Stick to your strategy to make your weight loss last
The feeling of reaching your goal weight – we know it’s a good one. Continuing to practise the healthy lifestyle changes that got you to your goal is the key to maintaining your weight.
To help you on your way, we’ve got together with a team of experts to find out more about the different ways to maintain your weight, from changing your eating habits to making more time for exercise.
What’s the 80:20 rule?
We know that sticking to healthy foods every day of the week can often be a struggle. Enter the 80:20 rule, a unique approach to healthy eating teaching balance, moderation and guilt-free indulgence.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, women’s health specialist says:
"Weight maintenance is a marathon, not a sprint. I recommend adopting the 80:20 rule – if you eat well 80 percent of the time, you can afford weekend and holiday treats. I think if we restrict our diets too much, we tend to crave naughty things more.
“When you do indulge, try to do so mindfully – find the very best version of that treat and really savour the taste. Plus, make sure you avoid eating in front of the TV, as it’s easier to consume more when you’re distracted instead of focusing on your food."
Focus on food
We all know that food keeps us going, like a car without petrol, we won’t be going anywhere without it. Keeping an eye on what you’re eating can help you to visually see your journey’s progress, and help you maintain your current weight – hurrah!
Sian Porter, consultant dietitian says:
"Keep a food diary to see where those extra calories are creeping in and to help you work out if there’s a pattern – such as when you’re dining out or after the gym. Then plan ahead, checking menus in advance or keeping healthy alternatives to have post-workout. People think they’ve 'earned' a bigger meal after exercise, but overindulging just wipes out all the calories they’ve burned.
“Stick to this rough guide at mealtimes: fill half your plate with veg, then split the other half into carbs and protein. And watch your carb portions – a serving should be the size of your fist."
Excel with exercise
Exercise is an important piece of the weight maintenance puzzle, but it doesn’t have to be boring – it’s not all about running a marathon.
Sara Nankivell, fitness expert at Nuffield Health, says:
"If you already do lots of cardio, try incorporating some resistance-based training (such as squats, push-ups and planks) into your fitness regime. These help increase lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at rest than fat. Another benefit of this type of workout is that you don’t need any equipment, so it’s perfect for days when you can’t get to the gym."
Making long-term changes to your lifestyle and diet that you know you can stick to is the easiest way to maintain your weight, and a combination of exercise and eating well (most of the time) is a great starting place. Just like weight loss, maintaining your weight is a journey, one that is individual to you. Setting yourself different targets and goals each month, in exercise for example, can help you feel more motivated and focused throughout your journey. Remember to celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how small they may be!