Losing all the weight is just the first step! Granted, it’s a tough one, but the real challenge kicks in for the months and years AFTER you’ve lost the weight. Most people who lose weight end up regaining it after they stop dieting, and they slip back into old, unhealthy eating habits. If you want to know how to keep off the weight once you’ve lost it, here are a few of the simplest changes to make to your lifestyle and diet:
An increase in daily activity can have a huge effect on your metabolism! Not only will you burn more calories when you exercise or move, but your body will increase your natural calorie-burning fires. Even just one hour extra of exercise—walking, running, cycling, cleaning your house, and the list goes on—will do wonders to keep off the weight!
Quality over Quantity
When it comes to food choices, your goal should always be to eat high-quality foods. The more nutrient-rich a food is, the more it deserves a place on your menu. Avoid foods like white rice, noodles, white bread, or soda, which you can consume a lot of, but which provides very little nutritional value to your day. Shoot for foods that pack the highest amounts of nutrients.
Treat Food as Fuel
Stop thinking of food as your source of enjoyment, and start looking at it as the fuel your body needs for your work, exercise, and home life. Many of us turn to food for pleasure or comfort, and that creates a dependency that causes us to overeat. Instead, find other things to enjoy, and just keep food as a “basic necessity”.
Cut Carbs and Sugar
Sugar is the #1 enemy of weight loss. A high sugar diet will cause A LOT of extra fat gain, simply because your body turns sugar into fat far more efficiently than it can turn dietary fat into body fat. A lot of carbs will have the same effect, thanks to how easy it is for your body to turn carbs into fat. Cut back the amount of sugar in your diet until you’re eating as little as possible, and limit your carbs to two or three servings (always of high-fiber carbs) per day.
Eat More Fat
This may sound counterintuitive, but it works! When you eat more fat, you signal to your body that it doesn’t need to cling to your existing fat stores. Thus, a higher-fat diet encourages your body to burn more fat for energy. Your goal should be to increase your unsaturated fat intake, and you can do so by eating more olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocadoes, and fish. A bit more animal protein-based saturated fat will also do your weight loss good.
Be aware of what you’re eating, but also WHY you’re eating. This goes back to the “Food as Fuel” concept—it’s time to stop using food as a source of comfort, stress management, or pleasure. When you sit down to eat, be mindful of why you’re eating. If you’re simply putting food in your body out of boredom, stress, or in a search for happiness, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Small Changes = Big Results
NEVER make drastic, unsustainable changes. Smaller changes to your diet and lifestyle will lead to much better long term results. The easier it is to keep up with those changes, the more likely you are to stick with it even when things get tough. That is the real secret to keep off the weight!