Congratulations! You have just lost weight and you’re feeling fabulous and proud. You have a greater sense of self and a much improved body image. You’re “Wonder Woman” on cloud nine embracing this new feeling. Now comes what many of us find the hardest part….keeping the weight off. How many times have you been there before–lost it, then gained it, lost it, then gained it.
Not this time. Don’t do it. You’ve worked too hard to get the weight off and you’re not going to put it back on. It’s time to PROTECT YOUR LOSS!
How do you do it? You can’t go back to your old eating habits; they never worked and never will (you know–you’ve tried many times before). So what’s a BA50 to do? I advise my clients to focus on behavioral / lifestyle changes. We all need to eat, we like to eat and we’re not going to be perfect, so we need a set of rules and strategies to live by.
Mindful eating has to replace mindless eating. Write down 5 or 6 habits that you need to keep in focus… memorize them, practice them daily, and they will become your way of eating for life. Let me give you some suggestions: People do well with organization and routine.
1. Preplan your day and eat meals (no grazing). Sit down, chew slowly savoring the tastes and smells and get satisfaction from your food. If food is so important to us why do we compromise and multitask when eating? Also add a source of protein to your meals. Protein digests more slowly and will keep you satiated.
2. Never eat off anyone else’s plate, EVER. You’re eating for One now.
3. Don’t go long periods of time without eating. When you feel hungry and tired you won’t always discriminate between healthy and unhealthy food choices, portion control, or eating out of the box until finished. Remember nothing stimulates cravings like true hunger. Don’t forget your 3 to 4 p.m. nutritional snack, you’ll need it. Always have fruit and water on hand during the day, better for you than the handful of chips.
4. Eat in and cook your own food more often. It’s a safer and easier way to keep your weight off. Eating out or Take-Out foods are prepared with more fat and salt as well as larger portions. Now is the time to learn how to make something more healthful than “reservations.”
5. Don’t talk yourself into why you should eat that food, talk yourself into why you shouldn’t eat it. Rationalizations don’t work…I’m tired, bored, stressed, lonely or frustrated can trigger your cravings to eat…Don’t give in without a fight. Use the 15-minute rule. Wait 15 minutes and gradually that wave of urgency to eat will pass and you’ll feel more in control…then make the choice. If most of the time you walk away without giving in to the food, you’re a hero and you’ve made progress.
6. Brush and floss your teeth after dinner, it’s the signal that you’re done eating for the day.
7. If you fall off your maintenance plan and into old habits, get back on it immediately…every time. It’s called Damage Control. No one is perfect, but we have to keep trying.
There is no one quick and easy formula for all. Try some of these suggestions and look for others that fit your needs and lifestyle. With your desire and commitment you can keep the weight off and enjoy your personal happiness and health.
The power lies within each of us. You live in your body, be kind to it. Work hard for it, and your weight loss success will be one of the most positive, thrilling and empowering gifts in your life. It’s all about PROTECTING YOUR LOSS!
Sandy Presser is a personalized weight loss consultant in Newton, MA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org