Saturday, January 10, 2009

Maintaining your target weight

Long-term change
If, once you've reached your realistic target weight, you go back to your old eating habits and activity levels, you'll put the weight back on. It's as simple as that.

This is usually the problem with quick-fix diets, they don't help you to make changes that you can maintain in the long term.

Stay realistic
Beware of 'how to be even skinnier' media messages that lure you into feeling dissatisfied. You have a life to live and enjoy, so hang on the satisfaction of being at a comfortable, healthy weight you can sustain.

Flexible restraint
Many slim people who stay that way by 'watching their weight', show flexible restraint, rather than following rigid all-or-nothing rules. They make healthy choices most of the time, but no foods are seen as forbidden.

This means enjoying small amounts of favourite foods without feeling guilty. And if you do over-indulge, or have a big night out, cut back a bit or do more exercise the next day to balance things out.

Eating healthily
Learn how to choose, prepare and enjoy a balanced diet. Low-fat cooking skills, understanding food labels and having the ability to judge portion sizes all help with this.

So does eating regular meals, taking time to really taste them and indulging yourself occasionally.

How to maintain weight loss
Continue to eat a balanced,
lower fat diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables
Don't avoid any foods, just watch portion sizes and limit the amount of certain foods
Have three regular meals a day at regular times (starting with breakfast), and fewer snacks.
Eat out occasionally, but limit fast food
Sit down to eat your meals, take time over them and pay attention to what you're eating
Keep 'self-monitoring' to stay conscious of your new eating and activity habits

Stay active

Getting regular physical activity is one of the strongest indicators of long-term success. Not only does it burn calories and increase metabolism-boosting muscle, it also boosts self-esteem and beats stress.

Studies show that just walking for 30 minutes or so each day, plus some other activities during the week, may be enough.

Learn to deal with stress

For many people, food is a quick and effective way to deal with stress. If this sounds like you, take some time to think about the stresses in your life and how you respond to them. A food and thoughts diary can be helpful.

Think about how you could manage stress differently. Things that help include regular exercise, breathing techniques and challenging negative self-talk that spirals into anxiety.

No comments: