The trick to keeping it off for good

Your hard work has paid off! Hours of exercise and months without your favourite dessert have enabled you to reach your weight loss goals. Unfortunately, eight out of 10 people who watch the scale go down will one day watch it go back up. After all the sweat and tears required to get you where you are today, it would be a shame for all your work to be for nothing.

Lasting weight loss is your goal. Reach it with these strategies.

Journaling is a proven way to help people lose weight and it works for weight management as well. Each day, write down what you ate, when you ate, and how much you exercised. Once a week, step on the scale and record your weight as well.

Tracking these facts is an easy way to keep you aware of the lifestyle habits that affect your weight. You’ll notice trends and see areas you need to work on. Frequently recording your weight will help you stop weight gain in its early stages before it gets out of hand.

Journaling can also help keep you accountable to yourself. Before you put that brownie in your mouth, you’ll stop and think, “I have to write this down, too.”

Don’t let the healthy habits that got you to your goal fall by the wayside. Physical activity is a key part of weight loss and weight management. You may no longer have to exercise as long and hard, but you still have to exercise. Reverting back to a sedentary lifestyle will quickly put the pounds back on.

If you found the time and energy before, you can find it now. Be active enough to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and you’ll keep that weight off for good.

It’s a lot easier to stay on track with healthy habits when life is going smoothly. But when work gets hard, relationships get rocky, or money runs low, it doesn’t take long to fall back into your old unhealthy lifestyle.

Plan ahead for hard times by setting stress management strategies in place. Talk to a trusted friend, go for a run, journal, or take a long hot bath rather than reach for comfort foods or other unhealthy vices.

You can’t expect to eat whatever you want and not gain weight. Hopefully, many of the healthy eating habits you used to lose weight will stick with you for the long run. Limiting carbs, enjoying plenty of produce, and filling up on fiber and protein aren’t tricks just to lose weight, but to manage it as well.

Therefore, watch what you eat and be mindful of each bite. Tempted as you may be by a busy schedule, continue to eat a healthy breakfast. Skipping meals isn’t a strategy for weight management. In fact, it has the opposite affect by slowing your metabolism and leading to overeating when the next meal finally rolls around.

You’ve lost the weight and finally fit into your skinny jeans. Why hold onto the old clothes that no longer fit? Keeping them in your closet lets you off easy if you happen to regain the weight. Take away that option by bagging up the clothes that are two sizes too big and donate them to charity. You won’t need them again!

You don’t want to become another failed diet statistic. Stick with the habits that got you to where you are today and those bigger-than-desired pants will be a thing of the past.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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