On Diets in Review, we talk a lot about weight loss. But what happens when you’ve reached your weight loss goal? Sure, you’re happy and proud of yourself and your new body, but chances are, you probably feel a little lost as to what to do and what to eat now that you don’t have that goal weight to focus on, right? Well, no worries. We have your five step guide to keeping you at your healthy weight and totally motivated!
5 Tips to Keep the Weight Off — And You Motivated
1. Splurge a little more (but be mindful). Now that you’re at your goal weight, you can be a little more lax with your diet, but remember that extra calories add up quickly (and that it’s a lot easier to eat calories than it is to burn them off). A good rule of thumb is to eat a diet that is 80/20, meaning that 80 percent of what you eat is nutritious and healthy, and 20 percent is the other maybe not-so-healthy food that you’re craving. If you ever start to put the pounds back on (and you should know if you do — see tip No. 5), switch your eating to 90/10 until you’re back at your happy weight. Also remember to keep portion sizes down and to savor every bite, being totally mindful of what you’re eating!
2. Be smart about your workouts. Working out doesn’t have to be strictly about burning calories now that you’re at your goal weight. Instead of doing tons of cardio, switch your focus to more challenging, yet shorter duration workouts that combine weight lifting with cardio moves in either a circuit training format or a boot camp class. This will increase the muscle mass in your body, helping to boost your metabolism, making you more toned and giving you tons of health benefits, such as strengthening your bones and improving your quality of sleep!
3. Set a new goal. Maintaining a weight loss can be notoriously tough because you don’t have that big goal to reach for anymore. To avoid falling into this weight-loss-maintenance trap, you just have to do one simple thing: Set a new goal! Whether it’s running a 5K, being able to complete 10 push-ups, or even being able to make it through that group cycling class without feeling like you’re going to keel over, set a S.M.A.R.T. goal and create a plan to get there!
4. Be aware of old vices. Those dieting skeletons in your closet just seem to never fully go away do they? Instead of pretending like the ice cream in the fridge isn’t speaking to you or that those buffalo wings at happy hour aren’t calling your name, be aware of which foods trigger you to want to overeat or over-indulge. Then make sure to keep them out of your house. When a craving for them hits, make it a really nice treat by going out for them and enjoying every savored bite!
5. Check-in weekly. While weighing yourself every day can make you a bit obsessive about the number on the scale, you should weigh yourself once a week to stay on track. While a few pounds difference isn’t a big deal and is probably just water weight, if you see the scale go up more than five pounds from your goal weight, it’s time to take a closer look at your diet and workouts and see where your weight-maintenance plan may need some tweaking.
Remember that maintaining a weight — and enjoying it — is a balance and a process. Choose the foods and activities that you love and that nourish your body. Really, the only to-do on your list is to enjoy your new permanent healthy lifestyle!
For more tips on staying motivated and setting goals, read: