Successfully losing weight is a massive achievement for your health and fitness, but staying on course is another challenge. Keeping excess weight off requires work and commitment, which can be accomplished through a good plan and consistent habits. A study led by kinesiology and public health professor Dr Suzanne Phelan found that weight loss successes involve healthy eating, regular exercise, self-monitoring practices, and nonpunitive coping measures. These activities, the study concludes, are essential to long-term weight management.
If you’ve already reached your target weight and want to keep the excess off, here are four tips you can follow for long-term weight loss maintenance:
1. Find a support group
Accountability is a crucial skill you must develop for long-term weight loss maintenance. By sharing your weight loss journey with people with the same goals, you can stay accountable and stick to the progress you’ve already made. These days, support groups are easy to access online through Facebook and Instagram. Posting your targets and victories allows group members to cheer you on and check in on your daily progress. In-person support through local gyms and sports communities can also be an excellent place to find a safe space for encouragement and advice.
2. Track your food intake
Food tracking is one of the best ways to approach long-term weight management because the more you track, the more weight you’ll lose. As WeightWatchers’ weight loss plans demonstrate, monitoring food intake and analyzing its nutritional value is a pillar of a sustainable weight loss strategy. Even though calorie-counting alone leads to weight loss, it does not guarantee better health nutrition which is equally essential for long-term weight maintenance. Big-picture nutrition data is just as critical as calorie counts. Food tracking takes this into account and helps you approach your weight goals in a healthy and sustained manner.
3. Drink plenty of water
Keeping yourself hydrated helps curb excess food cravings. Drinking enough water each day helps you feel fuller for longer and aids in digesting your meals. It also assists in managing body weight and reducing calorie intake when substituting plain water with sweet drinks such as flavored soda and processed fruit juices. The CDC recommends increasing your water intake by carrying a water flask with you and refilling it throughout the day, opting for water when eating out, and adding a wedge of lemon to plain water to improve its taste.
4. Make exercise a habit
Exercise has been proven to maintain weight loss by increasing your metabolism and lean body mass, which helps you burn more calories in a single day. A healthy lifestyle means incorporating exercise into your daily routines to create lasting changes for your health. Switching between aerobic activities and weight training allows you to work all your major muscle groups and keep your heart rate up. We listed here in the Journal of Happiness tips to stay active and fit even from the comfort of your home. With the use of online training videos, you can explore workouts such as yoga, boxing, or pilates training to keep exercise interesting.
Developing consistent habits is essential to keep off the weight you’ve lost permanently. Nourishing your body and creating substantial lifestyle changes can help you maintain weight loss and stick to your progress.
For more tips on healthy living and wellness, check out our latest posts at the Journal of Happiness.