You’ve worked hard to shed those extra kilos – sweating it out at the gym, denying yourself cheese and chocolates – but, it’s not over yet.
Most people once they have achieved their target weight fall back into old habits and pile on the kilos within months after losing them. This yo-yo approach to weight loss has its own drawbacks, for one it increases the risk of having a heart attack and secondly, it leads to loose and baggy skin. So, follow the ideas enumerated below to keep those kilos off for good!
Top 10 tips to maintain weight loss
- Count your calories: It’s always a good idea to keep a food diary and record what, when and how much you eat. That way you can go back and learn from your mistakes. Don’t eat lots of high calorie food in one day, balance your meals. For example, if you’re going out for a big lunch, eat low calorie yet filling foods for breakfast and have a light dinner with the focus on soup and salad.
- Try yoga: If you are tired of your regular exercise that you followed while on the weight loss plan, do something different to up your metabolic rate. Try joining a yoga class in the morning or even spinning or pilates. Do whatever interests you so that you won’t shy away from it.
- Ditch those bad habits: Eating fried snacks or salted cashews at night, popping chocolates at any given hour, mindless munching while in front of the television will all reverse your hard work if done habitually. Stay away from the cookie jar and ask your spouse or family member to remind you of your goals if you head for some high calorie comfort food. Better still don’t keep it in the house.
- Sip water: Whenever the urge to snack arises, sip a glass of water instead. We frequently confuse thirst with hunger. Also if you drink up before your dinner, you are more likely to eat less.
- Keep yourself in a positive frame of mind: Most of us tend to binge when we’re upset with something or have had a tiff with our spouse. Make it a point to not eat when upset as you will definitely eat more than you intended.
- Treat yourself occasionally: As a rule eat as much healthy food as you can, so that you can indulge yourself when you really have that craving for a chocolate cake. Follow the 80/20rule. If you’re eating healthy about 80 percent of the time, you can ease up for about 20 percent of the remaining time.
- Learn to tell portion size: When eating out, notice how big or small the portions are at a restaurant. Avoid going to places that serve large portions, frequent those serving medium sized ones to keep in good shape.
- Watch the scale weekly: Keeping track of your weight about once a week gives you a clue to whether you’ve lost or gained weight before it goes out of control. If you have gained, you will likely make up by modifying your diet and cutting back on calories.
- Visit your doctor: If you’re doing everything possible to maintain your figure but aren’t happy with the results (remember to be patient) you may have a medical problem like hypothyroidism that is very common among women. Or you may be taking medicines that cause water retention or otherwise interfere with your weight.
- Eat five small meals instead of three large ones: You may have heard this one before but it is so important that we reiterate – eating every three to four hours prevents you from getting extremely hungry and then binging; it also maintains your blood sugar at a steady level so you don’t get hunger attacks!
So go ahead, tweak your habits and maintaining your optimum weight will be a piece of cake!
Photograph via sxc.hu
Written by Dr Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician
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