blogging, dealing with food cravings, Exercise, Food Addiction, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal

Day 37: Maintaining Your Weight Loss

If only maintaining a healthy weight was as easy a taking the right exit! (Photo via Vanderbilt University website)
If only maintaining a healthy weight was as easy a taking the right exit! (Photo via Vanderbilt University website)

Yesterday, was an education day at the bariatric center. The behavior modification specialist did a wonderful presentation on maintaining weight loss.  Though I’m only 1/3 of the way through the program, preparing to sustain my recent and future weight loss is crucial.  I’ve lost and gained in the past because once I’d reached my goal, I’d slowly return to my old way of eating.  This time I have way too much invested, in terms of health risks and the overall cost of this endeavor to return to old habits.

Unfortunately, I’m aware that chronic obesity is a disorder that has no real quick fix and no long-term cure.  The only way to stay at a healthy weight for life is to be ever-vigilant of food choices, portions and physical activity. It sounds incredibly daunting to do for a lifetime, doesn’t it?  However, I’m trying to re-wire my brain to view chronic obesity as something that must be controlled, like high blood pressure or asthma.  Just as must take my asthma medication and avoid potential asthma triggers, I’m equally bound to make the right food choices, practice portion control, and exercise daily.  Here are some of the wonderful tips that I learned to aid in maintaining weight loss:

  • Journal all food and drinks that you consume at the time you eat or drink them.  This helps to keep you mindful of what you’re putting in your body.  If your journal isn’t nearby, write down what you’ve had on a scrap sheet of paper and transfer the info to your journal later.
  • Exercise and engage in physical activities, at least 30 minutes per day, but make your exercise plan realistic for your lifestyle.  Find the time of day that suits your schedule.  If you choose to workout at a gym or wellness center, be certain that it’s close enough to your home that you’ll actually feel like driving there.  I remember learning in a college fitness course that statistics have shown that people who live more than 15 minutes from their place of exercise are more likely to skip working out.
  • Actively Practice Portion Control.  Learn what an appropriate portion size is.  Web MD offers a great portion size guide.  I’ve printed this and keep it on my refrigerator.  Using smaller plates, cups and bowls that contrast the color of your food give the appearance of a fuller plate.  If you eat out at restaurants ask for a to-go box with your meal and put half of it to take home for the next day.
  • Plan your meals and snacks weekly. This will decrease your likelihood of making impulse decisions about food choices.  It will also teach you to not use food for immediate gratification, because you’ll know what and when you’ll be eating.
  • Remember that you are in control of what you eat. Choose carefully the foods that you allow in your home.  Don’t allow others to talk, or guilt, you into eating foods that could jeopardize your success.
  • Practice mindful eating.  In doing this, you should be aware of what and how much you’re eating.  Additionally, you should be eating in the moment and not chowing down mindlessly in front of the TV or computer.  Focus on your food and take the time to enjoy the fuel that you’re giving your body.
  • Identify the things that trigger your overeating.   Avoid situations that may cause sensory stimulation like the sight or smell of food. The Food Network channel is probably not the best thing to watch!  If avoiding a trigger is impossible, plan ahead to have a healthy alternative.  Also, realize that sometimes the things that our body craves are really signals of something else that our body actually needs.  If you’re craving something salty, you may actually be thirsty.  If you’re snacking because you’re overly tired, you probably need protein.
  • Learn from previous weight loss failures. Think about the choices that you made the last time you lost and regained and don’t repeat your mistakes.  I thought I could go back to my normal style of eating and still magically keep my weight off.  Boy, was I wrong!  Read all of the information that you find on maintaining weight loss.  There are so many great online resources on weight maintenance you’ll never run out of material!

AND FINALLY…

  • Focus on the health of your one and only body!  Just focusing on the number on the scale won’t do.  Lot’s of people decrease that number through unhealthy means.  Think about yourself as an entire, beautiful, amazing package that thrives on healthy, well-portioned meals and activity to keep going.

What do you think?  Do you have any other tips for long-term weight maintenance that could be added to the list?  Tell me about it below! 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Day 37: Maintaining Your Weight Loss”

    1. I think your friend’s idea is great plan to deal with small weight gain immediately instead of letting the pounds pile up. Yes, I have to agree that I feel even more accountable because I’ve put myself out here on the blogosphere! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  1. Brilliant pointers here. Made me realise why I hardly go to my gym because there is a handful of congested roundabouts between here and there. It’s quite a trek! Also hunting out some decent recipes is a work in progress. I am finding amazing cooking/food blogs (like fab foodbod) here with exquisite and simple ideas – like using tahini more. I think making food taste great will help in planning.

    Energising post. You write so intelligently. It has me mobilised! Happy weekend.

    1. Thank you so very much! I love Elaine’s blog, too. Even though it makes me ravenously hungry to read, I can’t wait to try her recipes once I’m off of Optifast! I’d better get off the computer and get moving! I don’t want to miss out on a good bargain! You have a wonderful weekend, as well! 🙂

  2. Great post! While the journey TO the loss is important, I the level path of maintenance is the most crucial and TOUGHEST to travel!!! I found that through the experience of what emotional/mental stress does to the body coupled with the temptations of holiday/winter foods. Those things are FINALLY gone now for me so, getting back on track will be a little easier. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. You’re welcome! I began my weight loss program right after the holidays, but you’re right about all of the hearty winter foods that we all crave on a snowy day! One thing that has helped tremendously, has been the support of my family. We’ve stopped having tempting foods in the house, even though I’m not eating. We got rid of chips, cookies, soda and all of the other junk we were eating and my husband and daughters have been cooking healthy meals that I’ll be able to eat after my fast. This way, I’m developing cravings for the things that I should be eating, instead of junk. My husband has dropped 12 pounds without trying through this! Thanks for visiting 🙂

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