Is losing weight hard? Yeah, it can be tough. I think the tough part is getting in ‘the zone’ because once you’re in there, losing weight can be a smooth, enjoyable journey.
I enjoyed discovering new foods and some of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever tasted. Learning how to make so many meals from scratch and seeing my fruit and veg intake go from struggling to hit 5-a-day rocketing to more like 10-a-day and with ease too! I can remember how much more I enjoyed my evening meals, savouring every mouthful as I’d changed from shovelling food into my mouth to actually noticing what I was eating.
The other major plus point of losing weight is the motivation you get from the success of a loss. Sticking to your plan all week and the scales reflecting it. This totally spurs you on to stick with it for the next week because you know it works, you see the results and the weight is coming off. After a couple of months other people start to notice that you’re losing weight and the compliments come flooding in. What great motivation to keep going, people are telling you how great you look and want to talk to you about your weight loss journey. You might even inspire others to do the same and join Weight Watchers or similar. All of these things help keep you on track and heading in the right direction. Brilliant!
So what happens when you reach your target weight?
After you’ve had a well deserved celebration that you’ve reached your target, it’s time to drop into maintenance mode which means continuing with those healthy habits that you’ve adopted along with increasing your calorie intake. This is the tricky bit. You need to increase what you’re eating by a few extra smart points or a few more calories. Amazing! Or at least you’d think it would be amazing, I actually found it really tough. It’s almost like you have to let your ‘healthy guard’ down and welcome that bigger portion or chunkier biscuit but by letting your healthy guard down it becomes all too easy to have a little bit of something extra as a treat too.
Before you know it, you’ve let some old habits slip back in, you’ve eaten some of the kids leftovers because you don’t need to be so strict and your calorie intake ends up at weight gain levels. You don’t have the weekly celebration of a loss that gives you the motivation for the next week. The numbers don’t really change and that’s what you’re trying to do but it’s hard because during your journey you’ve conditioned yourself to be striving for the loss and are a slave to the scales.
So how can you successfully maintain your weight loss?
Stay on track. Even though you can relax a little from the rigid number of points or calories that you’ve become used to, it’s still important to use your Weight Watchers tracker so you can plan your day out. To be honest this is something that I’ve always enjoyed, planning my delicious food for the day! The app is really user friendly and even if you don’t have the WW app there are loads of others out there such as My Fitness Pal or even the old fashioned way with a notebook!
Don’t see your weight loss as a diet, try to view it as a change in lifestyle and that way when you reach your target weight you are not ending your diet you are simply continuing your new healthy lifestyle.
If the numbers on the scales are no longer motivation for you then reduce the number of times you are weighing yourself. Go for a monthly weigh in rather than weekly.
Be proud of yourself for maintaining your new figure. I’m more proud of having kept my weight off for almost 3 years than of the original loss. You hear from too many people, I lost X number of stone on Weight Watchers or Slimming World but I’ve put it all back on, I must go back. The tricky part is maintaining your loss so be proud and have a mini celebration each month you stay at your target weight.
With my new exercise regime I’m hoping to shed a few more pounds and when I do I hope I can follow my own advice as to how to be successful in maintenance mode.
Are there any tips you have for maintaining a healthy weight?