Maintaining your weight is the hardest part of any health plan. Although most people do well in the first few months of a new diet, many find themselves struggling to maintain their weight year-round.
To maintain a healthy weight, eating healthy foods is key. The foods and drinks that you choose to consume are vital to your health. Are you ready to make permanent changes in your lifestyle and move toward a healthier weight?
Here Are 9 Tips to Get You Started:
1. Start with a plan for lifelong health. Focus on goals that make life-long nutrition your new normal. Stay away from fad diets as fad diets leave you with plans that are not sustainable.
2. Set healthy, realistic goals. Most people achieve more success when they set realistic goals, such as SMART goals. It is possible to set a long-term goal and be successful, but it’s important to set goals that contain a step-by-step process on how to get there. Start with one or two small changes at a time. Track your progress by keeping a food and activity log. These types of goals may take more time to see results initially, but become lasting changes that help maintain weight long term.
3. Get a personalized eating plan or have a health professional help you plan what foods to eat and how to cut calories to promote weight loss. You can start with www.choosemyplate.gov or work with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to start a new plan.
4. Eat regularly scheduled meals, do not skip meals, and plan your meals ahead of time. Whether you’re eating at home, packing a lunch, or eating out, an overall eating plan for the day will help keep you on track. Eating regularly helps reduce cravings, overeating, and the overwhelming feeling of hunger.
5. Balance your plate with various food groups. Half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables (the lowest calorie options are non-starchy vegetables,) about one-fourth with lean meat, poultry, or fish, and one-fourth with grains. To round out your meal, add a balanced dairy in moderation. Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, or cheese are great options.
6. Start your meal with low-calorie foods like fruits, lean meat, non-starchy vegetables, and salads. These foods are packed with nutrients your body needs and will reduce your desire to overeat.
7. Make eating an event. Enjoy your meal and focus on eating. Pick one place to sit down and eat, either at home or work. Smaller plates help reduce portion sizes.
8. Make yourself go back for second helpings. Do not start with large portions. Start with smaller portions and go back to make eating a mindful exercise.
9. Mindfulness is key. Your plan should not make you feel horrible, punished, or overwhelmed. If it is, it’s time to choose a new plan that is more manageable.
For more healthy eating tips or dietary advice, consult with a registered dietitian or a healthcare professional. Be sure to check out our blog for more healthy lifestyle content.
Be well. Eat well.
Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD