We all know that losing weight is hard. There’s no arguing that it’s one of the toughest things to do and we’d bet anything that you would be hard pressed to find someone that would even look forward to dieting. But in all of the hardships and difficulties that lie behind the whole process of losing weight and getting healthier over all, there’s one thing that’s even more difficult to get a handle on – actually keeping the weight off. See, it’s easy for us to hop on to the bandwagon of whatever the latest fad diet is. Sure, you’ll probably lose a good deal of weight while on that lemon and cayenne cleanse, maybe you’ll even feel healthier after you complete your apple cider vinegar regimen, but how long will the effects last? The hard truth is that when we get off of these fad diets and go back to our usual lifestyles, we gain the weight back. Even more disappointing is the fact that you’ll probably gain more weight back than you lost in the first place. If you’re really serious about losing weight and keeping it off for good, these are some things that you need to keep in mind and start putting to practice.
Forget Yoyo Dieting and Fad Diets All Together
If you’re tired of getting nowhere with your diets and are eager to finally get started on your journey to fitness, the first thing that you need to understand is that fad diets or yoyo dieting just doesn’t work. It’s never worked for anyone in the long term in the past and it’s not about to start working now. Diets are, by their very definition, only supposed to last for a short period of time and as such, their effects are also short term. A diet may be a good way to kick start your weight loss journey, but to maintain the weight loss and continue to see results, you’ll need to make changes to your lifestyle. With that being said, most diets are far too restrictive and will send your blood sugar levels on a crazy roller coaster ride that will end with a crash and burn.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
You’ve heard it once before and you’ll hear it again. Planning is one of the smartest things you do when you’re working towards losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off and their commitment to meal prepping. You don’t necessarily have to cook a week’s worth of meals in one go. It could be as simple as planning out in a journal what you’re going to eat ahead of time, and making the necessary preparations to ensure that you stick to this plan. Some people pre-chop their vegetables and cook simple things like hard boiled eggs or complex carbohydrates ahead of time. Other people prepare their protein ahead of time since cooking vegetables is much easier to do. Whatever you prefer to do, make a plan and stick to it.
When you’re working on your meal plan make sure to plan to eat small but frequent servings. You might be reading this and thinking why on earth you should eat often if you’re trying to lose weight, but making sure that you eat before your tank hits empty is the best way to manage hunger, your blood sugar and, most importantly, cravings. When your stomach is empty, it actually releases a hormone called ghrelin that can trigger intense cravings. Consuming something before you get too hungry will keep this counterintuitive hormone at bay and make sure that you stay on track for success. Keep this practice going even after you hit your goal weight to make sure you never wind up on the ugly path to binge eating ever again.
Quit Skipping Meals
We’re not sure what it is that has people convinced that skipping meals will help them lose weight. This is the most counterproductive thing you could ever do and one of the fastest ways to sabotage your own weight loss journey. What’s even more disastrous is that people tend to skip breakfast more than any other meal. As the name of the meal suggests, breakfast is when you break your mini fast of sleep. It’s important to nourish and fuel yourself in the morning for the day ahead and it will also prevent you from binging later on in the day at lunch. Research has also shown that people who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to lose weight and keep it off in the years to come. Breakfasts with lots of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats are ideal to start your day.
Keep Good Company
This may seem silly to some, but did you know that there’s actually a connection between the weight of your closest friends and your own weight? Researchers from Harvard have determined that an individual’s chance of gaining weight and becoming obese grows by 57% if you have a close friend who is overweight. When you think about it, it actually makes complete and total sense. If you’ve got a best friend who loves to hang out over fried food and beer, there’s a good chance that these eating habits will rub off on you. This will also make it quite difficult to keep yourself on track. Now, we’re not saying that you should ditch your friends and find new ones. They’ve become good friends for a reason, after all. What you can do instead is to try suggesting healthier alternatives for your nights out or even invite people to your home instead. This way, you’ve got control over the menu and can safe assume that you’re eating nutrient dense food. You can also try to expand your circle of friends who are passionate about health by joining a class or trying a new activity on your own.