I have worked in the industry of fitness and weight loss for the past 14 years. Fortunately I have had a career working along side of many physicians, psychologists, and dieticians to help me glean further insight to weight loss and maintenance.
Many people will say maintaining your results is what’s most difficult.
I agree....they are right.
When participating in a regimented weight loss program, seeing results actually becomes pretty easy and getting to the finish line is just a matter of focused time. But once you hit the finish line, what comes next?
Lets get one thing clear. Maintaining your weight loss is much different than the journey getting there. Not that it is something that you cannot conquer, however there is a different set of tools you will need in order to do this successfully.
Follow, refine, and fit these 6 habits into your week and you will soon find yourself successfully maintaining your weight loss.
1. Set New Goals
Have you ever heard of SMART Goals? Set new health goals and adjust your SMART goals as you accomplish them. Do not be vague.
- Specific: Determine exactly what are you aiming for. Make sure it is something meaningful.
- Measurable: Mile time, bench press, hours of sleep, water intake...
- Attainable: Do you know what it takes to reach your goal and does your plan give you the proper directions to get there?
- Realistic: On a scale of 1-10 how confident are you that you can acheive this goal?
- Time Specific: Life is a series of sprints. How long is this sprint going to take? Are you going to get your destination within the valuable amount of time you have carved out of your schedule?
2. Find an activity you love
Over the years I have had many clients take up running. Quick and easy way to get their cardio in and get some fresh air. This typically leads to new goals landing on their radar, such as 5ks, half and full marathons, triathlons and even ironman triathlons. Once you find an activity you love, finding a reason to keep moving forward is much more rewarding and fun!
3. Find or create an active community to stay involved with!
Studies show that individuals who engage in a community become more committed and involved with their active lifestyle changes. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Set a goal to spending more time around those with your same goals.
4. Break things down to basics
Balance exercise, nutrition, and wellbeing. Make sure your exercise and nutrition frequency throughout the week are consistent and take time for yourself. If you find your results slipping away, take a look at a one week snapshot and assess. If you need to bring things back to equilibrium then step it up! Improve one aspect of your workout, your nutrition, and your wellbeing.
5. Create a failsafe for your accountability
Set up red flag values. When maintaining your body weight you'll find a range where you feel the most comfortable in your shoes. This body weight, percent body fat, clothes size, inches, or whatever it might be, is your new range for maintenance and it's you putting a firm end point at where you feel most comfortable and healthy. If you reach the end-point of the range this means you need to take ACTION - go back to step #4.
6. Food prep is key
12 years ago I had my first real experience participating in a Clinical Weight Management Program. Yep Me! From Sensei back to student. Participation was the first protocol for any new trainer starting to work for this employer. Learning what to eat and when to eat was easy - creating time to cook the food, that was the challenge!
I quickly realized that healthy food preparation can make or break your results! Over the years I've mastered this game. Think smarter, not harder. We all get stuck in our ways, however continuing to refine your food preparation process can make a world of difference!
Sunday is my day to take care of my food shopping and food prep. Once I get home, I cook my protein and boil some healthy complex carbs (quinoa, sweet potatoes, etc). Some days I whip up a caserol or crock-pot dinner. The key is to make time, switch it up, and balance nourishment with enjoyment- prep foods (like cutting veggies), make some health recipes, and decide what sides you'll whip up for your taste buds during the week.
When it comes down to it, maintaining your weight is a different game than losing weight. One step at a time weight maintenance becomes easier - it's about building a lifestyle and finding the fun in mastering skills overtime.