Have you ever read about a new diet and thought, “I want to try that?” How many weight loss programs have you followed to the letter, only to gain the weight back? Although many articles and advertisements talk about successful weight loss, where are the articles that talk about what comes next?
In the beginning, you may make a commitment to lose the weight. You set your goal, take steps to achieve it and you finally get there. Then you probably stop following the plan, gain the weight back, and then start all over again. You are stuck in the loop of yo-yo dieting. And that is not healthy for your body or for your confidence, either.
Successful Weight Loss Means Doing Things Differently Next Time
The next time you want to drop some pounds, avoid going for the latest diet fad. Instead, pick a weight loss program your doctor recommends. But, instead of thinking of it as a detour from your regular lifestyle, think about it as your whole new lifestyle. Here are two more tips to help you find permanent and successful weight loss:
Find Your Sweet Spot
Once you achieve your goal, the real work starts. You will have to find the “sweet spot” that is within a few pounds over or under if not at your optimal weight. To find it, do daily weigh-ins and log your meals and snacks for the first three months.
Accept and Embrace Change
The hardest, but most important concept to maintain your weight is to accept that you can’t return to your previous eating habits. Giving up favorites like heavy pasta dishes, ice cream sundaes, and chocolate shakes forever may seem impossible to do. But, where do those foods fit in if you don’t want to return to your start weight?
You have three choices:
- Give your meals a makeover. For instance, you can make spaghetti with zucchini noodles, or other noodle substitutes or use Greek yogurt to make ice cream. You can use almond or coconut flour and use different types of sweeteners in your baking.
- Eat your favorites less often. If you want to have regular helpings of your favorites, then set up a schedule to work them in so they are infrequently enjoyed. For example, pick one favorite for one helping for one month. Instead of a Cheat day, do a cheat meal.
- Serve yourself smaller servings. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Use a smaller plate so it looks like a more substantial portion. As soon as you finish eating, get up and start clearing up, so you don’t give in to having a second helping.
Of course, indulging too often or large portions will result in gaining weight. But paying attention so you catch it early will make it easier to return to your goal weight. Knowing your “sweet spot” and what you are eating is how you will maintain your successful weight loss. And finally, ask for help from family and friends. They can encourage you for the long-term by holding you accountable.