Losing weight is hard work and it is super easy to undo all that hard work if you revert to your old habits. Most people who have lost a significant amount of weight will tell you that it is even hard to keep it off. Most people don’t pay for expensive weight loss solutions, it still took money, time and effort to hit your weight loss goal. Instead, most budget-savvy people turn to cleaning up their diet and exercising more.
Last year, I lost 40 pounds and this post just goes to show you that when life gets in the way it is easy to regain the weight that you worked so hard to lose. Just when you thought that you got rid of those old habits, that got you into the position that you started, are hard to die when you lose the mindful eating habits and strict exercise program that comes with losing weight.
Use these tried and true tips to help you prevent weight gain after you reach your goal weight. Keeping the weight off is easier when you continue to be mindful of your eating habits and exercise routines.
Monitor your Portions
To control your daily portion is a tough challenge when preventing weight gain after the hard work that losing the weight took. When you were losing weight, you should have gotten used to eating smaller meals so that your stomach could adapt. It is important that you stick to appropriate portions so that your stomach doesn’t stretch.
Even though we don’t encourage people to step on the scale on a daily basis, we do recommend that you weigh yourself at least once a month to monitor your weight. Weighing yourself once a month will help you determine if you are on the path to regaining the weight that you lost before it gets out of control.
Continue to Fill Up on Vegetables and Lean Protein
Eating vegetables gives you more, fiber and lesser calories than other foods. We suggest filling up most of your plate with protein and vegetables so that you don’t end up filling up on mostly carbs.
Never Skip Meals
Skipping your meals when you are losing weight or trying to keep it off can backfire on you if you’re not careful. Typically, you will tend to feel hungrier later in the day. This can lead to overeating. It is best to eat several small meals and healthy snacks instead of skipping a meal.
Exercise is still important to your health even after you reach your weight loss goal. It not only will help prevent gaining the weight back but it will help keep you healthy. We still recommend that you try to exercise several times a week in order to maintain the health benefits.
Keep Unhealthy Snacks Out of the House
Instead of reaching for junk food, continue to find healthy snacks. Eating too much junk food tends to make the body crave it more (at least that is how it is for me). Do continue to avoid high-calorie or fatty snacks since these snacks are unhealthy. Try reaching for some of our favorite healthy snack ideas instead of choosing snacks with empty calories:
- celery and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- baby carrots
- 100 calories worth of almonds
- bell pepper
- cup of unbuttered/unsalted popcorn
- dry fruit (be careful what you grab some are packed with sugar and watch your portion intake)
- protein bar
- string cheese
- low-fat yogurt
- cottage cheese
- hard boiled egg
- and there are countless other healthy snacks available to suit your palette
Drink Plenty of Water
Instead of reaching for that glass of soda, juice, alcohol, or other calorie-filled drinks, opt for a glass of ice water. Often times your body is sending signals to our brain that it needs hydration but we mistake it for hunger. If you struggle with drinking enough water, try adding lemon, lime, oranges, strawberries, or other fruits and vegetables. Plus, water helps flush out toxins and other waste products.
Keep A Record
Create a food diary where you can write all types of food you’ve eaten. Write down the amount of calorie the food has. Moreover, if you can record all the exercises you’ve done you can track all the calories you’ve burned. Tracking your food and exercise routine can help you determine what you need to change quickly if you see that you are starting to regain the weight you worked so hard to lose.
We personally enjoy using MyFitness Pal to log our food, exercise, and water electronically using their app or website. It is a free service or you can upgrade your membership if you want the extended options. Don’t feel that you have to pay for the extended option, you can effectively lose weight and keep it off if you use it consistently.
Use Meal Planning to Your Advantage
Planning your meals will help you remain mindful about the quality of food that you are putting into your body. Meal planning also keeps you from waiting until you are starving to fix your meals. When your hungry, you are more likely to hit the drive-thru or order takeout, especially if you don’t already know what you are planning on making for each meal.
You probably gave up drinking alcohol in large quantities while you were losing weight. Now that you hit your goal weight, you might be a bit more tempted to pick up alcoholic drinks on a regular basis. A few alcoholic beverages can easily top 500 calories depending on the drink that you choose. These empty calories can easily add up and if you are drinking on a regular basis, those calories can easily make you gain weight again.
Losing weight is hard but keeping the weight off is even harder. It is so easy to fall back into those old patterns that caused you to gain weight in the first place. Use these tips to help you keep the weight off for good.
Have you ever regained the weight that you worked so hard to get off?