Sustaining a Diet for the Long Haul
You've probably heard or (based on personal experience) know that dieting is the easy part. Keeping the weight off is more difficult. However, there are some strategies that will lead you to success in weight maintenance.
Measure and Document
Tracking what you're doing helps keep you focused. A app to log exercise or a simple paper chart showing your weight or measurements means you give daily attention to the process of not only losing but maintaining your weight loss. A journal helps you keep track of emotions and stressors that might sabotage your diet and send you toward the chocolate cake.
Manage the Food Intake
Don't keep things that you might turn to in a crisis — no chips, no dips, no cupcakes. If you want a treat, go out for it, or eat it after a well-balanced meal when you eat out; if you’re full, you're less likely to over-indulge. Eat mindfully. Slow down, chew thoroughly, put your fork down between bites. Notice and savor the flavors, texture and appearance of what you eat. Use fiber to fill you up.
Make It a Community Effort
Spend your time with like-minded friends (like the weight-loss counselors at the Metabolic Research Center) who won't try to sabotage your diet. Share recipes that are healthy and eye-pleasing, that taste good and keep you on the weight loss/maintenance bandwagon. And if you should fall off the wagon, those friends will be right there to pick you up and make sure it’s a minor stumble instead of a major crash.
Keep Moving to Keep It Off
If there's one thing that will derail weight loss efforts and maintenance, it's getting back on the couch. Research consistently shows that those who exercise are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
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