“Losing weight and maintaining your body requires a lifetime commitment. Dieting, on the other hand, requires you to follow a regimented programme until you get to a certain weight. When you reach that desired number, it isn’t unusual to go back to your old habits. Here’s a 10-step guide that’ll help you maintain that newly acquired svelte body for a lifetime.”
1. Personalise your diet: Do not follow the latest ‘size zero’ diet that your favourite star is following. Nutritionists say a diet works best when they are customised. It must depend on your body constituency, basal metabolic rate and lifestyle.
2. Ditch the scale: Your weight depends on your water intake, bone density and muscle mass. Although you may look slimmer, the weighing scale may show a number higher than what you anticipate. It’s wiser to pay attention to how your clothes are fitting you, or measure the midpoint of your waist, and your bra size and track how the inches have reduced or increased over time.
3. Stay motivated: Losing weight increases your self-confidence and makes you feel better about yourself. It’s easy to stay motivated while your pants are feeling loose. But what happens when the weight hits a plateau? By focusing on how your health is improving you stay committed to healthier habits. Don’t be shy about giving yourself regular pep talks. Occasionally, write ‘I am entitled to better health’ on sticky notes and paste them on your desk.
4. Form a support group: Losing weight is a lonely journey. It is your battle and you’re fighting your own eating habits. A good idea is to get a support group. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your family doctor, nutritionist, gym buddies, mentors, friends, and family to egg you on, especially if you eat for emotional reasons.
5. Smarten up the kitchen: If you open the fridge and can’t find healthy options, you’re more likely to call for a pizza or grab a box of cookies. Always stack it with healthy staples like vegetables, pre-measured chicken breasts, beans, olive oil, eggs, fresh herbs, and some quick-boil whole grains. Arrange shelves so you can see what you have and what’s running low.
6. Pre-plan meals: Eating out can be quite challenging when you’re trying to lose weight. You tend to make habitual choices without considering calories or added sugar and salt. So, the next time you are making a plan to eat out, go online to view the menu and decide what you want, instead of making your folks wait on your order, endlessly.
7. Snack smart: A well-timed snack that is a combination of carbs and proteins keeps your blood sugar steady and can prevent you from binging when you sit down for your next meal. If you’re hungry but not ready for a full meal, consider an apple and a handful of nuts, two khakras with boiled sprouts, or a multi-grain toast with a small glass of milk, or a hard-boiled egg.
8. Don’t deprive yourself: The more you deprive yourself of a food item, the more you’ll crave it. So don’t completely strike off pizza and chocolate cake from the menu, but eat it less frequently and in smaller portions. By that way, you’ll avoid gorging on them once you’re through with the diet programme.
9. Manage your metabolism: If you’re still not losing weight, despite all your best efforts, your metabolism may be the culprit. If you’re having trouble losing weight, your doctor can rule out or confirm a thyroid imbalance or hormonal fluctuations and prescribe appropriate medication. He can establish health measures like blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, waist measurement and pulse. If he rules out serious health problems associated with excess weight, you might be more motivated to commit to regular exercise and a healthier diet.
10. Keep healthy foods handy: There’s nothing worse than getting stuck at a fast-food joint from hell when you’re very hungry. Avoid that fate by keeping non-perishable foods like nuts, dried or dehydrated fruit, a packet of peanuts, a fruit or a small box of carrots handy. Be sure to carry a water bottle so you don’t confuse thirst with hunger.