Ginny Grabowski, MSc.
10 Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
You’ve done it! You made the commitment to being healthier and changing some unhealthy habits and you’ve accomplished your goals.
Don't be fooled. Now that you've lost the weight, it doesn't magically stay at bay. Once you've reached your goals, you don't want to stop doing what got you here. If you return to old habits, your old body will return even faster and it will be harder to make the changes again in the future.
Here are 10 secret and simple ways to keep the weight off and maintain your new body and health.
Work with Weights – Ideally, while losing body fat you've also gained some muscle mass. This is important because studies consistently show that people with more muscle burn more calories throughout the day, all day long. This means your body will use the food you're eating instead of storing it as fat for later.
Track your food or journal about it – When you write down what you eat, you will be able to control the amount of food that you are eating. Even if you only write down your food intake for a few days a week, keeping an eye on how you’re eating can help alert you of problems before they become pounds. You can also journal about how the food you're eating makes you feel. If you eat X food and it makes you feel tired and irritable, don't continue to eat it. If you eat Y and you have great energy, eat more of that. You won't know until you track it.
Exercise/move consistently – The human body is made to move. That could mean hitting the gym, going out dancing or cleaning the house. Choose what makes your body feel best and do it often. Daily is best, 3 days per week is a minimum. Remember, all movement counts. If you can climb stairs at the office for 5 minutes 5 times a day, it counts.
Allow yourself treats – Living healthy isn’t about deprivation. If we are constantly avoiding certain foods, at some point, you'll say it's ok to "be bad," and eat the food. This leads to guilt and an emotional roller coaster. Instead, recognize that all food can fit somewhere in your overall nutrition pattern. If you're eating well 80% of the time, occasional less-healthy options won't hurt you. Remember, it's called a treat because you have it occasionally. If you're having it often, it's a regular part of your diet and no longer a treat.
Remember, it's long-term change, not a short-term fix – When you’re working to lose weight, the ‘sprint’ approach isn’t going to be a long term change. What you did to achieve your new body will require similar habits to maintain your new body.
Learn to make favorite recipes healthier – If you have a favorite cheesecake recipe; why not learn how to make it lower in fat and sugar? This way, you can still enjoy the foods you love.
Get support – You don’t have to join a weight loss club to do this, but telling your friends and family about your goals can help to get everyone into supporting your efforts. When you do this, people will start to recognize that family gatherings should have healthy options as well as not always revolve around food.
Manage the stress – Many people eat when they are stressed, but when you’ve lost weight, you want to avoid this kind of trigger. Instead, figure out ways that help you deal with stress. What can you do instead of eating to help calm down and relax?
Check-in with the scale – Studies have shown that those that regularly monitor their weight tend to keep off weight better than those that don’t. Having said that, remember, the scale is A tool, not the only tool to measure your health and wellness. Weigh yourself maybe once per week or every other week. Daily weigh-ins can play with your mental focus because some fluctuation (as much as 5 pounds) is normal. If you see an upward trend (several weigh-ins with the needle creeping up), it's time to re-evaluate. If you're up a couple and then back to where you want to be. don't worry about it.
Recognize a slip up and forgive yourself – When you start to get angry about mistakes, you can backslide into old eating habits. You will have times when eating right will be more difficult, but you will persevere. Acknowledge that you made a poor eating choice (or several) and then forgive yourself and eat better at the next meal. There’s no need to punish your self. Falling down isn't a problem as long as you get back up.
Keeping the weight off can actually be more challenging than losing it in the first place, but when you’re committed to your health, these simple steps can keep you on track.
Need more help? Check out The Women's Wellness Academy.