Congratulations! After what (might) feel like eons of hard, excruciating work — physically and mentally — you see a healthy number on the scale that leaves you glowing with pride. You’re at the top of a mountain which took a whole lot of effort, endurance and determination to climb. But you did it! And now, you’re left with the grueling question, “What comes next?”
Welcome to Weight Maintenance
There’s no time to grow complacent, because you might find yourself sliding off the rails — and you wouldn’t want to unravel the difficult pounds you’ve successfully shed.
You’ve made it to the weight maintenance phase, but don’t underestimate it. Did you know that nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years?
In fact, for some, this stage of weight-loss can be even more difficult than losing the pounds to begin with. It might be because our bodies are biologically designed with a protection plan in place. Essentially, it defends its fat stores, looking for energy to replace what is lost. So, you’ve got to stay ahead of the curve and develop a protection plan of your own.
How to Maintain Your Goal Weight:
1) Schedule a Health Exam.
Remember, it’s not all about the number on the scale! Schedule an exam with your primary care physician for an eval of your health. If there are things you can still improve upon, like cholesterol or blood pressure, incorporate those goals into your weight management plan.
2) Keep Stepping on the Scale.
Don’t even think about tossing the scale — you still need it. Make sure you step on it regularly, whether it’s daily or weekly, to keep a close eye on the number and how it’s trending. You should be able to catch any red flags before they become a problem.
3) Set Health Challenges.
There’s always room to improve on your health. Could you work on your strength? Speed? Endurance? Have you ever wanted to participate in a marathon or a triathlon? Ask yourself, “Beyond losing weight, what else can I do to be the best I can be?”
4) Develop a New Skill
Step outside your comfort zone and learn to do something you’ve never done before. Perhaps it’s a marathon or triathlon. Maybe it’s a dance class, spin class or even a full-on hiking excursion. Pick a skill or activity that will inspire you, motivate you and keep you pushing!
5) Keep Adjusting Your Behaviors
Even though you’ve lost the weight, it’s important to keep an eye on maintaining healthy habits. This includes nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and more — you know the drill.
The Work Doesn’t End
Develop and cultivate the mindset that your weight-loss journey is one you’ll stay on forever — and it doesn’t just end when you’ve reached your goal weight. Keeping the weight off is just the second leg of the adventure! Continue to measure non-scale victories and seek new, creative ways to boost your health and crush your goals. You’ve got this — now keep up the great work!