Brilliant content about how to lose weight has and is being churned out in impressive amounts. This is because we all want to lose weight for various reasons and are constantly seeking ways to do so. And almost all of us have succeeded in losing weight using some of that content. But what do we do when we get there? What next after weight loss? That is the most difficult task; How to maintain weight after weight loss. Really, losing weight is fairly easy, keeping it off is what is hard.
Without the right information at hand, weight loss will almost feel like climbing all the way to the mountaintop and not knowing what to do once you get there.
I have previously encountered this. The mountaintop feeling. I lost weight in 2014, a total of 20kgs, but was less informed on how to keep it off and in the long-run, I gained 6kg. While my weight gain wasn’t dramatic, there are other people who have probably gained all the weight back (a lot of it) because they just do not know how best to keep it off. I now know better and would like to share the tips I have learned.
How do you Maintain Weight after Weight Loss?
Firstly, how and why you lost weight is important in sustaining the new weight. If you lost weight to fit into an outfit because Mary’s wedding was coming up, then it will be harder to keep it off after the event. The same concept applies if you lost weight using quick diet fixes that are almost impossible to stick to in the long-term. Reason being, weight loss, shouldn’t be a goal, a fit and healthy lifestyle should be.
1. Continue to keep tabs on food intake
Successful weight loss comes with successful meal tracking. If during the weight loss journey you kept a food journal, it is wise that you continue to keep track on what passes your lips. This should however not become an obsession. Just be aware of what foods you are eating and in what amounts, as well as what your maintenance calories are.
2. Continue to plan your meals
Plan your meals in advance. I know people who plan and prepare their meals a week in advance and this works great for them. If however, this doesn’t fit your schedule, try to at least plan your meals a day in advance. When you are unprepared with your meals, you will eat whatever is thrown at you when hungry. Make use of food tracking apps such as MyfitnessPal.
3. Continue to monitor your progress
You need to continue keeping an eye on the scale. Weigh yourself regularly at the same time of the day preferably every fortnight. If you would rather monitor inches using a tape measure, then, by all means, continue to keep tabs like that.
4. Lift weights
As Rochelle Louw elaborated in the previous article, strength training increases lean muscle mass, which creates more muscle contractions and thus burns more calories. Strength training is just as important during weight maintenance as it is during weight loss.
5. Continue to exercise regularly
Stick to your regular exercise schedule and maintain a fit lifestyle. You should keep up with the same fitness habits you adopted during weight loss. However, be mindful of how much energy you are expending in relation to how many calories you are consuming so that you do not lose or gain, but maintain the weight.
Read here on workout motivation tips.
6. Be mindful of snacking
Successful weight loss should not be a license to munching at every sitting. A lot of us consider losing weight as a passport to eating all the treats we missed out on during the weight loss journey. There is a “now that I’m slimmer, I can eat almost anything and work it off later” mentality that seems to kick in when we get to the mountaintop. Reality doesn’t work like that, though. Fitness is a life-long trip and the few stops at the snack bars should be monitored closely. The treats tend to add up and three months down the ‘candy and cake lane’, will leave you battling with zipping up your pants.
How to maintain weight after weight loss is a continuous process. You have to adjust your mindset and know that weight loss is not a destination but only part of a fitness journey.
Have you successfully lost weight? How are you maintaining your weight? Share your tips in the comments section.