You’ve shed the weight and you’re feeling great. But slipping into bad habits is all too easy once we think the job has been done.
“It’s not me; it’s my hormones!”
“It’s not me; it’s my hormones!”
A healthy you isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey too!
No matter which diet plan you follow, almost all start by setting a goal – a target weight. It’s useful having something to aim for. The danger is that once we get there, we stop setting ourselves goals. And that can make it easier to slip back into the lifestyle that meant we needed to go on a diet in the first place.
From Zumba and dog walking, to cycling and rock climbing – all of the physical activities you can think of burn fat. Even weeding the garden can
To make matters worse, when we’ve lost weight there’s not just a physical change to our body, there’s also a hormonal one. Leptin kicks in and tries to keep up those fat stores.
As a result, muscles become more efficient and try to conserve energy – meaning they burn fewer calories when resting. At the same time, your brain has moved out of diet mode, so your appetite increases and you start reaching for the biscuit tin.
We asked XLS-Medical nutritionist, Jodie, for some tried and tested tips on how to maintain weight loss and how to stop those sneaky pounds from finding their way back to you.
1. Keep an eye on yourself
It’s easy to kid ourselves into thinking that everything’s fine. But just like a pot will boil over if you don’t watch it, we won’t keep weight off if we don’t check in from time to time. Step on the scales once a week. Notice how tight your jeans are. Keep a food diary occasionally to check on portion sizes. The sooner you realise you’re going off track the easier it is to nip it in the bud.
2. Carry on counting the calories
That pesky hormone, leptin, is going to make you want to eat a little more than necessary. Think about how you deal with hunger, which can make you overeat. High protein foods like lean meat, lentils, fish, eggs, and rich foods, such as veggies, beans or wholegrain pasta, can keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Using a product such as XLS-Medical Max Strength can also help reduce the calories absorbed from fats, carbohydrates and sugars. This could help you control your daily calorie intake.
3. Move more!
Exercise burns calories and because it helps keep your metabolism from slowing down, you’ll continue to burn more calories even when you’re resting. The trick with exercise is to enjoy it! Take up an activity that you can stick to – if you hate running, don’t run! Try a dance class or a sport like badminton. Exercising with other people can keep you motivated, so get a friend involved.
4. Keep it 85:15 – the rule that lets you eat cake!
Keeping weight off doesn’t mean avoiding your favourite take-away or a glass of wine for good – it just means that you need to find the balance between eating the right amount of healthy food and enjoying it when you treat yourself.
85% of the time choose foods that are healthy and balanced, and 15% of the time have that meal out, enjoy that glass of wine or treat yourself to a dessert after dinner. This rule means you pick and choose your treats – so you only indulge in the things you really enjoy.
5. Set yourself small, everyday goals
Giving yourself smaller goals is a great way to make sure you keep up the good work. And the best goals aren’t always directly about losing weight. You’re not just following a diet, you’re committing to a whole new lifestyle. So look out for opportunities to make your lifestyle healthier – like going veggie for two more meals a week, biking to work once a week, or keeping another evening alcohol-free. Setting smaller, more achievable goals one at a time will help you to keep moving in the right direction.
Last but not least, talk to your friends and family about how you’re managing your weight. Chances are, they’ll want to help. Why not share this article with them and get them on-board too? The more people who are on your side, the easier it will be to lose weight for life!