I’ve reached my goal weight, now what?
After months or even years of hard work, proper habit building, smarter food choices, and quality exercising habits have lead you to reaching your goal weight and size!
First and foremost, congratulate yourself! This is no small feat. Dedication and tenacity helped you arrive at your goal. So feel free to pat yourself on the back, and look in the mirror with pride: you rescued yourself. Now, you’ve reached your goal, you’re probably wondering what the next steps are, research shows that only 20% of those who reach their weight loss/ fitness goals stay there.
To maintain weight loss, you are essentially fighting a system that’s wired to re-gain lost pounds. However, don’t let this discourage you. Keeping the weight off can become a challenge if you go back to your old pattern of eating. People ask me all the time, “Bunmi, what is the secret to keeping the weight you’ve lost off?” My answer is always really very simple: “Don’t stop doing the things that helped you lose weight in the first place.” Those who are most likely to succeed at both losing weight and keeping it off are those who adjust their eating habits in a way that’s sustainable.
Eating three healthy meals plus a couple of planned snacks each day—tends to work best. Eating frequently might sound counterintuitive if you’re trying to lose weight, but aiming for three healthy meals and two small snacks a day means you’re eating something every three hours or so, so you’ll never let yourself get too hungry. This prevents overeating later and keeps your metabolism humming along. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Breakfast isn’t a magic meal because weight loss depends on what you’re eating and your overall calorie balance throughout the day.
One theory is that eating breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. So start out with something that gives you nutrients, not empty calories. For instance, you could have oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, or low-fat yogurt with berries and granola, or an omelette loaded with veggies and some whole wheat toast on the side. It is also best to stay away from foods that you derail you.
If for instance you love chocolate, I’m sure you’d like to eat it every day if you could because you have reached your goal. It is best to continue limiting your chocolate consumption. A bar of chocolate is little more than 200 calories, it is best to replace that with something healthy, though you can still treat yourself to a bar of chocolate every now and then. I suggest that you also make your diet rich in fibre. Fibre from foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes. Fibre helps you feel full, so you’re less likely to overeat later on.
For instance, eating ofada rice as opposed to regular polished white rice will keep you fuller for longer because of the fibre content. Research shows that people who eat plenty of fiber- and who also get regular physical activity, eat fewer calories, and track their progress (such as by weighing themselves regularly or wearing a fitness smart watch) are more likely to succeed at long-term weight maintenance.
Exercising plays a big role in maintaining your weight. It may help you burn off some extra calories and increase your metabolism, which are two factors needed to achieve energy balance. When you are in energy balance, it means you burn the same number of calories that you consume. As a result, your weight is more likely to stay the same.
Monitoring your weight by stepping on the scale on a regular basis may be a helpful tool for weight maintenance. This is because it can make you aware of your progress and encourage weight control behaviours. Those who weigh themselves may also eat fewer calories throughout the day, which is helpful for maintaining weight loss. How often you weigh yourself is a personal choice but i suggest weekly. So that you don’t become obsessed.
Setbacks are inevitable on your weight maintenance journey. There may be times when you give in to an unhealthy craving or skip a workout. However, the occasional slip up doesn’t mean you should throw your goals out the window. Simply move on and follow through with better choices. It can also help to plan ahead for situations that you know will make healthy eating challenging, such as an upcoming vacation or holiday. Both your diet and your activity level contribute to weight management. To ensure maintenance plan well-balanced menus that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources. Build an exercise program that includes cardio, weight training and flexibility exercises and aim to work out at least four days per week.
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