Maintainers know that set backs are inevitable and they have plans to quickly handle slips. They keep records of their food intake, return to their weight loss efforts at the first sign of weight gain, and/or count calories or fat grams. The good news is that maintainers consistently report that it gets easier over time. Maintain the weight loss for more than two years, you’re likely to keep it off. Put this habit into practice:
1. Everyone slips. No one is perfect. All of us know what it feels like to swing and miss. To leave no room for mistakes is like expecting yourself to be an Olympic athlete without training. The trick is to not let a slip progress to a relapse. That means having a plan.
2. View slips as learning opportunities, not failures or flaws in your character. They are opportunities to identify stumbling blocks. For example, it’s been a stressful day and there you are at 6pm standing at the kitchen counter eating pie straight from the pan. Rather than beat yourself up and then eat the whole pie. Learn from this goof. Maybe you eat when stressed and you need to take a walk before entering the house after a hard day. Or, maybe you got too little sleep the night before and that dissolved your resolve. If that’s the case, you need to make sure you get your sleep or keep the pie out of the house on the days you don’t.
3. Weigh yourself several times a week. At the first sign of a 5-pound weight gain, have a specific plan to immediately get back on track. That plan will vary, but could include more exercise, journal keeping, weighing and measuring your food, or not eating after supper until the weight drops off.
Of course, you also must accept that exercise is a daily part of your life now and forever. You might be able to lose weight on diet alone, but only people who also exercise keep the weight off! Photo credit: Fuschia Foot via Compfight