Losing weight is the easy part. It’s the keeping it off that’s hard. I’ve watched most of my clients fluctuate up and down over the years. We all seem to have a number on the scale that gets us off our butts and gets us back into our fitness routines. But once we’re at the size we’re happy with, we slide, slide, slide…
Yo-yo dieting is one of the worst things you can do to your body, wreaking havoc with your metabolism and putting unneeded stress on your body. So here’s some tips to keeping it off once you hit the magical dress size you’ve worked so hard to get to.
Continue to journal every morsel you put in your mouth. Increase your daily caloric intake by 100 calories per day and watch the scale. If you continue to drop weight, add another 100 calories; if you hold steady, that’s the amount you can eat to maintain your weight. If your weight rises you know you’re going to have cut those calories back out again. Give yourself two to three weeks to see what the scale does and weigh yourself at least twice a week to keep things in check. The goal is to find the caloric intake level that maintains your weight, so this could take a month or two to figure out. Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time.
Your fitness routine won’t change much. For strength training, you’ll need to maintain the same amount of time you devote to it. As for cardio, you might be able to ease off a bit, but more the length of time you spend doing cardio more so than the number of days. So if you were doing five days of cardio for 40 minutes per day, you could try 30 minutes five times a week. But keep checking that scale to make sure you’re not losing ground. Start mixing up your cardio routine more to stay interested and have fun during your workouts. For ideas, check out our 25 ways to mix up your workout…
The scale is your friend, not your enemy. Wouldn’t you rather discover a 5 pound weight gain than a 15 pound weight gain? Get on the scale regularly (some studies recommend once a week, some recommend every day). If you start to slide, you can catch it early and correct it before you really have to struggle to get it off. If you abhor the scale then use a pair of pants that you love as your guide. Whatever works best for you.
By tracking calories after the diet, maintaining your fitness routine, and checking how you’re doing on the scale, you’ll maintain long-term weight loss. As your post-diet habits become more and more ingrained, you’ll find you can back away from journaling but keep the workouts and the scale. They are the key to long-term weight loss.
What do you do to stay thin? Would love to hear from you.