Avoid post-diet weight gain by making your lifestyle doable

healthy habits, healthy lifestyleHave you ever put yourself on a diet that allowed you to lose your excess weight with success, only to find that once you’ve achieved your goal weight, you slowly begin to return to those pre-diet habits?  What often happens next is not what you hoped for because oftentimes you gain back the weight you had lost and then some.

Of course, I attempted numerous diets for 25 years – never achieving my significant weight loss goals – but I know what it’s like to return to those pre-diet habits.  I also know what it’s like to gain back the weight I had lost and then some.  The only time I ever reached my goal weight was when I changed my lifestyle in 2001 and I have not gained my weight back because I didn’t return to any previous pre-diet habits.

We’ve all read the statistics that show a large majority of individuals who lose weight will eventually gain it all back.   This probably helps to explain why I have been asked countless times how I manage to maintain my weight loss.  This is information that I enjoy sharing with others in hopes they can follow in my footsteps and keep their weight off also.

  1.  As you focus on living a healthier lifestyle (making healthier food choices & exercising daily) you need to be cautious, making certain that you are not going to an extreme in either area.  Going to an extreme will lead you to dread your healthy lifestyle.  If you dread it, you will start wishing you could end itthus, going back to old unhealthy habits and gaining back any weight that you lost.
  2. I made healthy changes that I could live with for the rest of my life:  not skipping meals, taking smaller portions, not taking second helpings, drinking only zero-calorie beverages (preferably water), limiting my visits to fast food restaurants and NOT purchasing items at the grocery store that are full of fat, calories, and sugar. These are things I still do today because they aren’t extreme, they are doable.
  3.  When it comes to exercise, I faced the fact that in order to lose weight successfully I had to incorporate it into my daily routine.  I made the decision to do what I enjoyed, walking.  I love it and continue to walk 1.5 miles every day and I feel that it is the main reason why I have maintained my weight loss.
  4.  While losing my weight and my clothes became too large, I didn’t keep them … I got rid of them!  If I wouldn’t have done this, it would have been the same as saying: “I’ll probably need these again someday.”  DO NOT do that – say goodbye to the fat clothes!
  5. If I ever notice that my jeans become a little snug, especially around the holiday season, I don’t live in sweatpants and try to ignore it … I simply walk a little faster and a little longer until they fit the way they are supposed to once again.
  6. I don’t let allow myself to feel guilty or become upset with myself by going overboard on a meal, I just eat a little less during the next one.  Guilt often causes us to go to food for comfort and I’ve learned that food doesn’t create comfort, but being healthy does!

What changes will you be making to your lifestyle that are doable?

Photo credit: A30_Tsitika

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