How to Keep those Post-Diet Pounds Off
Congratulations! You’ve just lost 35 pounds, and now you’re down to a size you haven’t worn in years. That’s the good news, but it comes with a caveat. To keep that weight off, you’re going to have to be every bit as vigilant as you were while dieting.
Why do we gain weight so easily after we’ve worked so hard to reach our goal? Because when the restrictions are lifted, we’re once again adrift in a sea of choice. When we had no choice it was easy – simply abide by the rules come hell or high water. But now that we’re back in the real world – going out to dinner and grabbing lunch with colleagues – the going is bound to get tough.
To succeed at permanent weight loss, you have to view your new size, not as a final destination, but merely as a juncture in the lifelong pursuit of health and fitness. In short, you haven’t reached your goal, you’ve only made it to the first plateau.
At this point, you must now go beyond the restrictions of your weight-loss regimen to embrace certain long-term lifestyle changes. In short, you can learn to love your scale if you follow this advice.
1) Do not restock your refrigerator and pantry with all the unhealthy foods you threw out while you were dieting. Forget those foods. Accept the fact that they are part of your past and will not be a part of your future.
2) Pick an optimal weight range of five pounds, and weigh yourself only a few times a week to allow for the daily fluctuations in weight that are absolutely normal.
3) Surround yourself with healthy food options – at home, in the car, at the office – so that you won’t be tempted to binge on empty calories.
4) Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, because this will cause you to get “over-hungry,” which could easily trigger overeating. (Note: Skipping meals also slows down one’s metabolism, as the body will try to conserve all the stored energy it can.)
5) Make exercise a daily part of your routine. Find sports, classes, and workout options that you actually enjoy, so that you’ll become a habitual exerciser who looks forward to hitting the Stair Master.
6) Develop a support group of health-conscious friends who are into eating right, leading an active lifestyle, and staying fit. That way you’ll be less likely to go back to the good old bad old days.
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