Maintaining your slimmer shape is very possible – if you adopt these simple habits
1. Step on the scale regularly. When weight comes back, it creeps up on you so slowly – 0,5kg to 1kg at a time – that you might not even notice. Dr J Graham Thomas, a researcher for the National Weight Control Registry in the US, which tracks 10 000 people who have maintained a weight loss of 13kg or more, suggests regular weigh-ins to catch a slip.
2. Keep moving. It’s incredibly simple: if you stop exercising, you could find yourself right back where you started, says Thomas. ‘Getting regular exercise is one of the most well-known findings of the National Weight Control Registry. Ninety percent of the members exercise, working out for an average of half an hour a day. The way most of them choose to do this is brisk walking.’
3. Eat breakfast. ‘If you don’t eat all day and you have your first meal when you’re starving, you’re likely to eat way too much,’ says Thomas. Stick to a schedule of eating five times a day – three moderate meals and two reasonable snacks.
4. Be honest with yourself. That starts with identifying which foods you can’t help overeating, says Bonnie Matthews, who blogs about her 54kg weight loss as a ‘Wellness Warrior’ for The Dr Oz Show. Matthews calls these ‘never never foods’. ‘I keep them out of my life,’ she says. If you don’t want to go that far, at least keep them out of the house.
5. Celebrate maintenance milestones. Once you reach your goal weight, your mind-set can quickly change from positive (‘Yay, I’m losing!’) to negative (‘I’d better not gain it back’), Thomas says. Find ways to make maintenance thrilling: promise yourself prizes for keeping the kilos off. Think new bikini, second honeymoon, whatever – but maybe not another wedding cake!