Losing weight is one thing, but keeping it off is a whole different ball game. The same things that help you lose weight will also help you to maintain a healthy weight.
Hopefully you didn’t choose to lose weight in an unhealthy way because you can’t keep that up. It will lead to serious health problems in the long run. As long as you picked a decent way to shed the pounds, you’ll be able to keep the weight off for good. Whether you’re a calorie counter or just a healthy eater (recommended), you’ll be able to enjoy the new you for years to come.
All you have to do is be consistent.
Consistency Is Key
Being consistent is the number one way to manage your weight. If you think you can do a crash diet to get skinny for your beach vacation and keep the weight off for good, you have another thing coming (1).
Crash diets are famous for their boomerang effect. The weight leaves your body but it comes right back, often leaving you heavier than you were before. Keeping your weight off is all about a lifestyle change. When you change your lifestyle, you have to be consistent.
If you’re not consistent, then you didn’t really change your lifestyle. You just played around with a new way of living for a while before reverting back to your old ways. No matter how many cool hacks you find to shed the pounds, it won’t work unless you keep up with it consistently.
Keeping the weight off isn’t about being “skinny.” I hate that word because it has caused millions, if not billions, of women to hate their bodies. Losing weight is about being healthy, not skinny. If you’re keeping up with a healthy lifestyle but you’re not “super model thin,” who cares. It’s no reason to hate yourself.
The bottom line is this, you have to find a healthy lifestyle that works for you. I know people who jog six miles for a workout. I could never keep that up. If I were to make that the staple of my weight management program, I would surely not be consistent. I’d gain the weight back in a heartbeat.
You have to decide on healthy choices that you wouldn’t mind keeping up with for the rest of your life. It would be even better if you’d love to keep up with it for the rest of your life. You body will be thanking you forever. Losing weight is only one of the benefits of living a consistent and healthy lifestyle.
You’ll Learn To Love It
Changing your lifestyle is hard work at first. If you’re used to gorging on greasy fast food and sugary candy, it’s going to be a rough transition. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
At first, you’re going to have really bad cravings for all the junk your body is used to consuming. It’s going to be really hard, but you’ll get through it one meal at a time. If you find yourself craving something unhealthy, then immediately eat some healthy food until you’re full. Being full makes my cravings subside every time.
Eventually after a few weeks your cravings will be virtually nonexistent. It depends on what you eat on your cheat days though. If you eat a burger on your cheat day, you might crave another one for the rest of the week. But all the other food you used to crave but didn’t eat on your cheat day won’t be on your mind.
After a few weeks of healthy living with one cheat day a week, you’ll feel like a new person. You’ll notice something weird beginning to happen. You’ll start craving healthy food and won’t look forward to your cheat day as much. You’ll be asking the grocery store when the strawberries will be back in stock instead of when the candy will go on sale.
If you picked the right lifestyle, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with it, and that’s good news.
My Secret Sauce
I have a little hack I use to keep the fat from finding its way back to my body.
It’s called self imaging. When you think of yourself, you probably think of yourself as overweight, unhealthy, struggling with your weight, or something along those lines. If you think of yourself like that, you’ll always be that way. Before you think this is all woo woo, let me tell you it’s not. It’s psychology and you can read about it in one of my favorite books, Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr Maxwell Maltz.
Dr Maltz was a plastic surgeon who realized how critical our self images really are. He noticed that a person’s self image acted like a cybernetic mechanism (autopilot mechanism) and it steered us back on course every time we veered off.
To state it simply, if you picture yourself as overweight, your self image will subconsciously work to keep you overweight. Every time you lose weight without changing your self image, you’ll find yourself doing things to sabotage the new healthy you. You won’t know why you’re doing these things, but it’s because you haven’t changed your self image. Your self image is your autopilot. If you steer off course, it will start working to get you back on track, even if that means getting you to make unhealthy choices.
Lose It For Good!
It would be wise to start working with your self image ASAP. Do you have a picture of yourself at your ideal weight? Are you at your ideal weight right now?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then put a picture of you at your ideal weight in a place that you’ll see it every day. This could be a screensaver on your phone or computer. You can tape the picture of yourself on your wall, mirror, or closet door.
All you have to do is be grateful that you live in a beautiful, healthy body. Even if you don’t feel healthy or you’re not at your ideal weight, just find something about your body to be grateful for. This will start to reframe your negative self image into a positive one.
Take a second right now to be grateful that your eyes are healthy and you can read information like this that will make lasting change in your life. You have a lot to be grateful for in regards to your body. Be grateful that your heart is beating and your lungs are working. Not everyone has a healthy heart or lungs.
Once you start looking at yourself with gratitude instead of shame, regret, or insecurity, you’ll start to see marvelous things happen with your weight.