What does weight maintenance look like to you?No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, the question How will I maintain my new body, lifestyle, etc when I've reached my goal sits in the back of your mind. How you maintain your body will be as specific to you as your weight loss program. There are dietary and exercise guidelines that we offer but your weight maintenance will always be specific to you.
We asked 10 patients who have maintained their weight (stayed within 5-7 lbs of goal weight for 1+ years) to share the secrets of their success. This is what we found.
Stop the Excuses. We can make almost any situation into a reason to celebrate or a reason to console."We won/lost game! Let's go get a pepperoni and extra cheese pizza!" Excuses are everywhere but none good enough for when the weight starts creeping back.
Exercise. Aim for at least 3 days a week for some sort of exercise. That may be a walk around the neighborhood, a jog around the track, or an hour at the gym. And that's any 3 days. I usually end up slipping in a fourth day. This also includes taking the family on a walk or a bike ride.
More Vegetables and Moderate Fruit. My plates are loaded down now with more vegetables. I love fruit BUT, I eat it in the morning and maybe as an afternoon snack (never at night) so that I have more time to work it off during the day.
Snacks I Can Avoid. I have 3 children under 10, we have snacks in the house. I buy my kids snacks I can easily pass up. Find what you can resist.
More Water. I got used to drinking water while trying to lose weight and I've been hooked ever since. I've cut back on sodas and juice and I think that has helped keep my weight under control.
Brushed Teeth. When I know I just want to snack or I'm getting a craving for something, I'll go brush my teeth. I keep a travel size tube of toothpaste and a travel tooth brush in my purse at all times. It makes me think twice about eating something if I've just brushed my teeth.
Rethinking Restaurants. I make better choices at restaurants now than I ever have. I used to think "well, I don't eat out very often or how much of a difference can one meal make or I'll do better at the next meal" I learned I have to make good choices every time I'm out. Dressings are always on the side. Meats are always grilled without butter, vegetables are sauteed and water, always water.
Cooking Classes. I'm ashamed to say that I really had no idea how to cook much less cook healthy. Metabolic offered advice and guides but, unless they could come over and cook my meals for me, I was in bad shape. So, I took a cooking class. I learned the basics of cooking and preparing food. If you're ready and serious, you've got to be willing to do whatever it takes.
Shake for breakfast. I still drink a shake for breakfast. It's easy and fast. Been doing that for about 2 years.
Eat more meals at home. My family used to eat out all the time, often separately. Between work, school and sport obligations grabbing dinner on the run was our normal. Now, we have at least 3 healthy meals at home around the table with the whole family. We all contribute to dinner either cooking ,preparation, or setting the table and clean up, but we all contribute something.