Getting back to your ideal weight is hard no matter who you are. For some of us, it means losing a lot of weight from years of bad eating habits and inconsistent exercising. For others, it means trying to lose that very stubborn 5 pounds from when you were indulging during your last vacation or from over the holidays. Either way, losing any amount of weight is tough, period.
And by the time you have finally reached your ideal weight, it’s not time to quit. No. No. No. It’s time to shift gears and to learn how to master the right habits that will keep you hovering around your desired weight for a long period of time.
Here is a list of weekly habits that have worked very well for me over the years.
- Eating healthy 80% of the time and always be on the pursuit of new healthy foods.
- Stay active as often as possible and make working out a priority, always.
- Try new things to keep yourself engaged and connected to your workouts.
- Limit your sugar intake and save it for very special occasions only.
- Incorporate your other 20% cheat meals into a weekly routine and stay consistent when you do indulge (Friday nights, family gatherings, holidays and birthdays are mine).
- Avoid eating late at night or right before bed.
- Avoid overeating. Instead fill up on healthy (and tasty) protein/vegetable-based meals that will always leave you feeling full and satisfied.
- Set a daily bedtime routine, get enough sleep and always rest when your body says so.
- Don’t get down on yourself when you start to fall off the wagon. Be real with yourself and admit it when you’re starting to fall off. Know that it’s perfectly okay to fall off from time to time. I think that falling off is actually an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle over time. Just focus on picking yourself right back up again. Take it one day at a time until you are back in the grove again.
- Avoid heavy meals (like Mexican, pasta, baked goods…etc.) as often as possible.
- If you can’t control yourself while eating a certain type of food, simply don’t buy it anymore or avoid going where you will be tempted.
I also incorporate some sneaky tricks that always seem to work well for me if I accidentally overindulge more than I planned on (hey it happens). Whether it was from a weekend with girlfriends, getting into my kids school party candy, or being on vacation, some moments are just worth the extra pounds, only if you can master how to bounce back though!
If I need to lose a couple pounds (that were well worth it by the way), I will jump into my bag of tricks, which are:
- I will have a small glass of red wine with dinner. Then I don’t end up with a sweet tooth after dinner. Plus, I feel full and satisfied afterwards so I never feel the need to sneak into the cupboards at night.
- I only eat bread in the morning. I eat it every day actually, smeared with natural plain peanut butter (keep in mind, I workout 5-7 days a week and eat very healthy for the rest of the day). This truly helps me never feel like I am missing out on anything and also prevents me from overindulging on my cheat days.
- I rarely eat fruit or sweets. By cutting these out of my diet, I am now a pound or two under my ideal weight. This is a newer discovery for me!
- I simmer and absorb the hungry signals before bed. At dinner time, I will eat a very healthy meal with no wine allowed. Then I don’t eat anything else at all for the rest of the night. I do this a couple nights a week. It gets me comfortable with the acknowledging the feeling of being a little hungry. I teach myself not to quickly react. “Duh brain, it’s bed time, not eating time, so SSSHHHH!” It’s hard, but if you can do it once or twice a week, you will seriously lose weight or have a lot of success keeping it off.
- If I overindulge at a restaurant, the next morning I will cut my breakfast serving in half. Instead of having 2 pieces of peanut butter toast, I will have just one. It works well because I am still pretty full from the night before and I don’t need to keep eating more calories until I have fully processed my large dinner.
- I eat less throughout the day when I don’t workout. If I skip a day at the gym, I don’t need to eat the extra calories like I normally would, so I cut them out for the day. SEE YA!!
- I distract myself. If I am having a hard time and want to give into a craving, I actually will take my kids outside to play or go walk the dog. I’ll do anything active and refreshing to side track myself so I can push it a little longer until my next meal.
- I avoid eating foods that make me feel icky after I eat them. I mentally put them into a subconscious food ban list in my head and forever remember them as the foods that just aren’t worth it.
- I don’t over-buy at the grocery store. We will literally empty out our refrigerator and pantry before we go and buy more food. Let’s face it, extra food around means more snacking!
- If I do snack more than I intended to, I will make my next meal smaller. I keep a ballpark tally of what I ate in my head throughout the day and will scale back when needed. This helps me stay on track with my normal daily calories (which I don’t even know, by the way). I don’t obsess about it. I just keep myself aware. Awareness is good!
- I will boost all of my workouts to a higher intensity until I am back at my ideal weight again. This means it’s time to either work harder and more efficiently during my 1 hour workout or if I have extra time, I will spend an extra 10 minutes at the gym and run longer on the treadmill than I normally would.
Keep in mind, everyone is different. There are some things that will work well for me and that you may struggle with. That is perfectly okay! Your goal should be to take this insight and incorporate some of your biggest takeaways into your own lifestyle. Mix it up to work best for you!
Although, If there is one thing I hope you learned from this article is that food is meant for energy and eating should not be a hobby or just something to do.
I truly feel that we are all fighting an addiction to sugar and processed foods. I don’t care if you are thin or over weight, everyone is fighting the hard battle and that is why eating healthy for long periods is so hard, because temptation is all around us!
Once you are able to break free from daily cravings of unhealthy food, your body and mind become free and operate on a whole new level. Although, I have yet to meet a person who can maintain this lifestyle 24/7. Don’t strive for perfection. Enjoy the moments when you can indulge and always fight the good fight people.
Pre-register on her website for the Spring Twin Cities fitness group called Ignite & Connect. Kelly created this group to help you ignite a long term healthy lifestyle. We want you to always have a group of people to fall back on to keep you on track. A group of people who will inspire and uplift you to dominate your fitness goals, always.
The group will participate indoor and outdoor workouts, try the latest healthy food/products and explore local workouts at numerous Twin Cities fitness studios. You can drop into any event that interests you or join all of the events (announced soon).
Our goal of the group is to help you connect to what works best for you! We will also provide emotional encouragement to help you reach your goals. We also want to be the first people you call when you are ready to make a change or when you need to pick yourself back up again.