Following a weight loss diet and a fitness routine may yield satisfactory results but your next challenge is how to keep the excess weight away permanently. Long term weight loss requires consistency, focus and commitment. If you are lucky, you may not have any problem continuing your weight loss plan as you may have gotten used to the dietary adjustments and fitness routine. On the other hand, there are others who may find it difficult to maintain their ideal weight for long.
While long term weight loss may involve several ways that are too many to mention here, the following are basic steps that you can observe.
Exercise is not only the key to weight loss but also of weight loss maintenance. You need not spend long hours at the gym to maintain your ideal weight but you should set aside at least 30 minutes each day, 5 times a week for exercise. Try brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming, weight training, dancing and other exercises that you enjoy to break the monotony of your fitness routine.
Keep a food journal
A food diary or any tangible record of what you eat everyday keeps you from losing control during meal times. A record also enables you to review your eating patterns and to discover your emotional triggers so that you can make healthy adjustments before the excess weight starts to creep back in.
Join a weight management group
People who share the same health and fitness goals can provide encouragement and support especially when you reach a diet plateau or lack motivation. Look for community-based groups or online groups with whom you can share tips and experiences.
Observe portion control
It’s easy to overeat when you are dining out as normal serving sizes are actually huge or good for two or three people. Avoid overeating by asking that you only be served one-half of your order while taking home the other half to be eaten during your next meal at home. Use small plates when eating at home to keep your portions small and avoid picking off other people’s plates as this prevents you from seeing how much you have actually eaten.
Eat breakfast everyday
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it is the first time that your body is fed after sleeping for 8 hours or so. Studies show that eating breakfast may also help you maintain your weight loss longer. In one survey, men and women who ate breakfast cereal everyday weighed less than those who hardly ate breakfast cereal or not at all. Choose whole grain cereals, oatmeal, granola, peanut butter on whole-wheat bread or a fruit smoothie with yogurt for a healthy morning meal.
Watch your weight
Your weighing scale should be your weight loss partner at home. Weighing yourself everyday keeps you from gradually gaining back the weight you lost. Most overweight people did not gain their excess weight overnight. Small weight increases that you fail to notice eventually add up someday. Watching your weight regularly helps you to make the necessary adjustments in your diet or exercise routine before the weight gain becomes apparent.