Losing weight is a goal for many people. That’s why a lot of content out there focuses on the weight loss journey. It’s not an easy thing to do, and is incredibly rewarding for those who achieve their goals.
When you lose weight you are driven and focused on the end result – a specific number, a fitness goal or perhaps even a physical characteristic. This motivation is amazing and can push people out of their comfort zones and to their limits.
But what happens once you’ve lost the weight? Without the clear direction and motivation an ongoing weight loss goal provides, progress can halt and can even be reversed – an unfortunate hurdle for many people.
The weight loss motivation that fades after your goals are achieved needs to be replaced by the desire to lead and maintain a healthy life. This desire might not involve a specific goal like you had when losing weight, which means your dedication and determination to succeed can waver.
This is a serious challenge that faces many people once they’ve lost weight. To help you with this challenge, here’s a list of the 5 easy ways to manage your weight after you’ve achieved your goals. This list will help you remain motivated to maintain the weight and fitness goals you set when you began your amazing journey.
1. Eat more filling food
One of the best ways to ensure you maintain a healthy weight is to fill your diet with foods that keep you fuller for longer. This means lots of high-fiber foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. A University of Pittsburgh study of 284 women showed that people who used these foods were better able to avoid weight gain over an extended period. This is likely because of the mental strength a full stomach provides. You’re unlikely to give in to temptation which means you’re better able to stick to your diet and maintain your weight!
2. Use a meal plan
Planning your meals makes you less likely to deviate to high-calorie options that aren’t part of a healthy lifestyle. Take some time to sit down and prepare an outline of the meals for the week or month ahead. Remember that it’s important to include a little variety to ensure you don’t get bored with the food you’re eating. Also, go easy on yourself and allow the occasional indulgence so a single moment of weakness doesn’t turn into a sugar binge.
A plan like this will not only help you stick to healthy options, it will also help you to avoid unhealthy impulse purchases while grocery shopping as you’ll be taking a list and sticking to it. As a bonus tip, make sure you shop for food just after a filling meal – shopping for groceries on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.
3. Get involved in community
The positive influence associated with surrounding yourself with like-minded people should never be underestimated. This may even have been the catalyst behind your initial weight loss. When you’ve achieved your goals, you should look for a community that shares your desire to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle and can help as you begin the next phase of your journey.
The easiest place to find such a community is online. There are countless amazing blogs run by people who’ve achieved the same things as you and have formed tight-knit and supportive communities that can provide you with a new sense of motivation and encourage you to maintain the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
4. Turn off the TV
The National Weight Control Registry survey (arguably the largest study of people who have successfully maintained long-term weight loss) shows that watching less than 10 hours of television per week increases the likelihood of maintaining a healthy weight after losing those extra pounds. This is likely connected to leading a more active lifestyle as if you’re out and about, you’ve got far less time to just sit in front of the TV putting on weight.
5. Don’t skip breakfast
As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day – so don’t miss it! The same NWCR survey showed that skipping the first meal of the day increases your chances of putting the weight back on. So to make sure you successfully keep off the weight you’ve lost, have a hearty, high-fiber breakfast everyday. Keeping your breakfast healthy and easy-to-prepare will mean it’s easy to fall into and keep a healthy routine for years to come!
So those are 5 easy ways to manage your weight after you’ve achieved your goals. Hopefully they’ve given you some ideas on how to shift your mindset to be more focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, rather than a specific fitness or weight loss goal. Use this new perspective to create an environment that encourages you to continue to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle well into the future.
These are my suggestions based on my experience as a personal trainer, but I’d love to hear tips and tricks in the comments from people who’ve lost weight and managed to keep it off 🙂