Congratulations! You have lost the weight and made it to your goal! It is now time to adjust your strategy and transition into the maintenance stage. You often hear that maintaining weight is more difficult than losing, but this doesn’t have to be the case. This blog will provide you with some great tips to help with your lifetime maintenance of a healthy weight.
Keep what worked for you.
As you followed a weight loss plan, you probably have an idea of what components of that plan helped you to lose the weight. Don’t abandon those good habits now that you have reached your goal. Here are some habits that are good to keep around.
- Watch Portions: Keep the scale and measuring cups out to avoid taking in extra calories.
- Eat frequently: Aim for 3 meals and 2 snacks daily. Spread calories out as evenly as possible throughout the day. Keeping fuel on the fire throughout the day keeps your metabolism burning efficiently and prevents stubborn cravings.
- Stay Hydrated: Water does so many great things for our bodies. It helps us to feel full, increases metabolism, and helps our bodies work properly. Women should aim for at least 64 oz daily and men 96 oz each day.
- Change It Up: Are you getting bored with the same foods? If so, it is time to add some healthy variety.
- Continue to Exercise: Aim for at least 150 minutes of cardio activity and 2-4 days of strength exercises weekly. Switch things up and continue to challenge yourself.
Abide by the 80/20 rule.
Try not to make your dietary rules so strict that you risk major burnout. This can often lead to giving up and binge eating on not so good foods. Instead, aim for making healthy choices most of the time, but allow yourself a special treat occasionally. If you splurge a little too much, don’t beat yourself up about it. Get right back on track with healthy choices.
Studies have shown that weighing yourself at home can help you to stay on track. You don’t necessarily need to weigh daily, but it is a good idea to check regularly to catch possible gains early. Keeping a log of your food intake can also be helpful. Again, not something needed daily at this point, but it can certainly help to keep you on track long term.
It can sometimes be hard to find motivation to stick to a healthy eating plan when you no longer are seeing numbers go down on the scale or pant sizes decreasing. Find ways to reward yourself for maintaining your health. Make it to the gym four times in one week? Treat yourself to a movie or new workout shirt! Maintain your weight for 2 months in a row? Go on a day trip to your favorite place.
Know your daily calorie limit.
As your body weight drops, you will not need as many calories to maintain weight. Your daily calorie goal might need some adjusting. So, how do you figure out how many calories you need to maintain? You first need to determine your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). RMR is the number of calories your body needs just to maintain current weight with no additional activity. There is an excellent tool to test this. It is called a MedGem. It is a clinically-validated and FDA-cleared, medical device for measurement of RMR. It is a handheld device that accurately measures oxygen consumption (VO2) to determine RMR. Measurements made with The MedGem are simple to administer and provide accurate results in only a few minutes. It’ll help you determine how many calories you need in order to lose, maintain, or gain weight. If you are interested in testing your RMR using the MedGem, contact your local BlueSky MD office and make an appointment today.