When working on agoal, it’s so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of the goal that you don’t even think about what will come after you achieve it. Celebrate yourself first for being healthier and achieving your goals. Then consider some of the tips below from Jaclyn London, a registered dietitian and head of nutrition and wellness at WW, on what to do once you’ve lost weight and how to maintain your goal weight.
How Weight Loss Maintenance Works
Losing weight isn’t all that different from losing weight, but the good news is that it won’t feel that difficult because you’ve already developed your healthy habits and know what works for you.
If you’ve reached your weight loss goals, you probably know themand – both concepts that are also part of weight maintenance. “From a biochemical standpoint, weight maintenance over time is about energy balance – calories in, calories out. Burn more than you eat and you lose; eat more than you burn and you gain,” says London.
While counting calories or tracking macros can be helpful, London also says maintaining weight loss is so much more than counting numbers.
Assuming you have lost weight steadily and safely (and are currently at a weight that you and your doctor agree is healthy for you), weight maintenance is basically about your lifestyle and incorporating your personal health-promoting choices. time, ‘says London.
According to London, maintaining your weight is not ultimately about a perfect diet or exercise routine. There are multiple factors at play when it comes to our personal health and wellness, many of which we cannot control but can often change – from what you usually eat [and] at most meals to how active you are weekly, to how much sleep you get over time, ”says London.
Because of these changes, London emphasizes that first of all, the number on the scale is not the end, and if your weight changes, don’t beat yourself up – it’s normal. “Your weight is just one number, a piece of data in the story that is ‘your personal health status’ at one point in time, and I would say it usually doesn’t capture the whole story!” London says.
Again, weight fluctuations are normal as long as you maintain your healthier habits that you know will help you feel your best. “The habits you’ve built while making small, sustainable lifestyle changes should be the building blocks of your more holistic health story – not the number on the scale,” says London.
How to keep the weight off
If you’re still not sure what’s next when it comes to maintaining your weight loss goals, London suggests these tips as you move through this next stage of your health journey.
Strive for consistency versus perfection
“I would say consistency is key to just about everything we do, but in order to maintain weight loss – stay consistent with your (newly formed) routines, such as eating consistently. I usually recommend eating up to a little every three four o’clock, ‘says London.
She also suggests sticking to your exercise routine (i.e. if you’re in the habit of running at 7am every Wednesday morning, why stop now?), Keep track of your meal prep routine, and anything else you’ve picked up on your weight loss journey that has been helpful.
Use your schedule to determine your strategy
“Start by assessing your schedule and understanding where you will be on a daily or weekly basis to make decisions that align with your personal goals and work for your lifestyle – not in spite of that,” says London.
Right now, pretty much everyone works, trains, and basically does everything at home, so try to work with whatever healthy activities (likeand sports) can realistically happen with your current circumstances and schedule.
Concentrate on what you (really) like
In your weight loss journey, you probably tried many foods, exercises, and other habits that worked for you (and others that didn’t). London emphasizes that you should focus on what you know will work best for you, and don’t worry if something that works for others doesn’t suit you.
“So much of the conversation that involves weight loss or management focuses on unnecessary prescriptions that make it impossible to actually apply to your personal daily lifestyle,” says London.
When in doubt, be kind to yourself
Remember that your weight and well-being is affected by what you do consistently, not perfectly, which means there will be days when you ate something you didn’t really intend to eat, or you skip a workout on a day when you I wanted to. Get moving… and that’s okay! As long as you don’t beat yourself up, you’re on the road to better health and long-term weight management, ”says London.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.