Losing weight isn’t easy, but keeping the weight off for the long haul can be even more challenging. Many of us have experienced weight loss only to be followed by gaining it all back… and often then some! Don’t get stuck on that endless roller coaster of yo-yo dieting.
So how can you get off of this dieting roller coaster?
1. Keep exercising even after you reach your goal weight.
Losing weight isn’t a race where you get to stop and rest once you cross the finish line. It’s an ongoing effort, and it’s vital that you continue to eat right and exercise, so you don’t put the pounds back on.
- Exercise isn’t just for weight loss. Exercise supports mood and overall health.
- See Spark by John J. Ratey.
- Try High Intensity Interval Training for quick results with the optimal results for health and weight management.
- See also Burst Training for Maximum Weight Loss.
2. Set a target range rather than a specific goal weight.
Trying to stick to a specific number on the scale can be difficult. If you go above your goal weight it can be discouraging, and you may lose the motivation you need to stick to a healthy diet and exercise program.
- Shooting for a target range also allows for weight fluctuations that naturally occur.
3. Choose a diet for the long term.
Many diets are very restrictive, and there’s no way you can stay on a diet like that for very long.
- Calorie restriction doesn’t work! It’s the most miserable and least effective way to lose weight.
- Choose a healthy eating plan that you’ll be able to stick to, even after reaching your target weight.
- One of today’s most effective eating plans for long term weight management as well as optimal health is the Paleo Diet. See this fantastic resource: Your Personal Paleo Code.
4. Having a support system can help you stay on track.
If you can surround yourself with people that will help keep you motivated and accountable, it will be easier to maintain your weight loss.
- Enlist the help of friends, family members, coworkers, or even people on a social networking site. If you state your goals publicly, you’ll be more motivated to put forth the effort to reach them.
5. Give yourself permission to make mistakes from time to time.
Sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise program is great, but there will be times where you eat something unhealthy or miss a few days of exercise.
- If you overindulge on food or don’t work out, avoid letting that destroy your motivation. Keep yourself from going back to sitting on the couch and eating junk food.
- If you have a misstep, get back on track and start moving forward again. You’ll reach and maintain your weight loss goals if you can develop good habits.
6. Eat plenty of vegetables.
Rather than turning to high calorie, prepackaged, processed foods when you need a snack, snack on vegetables with a healthy oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, will fill you up and provide your body with the nutrition you need for optimal energy.
If you’ve been a yo-yo dieter in the past, you know how losing weight and keeping it off can be extremely difficult. If you keep these tips in mind, though, you’ll discover an easier and a more enjoyable experience than that roller coaster!
7. Eat fat!
- The old school of thought was that eating food high in fat promoted weight gain. This is true if you eat highly processed trans fats together with lots of sugary foods. We have discovered that eating fat is essential to health and overall weight loss and weight management.
- Choose olive oil and coconut oil.
- Eat fats from pastured and grass fed animals.
- Avoid foods high in trans fats or hydrogenated fats.
- Avoid industrial seed and vegetable oils (corn, canola, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
- Increase your intake of heart-healthy elements, such as omega-3 fish oil found in tuna and salmon, fibrous fruits and vegetables, and a healthy amount of protein.
8. Cut out sugar!
Be warned. Sugar is the enemy of weight loss and weight management.
- A great resource is The Sugar Impact Diet.
- Excess sugar is stored in your body and puts you at risk for weight gain.
9. Eliminate foods you are intolerant to.
Dairy products and gluten products especially can cause terrible inflammation and cause you to hold onto extra weight. Try eliminating these foods for a period of time and see if you begin to shed a few pounds. Dairy is notorious among body builders for use as a weight gaining tactic!
- Almost all people are intolerant to one or more of the following: dairy, gluten, eggs, corn, sugar and/or nuts. For a great detailed explanation of food intolerance and how to embark on an elimination diet, see JJ Virgin’s book, The Virgin Diet.