If weight-loss was easy, we would all be skinny, right? The fact is that it is not easy. Those of you that have lost weight (through diet and exercise) will know that every day is a challenge and the journey to your ideal weight is a bumpy ride.
When you reach your goal, it is fantastic. However, the journey doesn’t stop there. Maintaining your new size is equally as challenging. If we start eating the wrong foods, skipping exercise, all your hard work can easily be undone.
Getting back on track
1. Identify the problem. Whether it is snacking on too many sugary snacks, skipping meals and eating late, or the motivation for exercise has fizzled out – once you have identified your problem areas or weaknesses, you can focus on getting them back on track.
2. Go back to basics. You have lost weight, so no need to count calories anymore, right? Wrong. If you eat too much, you put on weight, simple. It may be helpful to track a typical day so you can see how much you are eating and what type of foods you are eating. Tracking is a real eye opener – those snacks that may only be small can add up during the day.
3. Make exercise fun. OK, fun may be a little ambitious. But at least try to like what you are doing. Showing up to the gym everyday is one thing, but are you really making the best of your time there? I know from my experience, that if you do the same thing most days, it can get a little boring and motivation levels dip. Switch things around, try something new, set yourself little goals if that helps too.
4. Eat satisfying meals. There is little point in eating something, only to be hungry and hour later and reaching for the snacks. Everybody is different, what is filling for one person may not be very satisfying for another. You need to experiment to find out what works for you. For me, eating a good-sized portion of protein (chicken, turkey, or fish) with each meal will keep me full until the next.
5. Don’t buy what you don’t really want to eat. Why buy a packet of biscuits, only to guilt trip yourself every time you eat one? Simple solution – don’t buy them! Instead, buy healthy snacks that you know you won’t feel bad after you have eaten them. I find oat cakes to be a good filling snack, and if I am craving something a little sweeter – Nakd Bars (raw fruits, nuts and spices) are a good natural sugar boost.
6. Don’t mistake hunger… for bordem, tiredness, irritability, or any other negative mood. A snack may take your mind off the problem momentarily, but the issue won’t disappear for long. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea first, and then if you still feel hungry then help yourself to a healthy snack. Getting an early night can also be beneficial – when we are tired we crave instant energy and the quickest boost is usually from a bad choice sugary snack. Bananas are said to be good for sleep as they are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into the calming and sleep-inducing brain chemical serotonin.
7. Daily Energiser. I find a good daily habit to get into is to take vitamins. I take a cod liver oil supplement, a multi-vitamin and also a Bassetts Soft and Chewy Daily Energiser. A Daily Energiser keeps your energy levels balanced throughout the day and night. It is good for avoiding the mid-afternoon slump when we would usually reach for a sugary treat. The pastilles contain the B Vitamins: B2, B5, B6, B12 & CoQ10 to promote energy, metabolism, and to keep the immune system healthy.
8. Keep Hydrated. Finally, you have probably heard this before – but drinking plenty of water will keep you well hydrated and leave little room for sugary or caffinated drinks. We can easily mistake hunger for thirst, so keeping fluid levels topped up is a good way to keep your snacking under control!