Strategies for Successful Long-Term Weight Loss
While losing the weight is no piece of cake (no pun intended), keeping it off can be even more challenging. This is why so many people are able to lose weight successfully, but struggle with keeping it off in the long term. Below are a few tips that may help you maintain the weight you have journeyed towards and may even help you get to that weight if you are not yet there.
Stay on Track by Keeping Track
A food journal can be one of the most helpful tools in your weight loss journey toolbox. It can help you monitor your daily intake so you may see what foods are helping you and which are fighting you. Plus, if you have to write down every sweet treat that you eat you may think twice about eating it. If you bring this tool with you to your office visits our dietary staff can help determine what works for you and what doesn’t. But why stop at just journaling your food? Instead try keeping a food/mood/exercise/water and whatever else you want it to be journal. The more you keep track of the more information you have to rely on and the more honest you have to be with yourself.
Move, Move, Move!
Staying active is a great way to burn calories, build and maintain muscle mass, and keep your metabolism revved up. Aim to move as much as you can daily and if possible form a structured exercise routine. Speak to your doctor before starting a strict exercise routine to make sure it is safe for you.
Weigh and Measure
This strategy can certainly work for you foods to make sure you are eating the proper amounts, but it can also used for your body too. The scale can help you monitor your weight for positive and negative changes or even maintenance. By stepping on the scale one day each week you can see if you are where you should be or if it is time to go back to basics to get your weight going in the right direction. Be sure to step on the scale on the same day and at the same time each week. It is best to weigh yourself soon after waking and before you dress or eat or drink anything.
While the scale can give you an idea of how you are doing, it is not the only tool you should use. There may be times you see the scale go up or plateau, but you are actually losing weight. How can this be? When you are exercising routinely you can start building muscle while losing fat. This may cause your clothes to fit looser and for you to feel firmer, but cause your weight to increase or plateau. By measuring your dimensions (waist, hips, neck) once a month you can see if your body shape is changing for the better.
Drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your hunger under control and provide you the vital water your body needs to function properly. Aim for at least 64 ounces of very low calorie, non-carbonated, non-caffeinated fluids daily as tolerated, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Protein is King
Consuming adequate amounts of protein daily can also serve to keep your appetite controlled and to give your metabolism the boost it needs to keep you burning calories. Try to consume at least some protein at each meal and aim for lean options, such as chicken, turkey, fish, protein drinks, egg whites, or fat free dairy. On average, most adults need between 60-80 grams of protein daily. Speak to your dietitian, nurse practitioner or doctor for a specific goal to meet your needs.
This is not a journey you should travel alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help when needed. Seek support from people or groups who you know will have your best interest at heart, including family, friends, or co-workers. If you do not have a reliable support system, please seek help in our office from our support groups, clinical staff, and/or our therapist and psychiatrist.