For many people, reaching an ideal weight is a hard-won feat that doesn’t end when the goal is met. Often, the toughest part of a weight program is the maintenance phase. Will you be able to ward off old cravings and keep from gaining the weight back? Weight maintenance isn’t just a dieter’s concern, either; those who have trouble keeping weight on also find maintaining an ideal weight challenging. But maintaining your perfect weight doesn’t have to be a struggle that threatens to reverse all your hard work. Here are five tips that will help make keeping the weight off–or on–simple, successful, and worry-free.
Set new goals. Remember those goals you had when you were trying to lose or gain weight? It’s time to set new ones. This time, measure your goals in weeks rather than pounds–every week you maintain your ideal weight, you will have reached a goal. Award yourself for successful weigh-ins, with something small but satisfying, such as a healthy dinner out or a relaxing activity. For those weeks that you don’t meet your goal, make the necessary adjustments to your diet and commit to working harder for next week’s weigh-in.
Surround yourself with inspiration. Struggles with weight can be an emotional roller coaster, so it’s important to stay positive once you reach your ideal weight. Whatever gave you inspiration to lose or gain weight will probably also help you maintain your current weight. The continued support of a spouse, family members, or friends can help you stay on track, but much of your success will depend on you. Inspire yourself by doing things that make you feel good, like eating properly, exercising, de-stressing with yoga or meditation, and nurturing your spiritual being.
Enhance your wardrobe. One of the main reasons people want to reach their ideal weight is for appearance. The best way to show off your new figure is by wearing clothes that flatter. By enhancing your wardrobe with attractive, well-fitted clothing, you’ll be more encouraged to stick to your ideal weight. You don’t have to invest in an expensive wardrobe, either. Instead, shop at discount or gently used clothing stores for great buys. You might even find things in your closet from years ago that still look fashionable and have the benefit of fitting again.
Transgress, with conditions. Working too hard at avoiding temptation can actually make you revert to old habits, especially for dieters. So why fight it? If you’ve been dreaming about French fries from your favorite fast food restaurant or a hot fudge sundae, go ahead and cave in to your craving–with a few conditions. Allow yourself to transgress only on special occasions, keep the quantities small, try to choose healthier versions of your cravings, and devote extra time or intensity to your daily exercise session.
Don’t look back. People who have altered their weight drastically often plant pictures of their old self in a visible spot to remind them of how they don’t want to look. While this trick can work, it can also prove ineffective or even backfire. Once you reach your ideal weight, there’s really no reason to look back at the old you. It’s better to focus your sights and efforts on who you are now and how you plan to be in the future. Convince yourself that your new body is here to stay, so there is no need to look back. Remove old pictures and any other reminders of your past life, and put your best foot forward.
Maintaining an ideal weight can be as difficult as reaching it, but you have the tools and power to be successful. With a little effort, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to keep your body just the way you like it.