Losing weight can feel like a great achievement, particularly when you start to see the visible results. However, that’s only half the challenge as maintaining that weight can feel like the real struggle. Although there are many different methods you can try to lose weight, actually maintaining your new weight requires a change in habits that we can normally be really used to.
Habits that we have towards eating include the how, what and when of eating which can all impact our weight. Having awareness of your common habits that contribute to weight gain can help to change them and result in the long term success of maintaining your weight.
So, what habits do you need to be aware of and what new ones need to be introduced? Well, a great way to start is through a food diary. This will be the key to you making behavioral changes and here’s why.
A food diary explains why
Although this may not seem the most exciting thing to do, filling out a food diary in the first place will help you to understand why you’re eating in the first place and whether it’s necessary. Making notes every time you eat will help you to know what your eating triggers are, the most likely time you’ll eat and the people you eat with the most. This will outline what you need to avoid when you’re trying to maintain your weight. It’ll answer questions like:
– Was I hungry when I felt the need to eat?
– Did I eat because I was bored?
– Do I do it for the sake of being polite?
– Was I upset?
All of this information helps to understand what sets you off and make it easier to make changes where they’re necessary.
Recollect what happened before
If you’ve tried to lose weight in the past, try to recollect what made you struggle last time and what made a positive change. What were the good habits that you adopted? What was the reason that you stopped last time? What will prevent you from making this mistake again?
What habits can encourage you?
Eat slowly – Eating slowly gives your senses a chance to realize you’re eating and trigger the relevant processes to digest your food. At the same time, you may realize that you’re eating less too. For every sitting, you should take around 20-30 minutes to finish your plate.
Use a smaller plate – This will encourage you to have a mentality to eat less as you’re unable to fill your plate to the rim. Eat from one serving of the bowl, and that’s it.
Chew regularly – Chew your food between 30-40 times so that you use up more energy actually chewing your food and making it easier to digest. This will prevent lumps of food being in your stomach and harder to break down.
Eat when you need to – Only feel the need to eat when you’re actually feeling hungry rather than for the sake of it. At the same time, don’t starve yourself to lose weight as it’s not sustainable.
Prevent yourself from using artificial substances – Although there are supplements available that can help with your weight loss, it can be a much better achievement to maintain your weight loss naturally.
Be realistic with your goal setting
This is an extremely important factor as setting unrealistic targets will only deflate you and make you more unmotivated. If you need to lose 2 stone, don’t aim to do it all at once. Instead, break down your goals into chunks and set yourself a mini-target each week to reach your eventual goal in a reasonable time. Just don’t be obsessed with weighing yourself every day. Instead, aim for once a week which aligns with your target.
As it was mentioned before, maintaining a good weight can be extremely difficult to do and it takes a lot of effort to ensure that you do this. However, with the right behaviors and mentality, you can implement these slowly into your routine and provide yourself with longer lasting results for the better.
Author Jamie Costello