A true dieter knows that the real challenge is not just losing weight, but actually keeping the weight off. Many experts agree that the very first year after you have lost weight is even more challenging than losing weight. This is a real danger zone for many dieters are their bodies are thin — but their minds often are still needing to adjust to this new thin mind-set. Fortunately, there are keys to successfully keeping weight off after your diet.
Get on the scale once a week. With most popular diet programs, we get on the scale once a week. We cheer when the numbers go down and we commiserate when the numbers go up. But this experience keeps us accountable. And we learn through this experience that what we eat is going to directly affect that number on the scale. After you have lost weight, continue to get on the scale at least once a week to maintain successful weight loss. If you see your weight fluctuate more than five pounds, you’ll know that you need to go back to calorie counting.
Count your calories. When we go on a diet, we learn to count calories. We discover just how many calories are in that piece of pecan pie or other yummy treats we’ve been eating for so long. Counting your calories should not stop after the diet has been discontinued. Keep counting your calories to keep you on track. When you are not dieting you can eat more calories, but you need to know how many calories you are eating. Counting your calories helps you know exactly how many of them you are eating.
Treat yourself….in moderation. We deserve to enjoy food, to taste the things we enjoy. After you have completed a diet it is nice to have dessert at social occasions or other special times. But always indulging is a true recipe for disaster — and bigger jeans! Treat yourself but do so in moderation. A great rule of thumb is to let yourself have one special treat each week. Often when we “ballpark” calorie counts, we undercount just how many calories are in that treat we are eating. The average treat you consume has at least 800 calories. In moderation this can fit easily in your diet. Once a week, that’s gaining a pound!
Make exercise fun and challenging. As you lose weight you can do more exercise. We need to exercise for life. Exercise is not just something you do while you are on a diet and then to stop when the diet is over. But make exercise fun! Join a dance class or go walking with a friend after work. Do exercise that interests you. Not every type of exercise appeals to every person. Explore and try new types of exercise to see what things are fun for you. Challenge yourself physically to become stronger and more fit.
Notice how your clothes fit. One of the biggest signs that we are gaining weight is how our clothes fit. When your clothes are tighter, you know you are gaining weight. You don’t even need the scale to tell you. Listen to what your clothes are telling you! This is a top warning sign that you need to modify your maintenance plan.
You’ve worked so hard to lose weight and look great. Keep your fabulous new figure with conscious effort. You’ll be glad you did!
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