5 Tips to Maintain Your Weight Loss For Good!
We've all been there-- in fact I've been there many times. I'd embark on some sort of crash fad diet and lose a solid 10 to 15 pounds. Of course once I stopped drinking the shakes and staying on said diet, those pounds came right back on, and fast, and I felt like a complete and utter failure. And yes, much to my chagrin I have repeated this vicious cycle of losing and then gaining the weight back at least a handful of times and it’s never very pretty.
Somehow, once I got married and had kids my post c-section muffin top, while unsightly, was not as high on my list of priorities as other pressing things like feeding my anorexic dog, running my kids to their gym classes (I know how ironic) or just keeping the house from falling down around me. Life in general just completely railroaded me into a routine of taking care of every one and thing except for myself. But I finally decided it was time.
My turning point came when my daughter asked me if I wanted to start shopping at Lane Bryant (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and I realized I just didn’t feel good. And it’s a not about a goal weight for me– I don’t own a scale, it’s about how I feel in clothes, it’s about wanting to wear clothes and be able to tuck in my shirt. It’s about not dreading THE THOUGHT OF wearing a bathing suit. It’s about feeling lighter which translates into ultimately feeling better. But I also don't want to just lose weight and then after my fad diet is over and done with, gain it all back. Well according to Ingrid Macher, a certified holistic health coach, personal trainer, and fitness motivator, I don’t have to give up on my body.
Macher admits once she met and married her soul mate, she gained 50 pounds of happiness. Fitness was no longer a priority; and after trying everything from extreme exercise routines to dangerous pills and almost every diet she could find, with no results, she figured out her problem – she was missing the most important element of the process – getting the right mindset. Like most people trying to lose weight, she realized she was setting herself up for failure from the start. So she dedicated her time and effort to staying positive and motivated, and as a result was able to lose 50 pounds of fat in 90 days, and reach a healthy 117 pounds. But most importantly, for the last three and a half years, she's been able to keep the weight off without even trying due to her new mindset. Of course seeing that she's been able to maintain this weight loss, is to me, a true measure of her success and so I asked her to share her top 5 tips for keeping the pounds off. Her advice will resonate whether you're trying to maintain a weight loss or even if you’re just starting out on your journey to lose weight.
1. Stay positive and always make time for yourself. University studies have shown that having a positive outlook and mental attitude about your health brings greater physical results without even changing your diet or exercise routine! I found this to be the #1 key to losing all those ugly pounds and keeping them off.
2. Have a “cheat day” once a week. Having a cheat day restores your body’s energy levels & kicks it out of starvation mode and back to burning fat, which is what we want right? Knowing that you can have whatever you want 1 day a week also helps you stay motivated the rest of the week.
3. Write down everything you eat, drink, AND how you feel, in a journal. This will make you think twice about cheating on the other 6 days and help you to stay accountable to yourself as well as help you realize how certain foods are affecting you physically and emotionally.
4. Prepare your meals for the week ahead of time - every Sunday can be your preparation day, separate your foods into portions so they are ready to eat throughout the week. This will prevent you from having temptations to make bad decisions for your meals, and it will save you time and money.
5. Find the exercise routine that fits your personality. Getting your exercise in should not be a miserable chore. Find some type of activity that you enjoy and start doing it regularly. Ride bikes with your family, take your pet for a walk, if you like to dance, try Zumba. Be adventurous, don’t be afraid to try new things until you find the one that you love the most. That will give you the drive and enjoyment to stay healthy.
In addition to these strategies, Macher has found that certain foods can cause a train wreck in your new healthy lifestyle. Products that contain artificial sweeteners, like “diet” sodas and energy drinks, will actually cause you to have MORE cravings because these ingredients cause your body to expect sugar when it’s not receiving it. Additionally, excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and dairy causes your body to store the excess energy as sugar, which will then turn into fat.
But it’s not just food that can make you fat, behaviors in our daily activities that can really sabotage our effort to stay fit include; skipping meals, inadequate sleep, drinking too much alcohol, and the worst offense, having negative people in your life.
"The biggest challenge I have found that women face every day is dealing with peer pressure from friends and family that don’t understand that you have a new lifestyle. Some people may even criticize and make negative comments trying to make you feel bad, but you must realize that these actions are only a reflection of their own insecurities," says Macher. "Treat them with respect and move forward with your new life. Remember, you must love yourself enough to be able to appreciate your new body and your new life. When you are able to love yourself, you can accomplish anything in life!"