If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over the past 8 months, thanks to the help of Nutrisystem. But a question I’ve been getting quite frequently here lately is what am I doing to maintain the weight loss? Because, having been off of Nutrisystem foods for almost 6 weeks now, I’ve had time to settle into a new way of eating and living. And while I’ll be the first to admit that maintenance is much more difficult in my eyes than losing, it is totally doable. And with the summer months in full swing, it’s even more important to me to stay on track with my weight goals so that I can wear super cute summer clothes that flatter my now slimmer frame!
So, I’ve put together a few tips that are helping me stay on track to summer time weight maintainance. If you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or just stay healthy in general, I hope this tips are helpful to you!
Tip #1: Dress for Success
This sounds like a job interview tip right? Well, it can also be a very helpful tip when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. I’m a stay at home mom and can definitely fall into the run of wearing sweatpants and t-shirts. This is a big no-no for me though when it comes to maintaining my weight loss. I have found that if I get up in the morning and put on something that first of all, makes me feel good about myself and second of all, has a waist, it helps keep me more accountable during the day. By getting dressed in “real clothes” as I like to call them, I set myself up for a successful day by knowing the image I am working towards maintaining and being aware of the way my clothes fit. This is also helpful if I do get off track because the tightness of my new favorite pair of capris reminds me that the goal I’m working towards is much sweeter than the peanut butter pie I’m turning down!
Tip #2: Start Your Day off Right
I was once told that how you start your day will determine how the rest of it goes. So start it off right with a healthy breakfast. One of the most common misconceptions I hear among women is that skipping a good breakfast and instead loading up on caffeine will help them be more successful at counting calories during the day. Um, no! All that is doing is starting your day off with your body in starvation mode where you will want to eat everything in site all day long! Instead, start your day off with a balanced breakfast that has a little “uumph” to stick with you until lunch. Two of my favorite healthy breakfasts are Kashi Oatmeal or High Protein Chobani Greek Yogurt. Add a side of fruit and you have a tasty breakfast that will fuel your towards weight success all day long!
Tip #3: MOVE!
Staying active is a two fold way to maintain you weight. One, it burns calories – that is a given! But it also produces endorphins that make you feel happy and happy people tend to make healthier eating choices! Now, I’m not saying you must go to the gym every day and run 5.854 miles. I’m going to tell you a secret – I haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years. And being a busy mom, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. What I do, though, is use everyday activities to stay fit. I walk with the stroller, run, ride bikes, swim – and I can do almost any of these activities with my kids! So I’m not giving up time with them in order to stay active! Now, as a side note here, lifting weights is super important for women. No, you don’t want to build mass. But you do want to have muscle! Why? For one, muscle burns calories. Simple, huh? Two, weight training strengthens your ligaments and tendons, providing better support to those achy joints that lift kiddos all day long! Think of investing in a small dumbbell set or even looking into how you can use resistance bands for weight training! That combined with healthy aerobic exercise will be your ally in maintaining a healthy summer weight!
Tip #4: Make Smart Food Choices
This seems pretty simple, right? High calorie, fatty foods = bad. High protein, low fat foods = good. Well, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! That has been one of the most essential lessons I’ve learned. I used to look at the milkshake my kids were drinking and give into temptation. Now, if I know the kids are going to have sometime tempting, I’ll whip up a healthy smoothie or a chocolaty protein shake to beat the temptation! Or if the family wants dessert, I’ll put together a fruit and Greek yogurt parfait topped with a little bit of granola. This keeps me from being tempted and feeling like I’m missing out on something. Another thing that works really well for me is planning out my food for the entire day and making it in the morning. This way if I get behind in my day, I’m not tempted to swing through a fast food restaurant and pick up a burger. Instead, I can just grab my healthy prepared meal out of the fridge and take it with me as I go!
Tip #5: Remember Your End Goal!
Sometimes staying on track is a simple as remembering what you’re working towards. Whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, have a daily reminder to yourself of why this is important to you. Maybe you want to be more active to keep up with your kids. Post a picture of the kids on your fridge so that when you’re tempted to go for the quart of ice cream, you see it and remember our motivation. Maybe it’s to fit into a certain dress for a big occasion. Take a picture of the dress and do the same thing with it. As humans, we are very visual people and the visual reminder of our motivation registers with our brain much quicker than simply thinking about why we want to stay on track!
Tip #6: Start Each Meal Fresh!
There will be days when you make bad weight maintenance choices. It just happens. The key is picking yourself up and getting back on track – not the next day but with the very next meal! Don’t wait for tomorrow for what you can do today is the thinking I employ. So if I make a bad choice at lunch, I don’t say “Well, today is shot so tomorrow I’ll start over”. Instead, get right back on track at dinner time! And remember, it’s only human to slip up so don’t beat yourself up over it! Instead, look at what the temptation you gave into was and learn from it for the next time around!
I’ll be the first to admit that every day is a new challenge with weight loss and maintenance. But by using these tips and more, staying on track, and paying close attention to my daily choices, I have found that maintaining my ideal weight is, if not simply, at least successful!
Tell me, what’s your best summer weight loss or maintenance tip?