Are you sick of falling off the wagon time and time again? Are you struggling to stick with your healthy lifestyle despite doing everything ‘right’? Below I have listed 8 things that you should do in order to make this lifestyle change stick and keep the weight off for good.
1. Change your relationship with food
In order to keep the weight off you must change your relationship with food. Instead of looking at it as a ‘diet’ you need to find something you can stick to for life – this includes eating the foods that you enjoy. I personally struggle with constantly ‘eating clean’ without binging, so IIFYM is perfect for me. Whatever it is you need to find what works for you. If you are struggling with what you are doing and eating then change it to make it fit your lifestyle. Whatever your preference, it needs to be something that you can consistently stick to on a daily basis without being miserable.
2. Don’t weigh yourself
I know this one sounds crazy, but you are more than a number on the scale. Try to find goals are are non-scale related such as reaching a certain body fat %, losing a certain amount of inches or gaining muscle or strength. Only aiming to reach a certain bodyweight can be detrimental to your goals. Why? Because for a lot of people (myself included) once they reach their goal weight they cut back on exercise, indulge a bit more and before you know it you have gained the weight back plus some. This can be avoided by avoiding the scale. Breaking your relationship with the scale can be so difficult (I know, I’ve been there). I used to weigh myself every morning without fail, then slowly I cut back until I stopped stepping on it all together. Sit down now and set goals than don’t involve the scale.
3. Do exercise you enjoy
Have you ever heard the saying ‘do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’?. The same applies to exercise. Find exercise that you enjoy and it won’t feel like work. I love lifting weights, I love the strength you gain and the dreaded muscle soreness, but it’s not for everyone. I dread doing cardio, but I know people who love it. Do exercise that you love at a time of the day that suits you. I love working out at 5am uninterrupted and getting it done and dusted for the day – some people couldn’t think of anything worse. Pick a time of the day where you can fit in your workouts that works best for you. Are you someone who dreads exercise? I used to be one of them! I just had to find something I enjoyed. There is something out there for everyone, I promise – you just need to find it.
4. Practice moderation
If you deprive yourself of foods you love or the so called ‘bad foods’ it is likely to make you want them more and could lead to yo-yo dieting or Binge Eating Disorder. In order to prevent this, you want to allow yourself to eat these foods in moderation or when the craving arises. I know of people who avoid social functions, family gatherings, parties or anywhere where there is ‘bad food’. This is not a way to live! If you want to stick to this for life, you need to enjoy yourself, and this includes indulging a bit at parties!
5. Find internal motivation
Motivation. So difficult to find yet so important. Instead of looking for motivation from other people, try finding internal motivation. So many of us use other people as a source of motivation – I wish I had her legs, her arms or her tummy. Instead of wishing and comparing ourselves to others, we should focus on being the best that we can be and work on improving our bodies as much as we can. It’s you against you. Work on getting stronger, running a 10k or lifting a certain weight. Work on improving yourself and your fitness.
6. Do what works for you
Not everybody is going to like the same things or agree with what you are doing. But you know what? That’s their problem. Do what works for you and what makes you happy. Don’t let other people get you down, focus on what is important to you.
7. Be consistent
It can take a long time (or at least feel like it) until you see results. Sticking with it can be hard, that is why everything I have listed above is so important. If you don’t have those things, it makes it hard to be consistent. It can be frustrating when you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you would like, but as hard as it is, just stick with it. You don’t want to look back and think ‘If I hadn’t stopped, I would be at my goal by now’.
8. Throw everything they tell you out the window
You read it in magazines, hear it on the radio and see it on TV – the ‘guidelines’ you must follow in order to lose weight. You must eat every 3 hours, you must do fasted cardio to lose fat, you must eat ‘clean’ etc etc. There is so much different information out there that it can get so confusing. If you are making this a lifestyle change, don’t worry about all that stuff. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on what works best, you just need to do what works for you.