Disclaimer- this post is about weight management specifically after weight loss. This does not serve as a replacement for medical and nutritional advice from your doctor.
Generally, people know the recipe for weight loss:
1. Consume more fruits and vegetables
- Trade the junk food for lower calorie and nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables of your choice. Eat out less than usual. Drink less alcoholic beverages. Try a few new healthy options at a restaurant or recipes at home. (For snack ideas and healthy alternatives, check out my Healthy Snacks Pinterest Board).
2. Add in 8 cups of water (more depending on your level of activity) – maybe flavored with fruit or try coconut water.
- Gradually increasing water intake is key here. Too much water too fast is a thing.
3. Mix it all in with a healthy dose of exercise…
- It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. How you spread that out is up to you. I personally aim for at least 30 minutes of movement (with elevated heart rate) throughout the day. Visit Physical Activity Recommendations for more information about exercise and weight loss. Then, for home workouts and fitness motivation from the fitness professionals, check out my Fitness Pinterest Board.
- It is recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. Getting adequate amounts of rest for your body to rejuvenate, replenish, and restore itself is crucial to self-discipline. For more on how sleep affects your daily functioning and your overall health, visit Helpguide.org – Sleep Needs
Weight loss happens healthily in a few months – depending on how much weight you want to lose.
But what about weight management?
After we’ve worked so hard to get the weight off, do we continue using the same formula for keeping the weight off?
The answer is…
YES… and then some.
After weight loss, the recipe that granted you success is the recipe for living an overall healthy lifestyle. So here’s what the recipe then looks like after the weight is down:
1. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways.
- This is where we start trying food combinations like quinoa with roasted brussel sprouts and avocado or something completely new like Shrimpo de Gallo. For more ideas, check out my Recipes Pinterest Board.
- Trying different food combinations should ideally become the norm rather than an option. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables during each meal and snack becomes second nature. What’s junk food at this point?
2. Consume healthy beverages
- In addition to getting enough water in, there are numerous other beverages that give the body what it needs. My personal favorite: tea. Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with different teas such as burdock root tea and lemon ginger tea.
- Cut the sugary beverages just like you cut the sugary snacks. This does not just apply to cutting back on soda and juice. It’s also watching the amount of honey added to tea or sugar added to your morning coffee.
3. Vary your exercise.
- While continuing a steady exercise routine, you may want to add a little variety to your daily movement. Besides potentially getting bored with your exercise routine, there is the dreaded plateau in which your body becomes accustomed to your workout, and it’s no longer effective (thank your adaptive human body for making weight loss a challenge). Daily activity can simply mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the store instead of driving, taking your dog for a longer walk, or even walking a different path. The list goes on here as well.
4. TRY to get adequate amounts of sleep.
- Getting adequate amounts of sleep requires more effort than one might realize. There are hidden habits affecting quality of sleep that most of us overlook: using our phones or laptops right up until we fall asleep, falling asleep with the television or radio on, going to bed unusually early or late, naps, lack of exercise, what you ate before bed, stressed about the day or upcoming tasks, the list goes on and on. It takes time and discipline to train your body to want to go to sleep at a decent time, stay asleep through the night, and then wake up with or without an alarm.
When all is said and done, your weight will be in flux. For me, that was nerve-wrecking. Until I realized, it’s normal (within reason). It takes a concerted effort and occasional monitoring to insure your efforts have not been in vain. It also takes people. Remember to ask for help in holding yourself accountable to living your best, healthy life. See Health and Wellness Consulting.
Best of luck on your journey.