Losing weight is only half the battle. Once it is lost, it is vital that you also keep it off. It is for this reason that crash diets are not recommended, nor is fasting, as you do lose weight quickly, but you immediately the weight back on once you eat normally again. Diets are good for getting rid of a quick few pounds, and particularly your water weight, but if you then immediately return to your old lifestyle, then you will start growing again. This is what is known as the “yo-yo effect,” which is actually dangerous to your health. One of the main reasons as to why it is dangerous is because people have a tendency to put on more weight than they actually lost in the first place. So how do you make sure the weight you have lost actually stays off? How do you get to that ultimate victory of having a healthy, stable weight?
Always Eat Breakfast
Everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The majority of people also know that if you don’t eat breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode, meaning your body will try to hold on to as much calorie as it can by slowing down the metabolic rate. The result is that you gain weight faster the moment you eat more because of the lowered metabolic rate.
Yet, most of us still skip breakfast due to our busy lifestyle and due to the fact that we still think this means we consume less calories overall. The reality is, and this has been scientifically proven, that those who do not eat breakfast consume as many calories as those who do. The problem is that the non-breakfast eaters will hold on more to those calories they consume. The reason why people eat as much even if they skip breakfast is because they lose their energy more quickly.
By spreading your calories out across the day, you avoid the peaks and valleys in hunger that can lead to overeating.
Keep a Food Diary
Once you have lost the weight you want to lose, and you feel like you have changed your lifestyle for the better in terms of what you eat and how you exercise, it is all too easy to let go of the control you have over yourself. In doing so, however, you forget all those little snacks you have during the day. That extra handful of raisins, the small cookie, the few leftover crumbs of chocolate cake all add up to a lot of calories. If you continue to keep a food diary (and there are also various apps that you could use for this), you will keep track of how you are doing. Make sure you set yourself a realistic goal (losing a bit more, gaining a bit or staying at the same weight) and keep track of how well you are doing. These types of fitness apps in particular are fantastic motivators, because you can track how you are doing at any given moment.
Blog it, photograph it, or log it in your smartphone for a couple of weeks to reveal if you’re self-sabotaging with oversized portions or too much junk.
Make a Picture Board
It is a known fact that making a picture board with images of things you want in life will help you achieve those things. Keeping a picture board is always a good idea, therefore, and you could include a picture of you the way you look now, to motivate yourself not to put the weight back on. However, at the bottom of your picture board, or anywhere else where you will see it very often, you should also include a before picture.
Reminding yourself daily what you’ve been ‘fighting’ for will keep you from backsliding into old habits.
If you have worked long and hard to achieve your weight loss goals and reach your target weight, then you have probably taken part in a lot of exercise and fitness programs as well. Physical exercise helps to burn calories and it helps to tone your muscles, making you look better and more beautiful. If you see it only as a means towards losing weight, you will be in for a big shock if you stop once you have achieved your target. Your skin will become more saggy, you will lose muscle definition and you will start to put on weight again. It cannot be stressed enough how the key to a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight is to combine both diet and exercise and that this is a lifestyle, not a single effort.
Now’s not the time to cut back on your workouts. You still want to exercise most days of the week. Physical activity is one of the most important aspects of keeping weight off, so make sure you’re building it into your daily routine.
Why It Is So Important to Keep the Weight Off
So is keeping the weight off really all that important? There are definitely some of us who want to lose a bit of weight just to be able to fit in that perfect wedding dress or expensive suit. Others want to shed a few pounds to be able to feel comfortable in a swimsuit on the beach. Most of these people have a healthy body image and feel fine the way they are, so they do not see any danger in quickly losing a bit for that special occasion, only to put it back on and return to their “normal” body size or even more. The reality is, however, that this has many potential dangers. Very often, these people put the weight back on because they simply don’t have a healthy lifestyle.
Our body is actually our own worst enemy. If you are overweight, burning calories through exercise and a controlled diet is very easy to do. However, once you reach your target weight, your body becomes less efficient in burning off the calories. This is why, even if you stick to your recommended daily calorie intake, you could still end up putting a bit of weight on. Unfortunately, you can never really let yourself go again.