Sticking With It
Losing weight and keeping it off is one of life's greatest challenges. For many, keeping the weight off is harder than losing it.
The key to successful weight maintenance is to
balance calories taken in with calories burned.
How Exercise Helps.
As you exercise, you burn more calories. When you increase your muscle mass, your body burns more calories all the time-even when you sleep. Research shows that people who exercise are more likely to keep weight off. But remember what else you need to do-keep eating less.
How You Think About Yourself.
To succeed at weight loss, you may need to change the way you think. Here are some tips:
- Don't make your weight loss program the center of your life. It needs to be a key part, but not the center. Have fun, take vacations, and don't put things off until you get to a certain size.
- Learn to love yourself for who you are. When you lose the weight, you'll still be the same person inside. Make a list of your good qualities and repeat them daily if you need to.
- Set realistic goals. You don't need to be perfect at your diet or your exercise. Allow some flexibility so you can stick with it in the long run.
- If you "fall off the wagon," don't be too hard on yourself. Relapse is normal, and when you learn from it, you become stronger. Just jump back on the wagon.
How To Motivate Yourself. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to know what to do and make yourself do it. The latter is the hardest part.
- When you really want something, and you are ready, you will make it happen.
- Keep a log of your efforts. Keep track of your exercise, food intake, or weight if this helps you stay on track.
- Be good to yourself. Praise yourself for the hard work you put into your weight loss efforts.
- Get support from family and friends. People who have support are more likely to succeed. If it helps, find a weight loss buddy.
Do It For You.
You are more likely to succeed if you do this for the right reasons. Are you are losing weight because your spouse or doctor wants you? It's best if you lose weight because YOU want to do it. Research supports this. This process takes a lot of effort, and you will have the desire to keep it up if you really want this for yourself.
Plan For Bumps in the Road.
You just get into an exercise routine, then you pull a muscle in your leg. You are doing great with your diet, but the holidays are coming. Sound familiar? No matter how well you are doing with your weight loss efforts, life can get in the way. Here are some ways you can plan for this.
- Think ahead. How will you exercise during the winter? What can you grab at the deli when you forget to take your lunch to work? Knowing how to handle these situations will help when they arise.
- Alter your plan when needed. You try to walk 30 minutes each day after work, but you have to work a lot of overtime this week. Can you still get your exercise in? Maybe you can walk 15 minutes twice a day on your breaks. Give yourself the OK to change your plan. Focus on the overall goal, not the specifics.
- Vary your exercise routine so that you don't get bored or overwork a specific muscle group.
- Role-play difficult situations. Practice how you will respond to people who pressure you to eat more or sabotage your efforts. The more prepared you are, the better you will handle these bumps in the road.
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