For those of us who have struggled with weight for the majority of our lives, it isn’t easy choosing a healthier alternative to keep the weight off. After losing weight, the real challenge is to maintain the weight you’ve lost. Many of us, at first, may have lost weight for health reasons, but once the weight comes off, we like how it makes us look and feel about ourselves. Because there are so many temptations out there to undermine our hard work, we have to find ways to keep ourselves from going back to bad habits. Listed below are five things to help you from putting the weight back on.
- Don’t ever let your guard down. The minute your pants start to feel a little snug, immediately increase the number of minutes in your workout. Thinking a few extra pounds won’t make a difference can sabotage all the hard work you’ve done to lose the weight, in the first place. Not only that, it would be expensive to replace your smaller clothes with bigger ones.
- Get rid of all your “fat” clothes. Thinking that you should keep some of them, "just in case," gives you an excuse to gain a few pounds because you have back-up clothes on hand. Don’t lose sight on how good you look in your new wardrobe.
- Keep backup food in the house. By that I mean, whole grain crackers, cereal, almonds, cut up fruit and vegetables. It’s so much easier to grab something already prepared when you’re bored or down, so have several plastic containers with a cup of cereal in each and snack bags with almonds or dried berries ready to eat on the counter. And, there is no need to feel guilty for having eaten the extra calories for comfort.
- Continue to exercise even if it’s only 2-3 times per week. You may think you don’t need to exercise anymore because you’ve lost the weight. Absolutely NOT! In order to maintain the weight you’ve lost, you have to continue to exercise to keep your metabolism kicking. If you happen to miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track again.
- Satisfy your cravings in moderation. Grocery shopping can be a challenge, especially when it's so easy to grab a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream. If you see a bag of chips or ice cream you really want, don’t deprive yourself. To make sure you don't overdo it and gain some of the weight you've lost, reach for the snack size bag for $.25 or the single serve ice cream cups. Not only is it cheaper, you'll satisfy your craving without excess calories.