There are a million different diets out there designed to help people lose weight, and a good number of them are actually pretty effective. But the biggest challenge after you lose weight, is to KEEP it off! I have definitely found myself in the vicious cycle of “yo-yo dieting” over the years. Dieting to lose weight, gaining it back, then dieting again. It’s SO frustrating! Losing weight is HARD WORK…no one wants to have to keep doing it over and over again!
Well, the good news is you don’t have to! By following these simple rules, you can ensure the weight you lose stays off for good.
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, it’s best to avoid the word “diet” altogether. Diets conjure images of eliminating certain kinds of food for specific amounts of time. But if you’re really committed to losing weight, the changes you make will need to be reasonable enough that you can stick with them. You’re not dieting, you’re making a lifestyle change!
We all know that exercise is a crucial part of effective and healthy weight loss. While cardio exercise is important for burning fat and calories, you shouldn’t focus on cardio alone. Strength training helps to build lean muscle, which increases your metabolism and will help you burn more calories overall. Try to balance your workouts by doing both cardio and strength training exercises.
Eat the “Three P’s”
Wondering what to eat for lasting weight loss? It all comes down to the “Three P’s”: protein, produce, and plant-based fats.
Protein helps keep you feeling full, and also helps to build lean muscle and boost your metabolism. Good sources of protein include greek yogurt, eggs, red meat, and tofu.
Produce (fresh fruits and vegetables) have tons of fiber, which also help keep you full, and they’re low in calories.
Plant-based fats, such as avocados, nuts, and plant oils, are satisfying and delicious, which will keep you from feeling deprived.
Hold Yourself Accountable
The mental aspect of weight loss is more significant than many people realize. It’s easy to forget what you ate earlier in the day when it’s dinner time, and before you know it, you’ve inadvertently eaten more than you meant to.
To avoid this, try keeping a Food Journal for a few weeks. Keep a small notebook with you and write down everything you eat throughout the day. Having a physical record you can look at will help keep you accountable.
Another way to become more aware of what you’re eating is to eat deliberately and mindfully. Eating deliberately means taking the time to sit down and eat, without doing anything else. No phones, no TV, just eating.
On top of that, you should also try to eat mindfully, which involves really focusing on each bite, savoring the flavors and chewing slowly.
With this deliberate and mindful approach to eating, you’ll eliminate getting tripped up by mindless snacking, and you’ll enjoy your food so much more!
Stress Less, Sleep More
In order to achieve and maintain lasting weight loss, you NEED to get enough sleep. If you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to overeat, your metabolism will slow down, and your body won’t be able to recover from exercise as effectively.
The same goes for stress. Your weight loss journey is all about creating a healthy body and eliminating unhealthy practices. Stressing out and not sleeping are two of those unhealthy habits that definitely should be left behind!
It’s Okay to be Hungry
The final key to lasting weight loss is becoming comfortable with the sensation of mild hunger. If you’re used to overeating, adjusting to eating a smaller number of calories each day will definitely result in some period of mild hunger.
If you begin your weight loss journey with this knowledge in mind, when you start to feel hungry you can make patient and smart decisions about when and what to eat, rather than panicking and wolfing down an unhealthy snack. (GUILTY!)
Before you begin a weight loss program, remember this — you are not fat…you have fat. Losing weight isn’t about shame, it’s simply another achievement you CAN accomplish! Once you stop beating yourself about the weight you’ve put on, you can focus your energy on getting the job done! You got this! :-)