Once you have reached a goal weight, you may feel like the battle is complete and you can finally let down your guard. Not the case. Maintaining any amount of weight loss takes diligence. Consistency is key at this stage in the game. According to studies of participants that have maintained weight loss over a period of over time, there are several common practices that have been adhered to for continued success:
- Continue doing a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio on most days of the week with a goal of burning at least 2,000 calories a week.
- Continue to strength train at least two times a week to build lean body mass, and keep your metabolism in high gear.
- Watch less than 16 hours of TV per week, usually less than 2 a day.
- Weigh yourself on regular basis. It will be much easier to lose 1 or 2 pounds before they become 9 or 10 pounds.
- Continue to track calories and activity periodically to keep you on top of any weight gain. Adjust intake to your new weight and activity level.
- Incorporate as much activity into your lifestyle as you can.
- Continue to make changes that will positively effect your health.
- Surround yourself with people that will support your effort and keep you on track. Perhaps your success will become inspiration to those around you.
- Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle is a continual journey, not arriving at a final destination.
This is not the end of your journey. Quite contrary, it is the beginning. You now have a full toolbox of knowledge you can use. Slip ups will happen, they are an inevitable part of life. How you chose to deal with those when they arise will determine your success in the long run.
Take Away: When the scale stops moving it’s time to change things up to continue to see results.
Don’t stop now. Here are some things to keep in mind and keep you pointing in the right direction:
1. Stay aware of the benefits of your lifestyle change.
What changes have you made?
What have you achieved with those changes?
What are the next steps for you?
2. Recognize your success.
What are you most proud of?
3. Remind yourself of your progress.
Post weight and activity graphs
Keep track of activity milestones
4. Continue to keep track of your weight, eating and activity
Record what you eat, your weight and daily physical activity
5. Add variety to your routine
How have you varied your physical activity
What new foods or snacks have you added to your diet
6. Set new goals for yourself
Set up a reward system for yourself when you reach a goal and immediately set a new goal to keep you focused
7. Adjust your calorie intake for every ten pounds you lose based on your new weight.
Lighter people need fewer calories
Take Away: Remind yourself that a healthy lifestyle is something you will maintain for the rest of your life and continually strive to improve your efforts.