So, you finally reached your goal, and now you are wondering how you can maintain weight loss? It can be done, but maintenance actually takes as much planning and preparation as weight loss. There are some big mistakes that you should avoid when trying to maintain your weight:
1. Lack of Monitoring
Once you reach your goal weight, you still need to use some form of monitoring in order to maintain the weight loss. Whether it is the scale, tape measure, body fat calipers, or some other tool, you must have some method to monitor your body to make sure that you are not rebounding and gaining the weight back. Regardless of which method you choose, you should monitor your weight on a consistent basis. Some people choose to check their weight daily, but it is usually sufficient to check it on a weekly basis.
2. Avoid Denial
Your weight may fluctuate by a couple of pounds due to water weight for many reasons. But most of the time, the fluid retention will subside after a couple of days. If it coincides with your menstrual period, it could last up to a week. If it does not resolve itself after that time frame, action needs to be taken immediately. It could be that you are taking in too many calories or not getting enough exercise. Immediate attention to a small weight rebound will help ensure that you do not fall back into your old habits.
3. Cessation of Exercise
Just because you have reached your goal weight does not mean that you can stop exercising. Regular exercise is a very important factor in weight maintenance. You need to participate in cardiovascular activities as well as strengthening and toning activities on a consistent basis. Aerobic activity will help to condition your heart and lungs, and strength training will ensure that you maintain good muscle tone.
Most medical professionals recommend that the average person take part in an aerobic activity for 45-60 minutes on a daily basis. Also, do not underestimate the importance of strength training. Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in your body, which means that it burns more calories even when you are at rest. Don’t allow your exercise to be an afterthought. Instead, you should make it a priority and schedule it into your day.
4. Lack of Meal Planning
Now that you have lost the weight, it does not mean that you can just go back to eating whatever you feel like eating. You need to plan your meals as carefully as you did while you were trying to lose the weight.
You will need to increase your caloric intake now that you have lost your excess weight, but you need to make sure that you do not do so in a drastic manner. Gradually increase your daily caloric intake until your metabolism stabilizes and your weight stops dropping. When you reach that point, make note of the caloric level and make sure to eat a balanced diet with proper amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Ensure that you continue to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they provide fiber and vitamins that the body needs for optimum performance.