January is well-known at the best month to start a diet. Just look at how attendance at gyms and Weight Watchers swells this time of year, every year. Many people, however, are going to start 2017 not needing to lose weight. They lost the weight and got to goal in 2016. Now they are wondering how they’re going to maintain their goal.
Maintaining your weight loss is a matter of achieving the delicate balance of calories consumed and calories burned, Few people who lose weight can “now go back to normal” while maintaining their losses. If you’ve lost weight you will need to continue to monitor your eating and exercising to stay at goal. There’s no such thing as “set it and forget it” when it comes to your weight.
40% food choices, 40% eating habits, 20% physical activity.
Here is how the formula breaks down.
- Add about 200 calories a day.
- Be mindful of source of calories. Continue to choose naturally nutritious food choices that are naturally lower in calories.
- focus on plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains.
- get lean protein from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes
- include some healthy (monunsaturated) fats found in nuts, olive oil, or avocados
- eat foods that are good sources of calcium
- eat treats sparingly
- Weigh yourself weekly under similar circumstances. Same day of the week, same time of day, same clothes (or no clothes)
- If you lose more than 2 pounds in 3 weeks increase daily calories by 200.
- If you gain more than 2 pounds in 3 weeks decrease daily calories by 200.
- Continue to carefully track food
- Eat mindfully.
- Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues
- Don’t skip meals
- Stick to a schedule for meals and snacks as often as possible
- Practice and put to use non food coping skills to manage stress and other emotions
- Get adequate sleep to avoid sleep-deprived eating behaviors
- Own your eating behaviors. If you overeat, don’t look to blame people or circumstances for your actions. Analyze the event to see where you went wrong, then create a plan to avoid that outcome in the future.
- Staying or getting active is more important to weight maintenance than food and eating.
- Avoid (as much as possible) long stretches of sitting without rising and walking for at least 5 minutes during every hour of sitting.
- Play or engage in a pleasurable sport several times a week to increase the intensity of your physical activity.
- Walk instead of ride whenever possible. That includes taking stairs instead of elevators and people movers at the airports.
- Find an exercise buddy who will motivate you to get some high-intensity physical activity and for whom you can return the favor.
Maintaining your weight loss is possible. It’s not about luck; it’s about taking action and it’s entirely possible as long as you’re willing to work at it. The more you practice your weight maintaining skills, the easier they become to perform routinely. In other words, eventually they become just a part of your everyday life.
If you would like to try technology to boost your weight maintenance efforts please join us at the South Portland Weight Watchers Center when we proudly present Melissa Root Ph.D.
Dr. Root is an expert on behavior modification using video self-modeling. Learn how to harness the power of positive role modeling to make lasting, positive changes to your eating and exercising habits. Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 6pm. Free! Limited seating!