunch-day at work, try to make up for it by exercising longer on another day. Your body will thank you for making it a priority.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
This is such an easy way to consume fewer calories. Instead of drinking coffee each morning, soda in the afternoon, and a cocktail after work … aim to drink lots of water instead. Water will hydrate your body, plump up your skin, keep your cells working more efficiently, and keep your appetite in check. Water is the elixir of life, with zero calories and countless health benefits. Keep your water bottle full and at the ready, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping the pounds off for good.
Make Half of Your Meal Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables pack lots of nutrients into a small package. They contain very few calories, and give you tons of energy. For breakfast, try a bowl of mixed fruit with a dollop of yogurt and granola. Lunch can be a big salad with a side of lean meat or fish. Whole grains and a small protein serving can complement a pile of baked or roasted vegetables in the evening. As an added bonus, when you consume lots of fruits and vegetables, you can eat more and gain less.
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Multitasking is a common part of modern life, but when it comes to eating, you’ll fare better if you take your time and focus on the enjoyment of the food. Wholesome, healthy meals tastes fantastic, but many people hardly register the taste, smell, or feel of their food. The art of eating has been put on autopilot, and people are eating more and enjoying it less. Chew your food slowly, and really focus on the taste, the smell, and the feel of it in your mouth. This will give your body a chance to register when it is feeling full, and it will give you a chance to really savor your meals.
You’ve worked hard on this weight loss journey, and you’ve developed important eating and exercise habits that need to be continued to have lasting effects. Once you’ve achieved your desired weight, you can work with a Medifast diet counselor to develop strategies that will keep the weight off permanently. Yes, this will take time and perseverance, but the results will be well worth the effort. You’re working toward a goal that is about more than losing weight; it’s more energy, and a long and vibrant life.