You’ve reached a weight loss milestone – congrats! Now you may be wondering, how do I keep the weight off that I worked hard to lose? Read on for some helpful weight maintenance tips and inspiration to keep you on track.
Whether you’ve hit a weight loss milestone or reached your goal (virtual high-five), it’s time to celebrate! But you may also be thinking about how to maintain your new, healthy lifestyle and how to incorporate the healthy habits that have gotten you to your milestone. Similar to your weight loss journey, weight maintenance requires practicing mindfulness and dedication – read on as we discuss a few tips that our Jenny Craig consultants share with their members on the maintenance program to keep them on track and motivated.
Know your food
Though you’ve reached your goal, it’s just as important now to pay attention to what you’re eating and the nutrients in the food you’re consuming. For example, when you grab a bottle of flavored water, two kinds may have the same flavor, but one might be loaded with added sugar, whereas the other uses natural flavoring.
A helpful habit to adopt is reading the labels of the food you’re purchasing. Check the back of any packaged food, and you’ll find the Daily Values (DV) listed, such as the sodium, added sugar and portion size of an item, based on a 2,000-calorie daily intake.1
Ideally, you’ll want to continue to stock up on non-starchy, fibrous vegetables and lean proteins, while paying attention to sugar, fat and sodium. Most importantly, enjoy your food and keep your plate colorful! Try playing around with new recipes and meals for yourself and your loved ones.
Dining out for a special occasion? Don’t stress. When you’re enjoying a meal out, try to determine how the food is prepared. Opt for grilled or lean cuts of meat over fried or butter-based dishes. Another tip: ask the server to remove the bread basket after you have taken a slice before it gets too tempting. Balance is key to your weight maintenance journey!
Be aware of portion sizes & go in with a game plan
Paying attention to not only what you eat, but how much you eat is just as important now as it was when you were losing weight. Remember that restaurants often serve double or triple the recommended portion size, so asking for a to-go container to put half of your meal in is one way you can keep your portions in check. The added bonus is you’ll have lunch already made for the next day!
Even if you’re preparing food at home or going to a party, go in with a game plan. If the recipe you’re making has four servings, try portioning it out accordingly. If you’re attending a social gathering, ask the host what kind of options to expect and bring a healthy option of your own, like a veggie platter. Having a healthy snack before you attend can help curb your appetite – so you’re not as tempted to go all out on the appetizer selection and potentially overeat.
While food plays a major factor in weight loss and maintenance, physical activity shouldn’t be overlooked. Getting your heart pumping is a powerful tool for helping to maintain your weight loss as it helps keep your metabolism humming and is a great way to manage stress.
While 30 minutes of moderate activity a day is the standard for a healthy lifestyle, aiming for 45-60 minutes on most days of the week will help support your weight maintenance goals.
Just like with your food, variety is the spice of life! Mix up your activities between cardio, like walking or bike riding, strength training and restorative activities such as gentle stretching.
Manage your stress
Stress is a common occurrence in our daily lives – however, how you handle it can impact your health and weight maintenance goals. By learning how to think clearly through challenges and stay calm during a stressful situation, you can start to incorporate healthy stress management tools – instead of resorting to unhealthy habits such as mindlessly snacking to cope.
Try this: think about an activity that helps you unwind when you get home from a tiring day. Does a walk clear your mind? Maybe you find reading a book with a cup of tea relaxing. Finding ways to manage stress by focusing on what brings you joy allows you to stay in tune with your mind and body and can help you stay focused on your wellbeing and goals.
Be positive toward yourself
Maintenance may be the final destination on your weight loss journey, but just like that journey, there will inevitably be a few bumps in the road. There may be days when you wake up not feeling your best or days when you find yourself being too critical about your body and food choices; but remember, you have the tools to push through those thoughts. You’ve worked hard to achieve your goals and that work has paid off! Embrace your efforts, and find ways to celebrate and reinvigorate your body, mind and spirit when you need a little pep in your step.
Are you looking for ways to maintain your weight loss? Contact Jenny Craig for your free appointment to learn more about our weight loss maintenance program.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig