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You’ve probably heard that 95 percent of all diets fail. In other words, almost everyone who loses weight eventually regains it. This isn’t true, but it’s easy to understand why so many of us believe it. 

The problem isn’t really with diets. It’s with a lack of guidance after your diet.

Luckily for you we have our top tips to help you maintain your weight loss and sustain a healthy lifestyle. So that once you have done the hard work of losing the weight you can ensure it stays off. 

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To keep weight off, you have to adjust. You’ll require skills and practices that are different from the ones you used to drop the weight in the first place. Maintenance requires a specific focus. It’s like an exit strategy to a war. Once you lose weight, it’s not ‘mission accomplished.’ You need to rethink how you’re going to maintain the weight loss.

Here are six ways to keep lost weight off for good. 

Put Your Go-To Foods On Repeat

Stick with what got you these great results in the first place. Decide which healthy meals and snacks you love, then go ahead and eat them as often as you like. Relying on the same nutritious foods over and over is an easy way to keep your weight steady because it takes all the guesswork out of the process. Plus, you’re more likely to practice portion control with foods you eat all the time, research from the University at Buffalo shows. In the study, women who had macaroni and cheese daily consumed less of it over time than those who ate it just once a week. Researchers believe the novelty wears off when you eat a food daily, so you end up eating less. But don’t confuse an eat-and-repeat strategy with being resigned to the exact same breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every single day. Instead of a completely regimented (and boring) routine, simply have a rotation of foods that you enjoy, you know are good for you, and keep you satisfied and happy, and you’ll always eat smartly without having to think about it too much.

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Understand the Math

Even if you’re loading your shopping trolley with healthy food, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re consuming fewer calories. Take hipsters choice avocado. Half an avocado can be 133kcal. Its a great source of healthy fat. However, consume too much and you will put weight back on. Using fitness trackers like My Fitness Pal is a great way to maintain a calorie balance so you don’t suddenly overeat for your new found bodyweight. 

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Think Like a Chef

If you eat a restaurant- or takeout-heavy diet, it’s time to hone your kitchen skills. A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people who cook the majority of their meals consume fewer calories, including when they eat at restaurants, than those who don’t cook as much.

Cooking teaches you about the ingredients that go into dishes, and that knowledge can be helpful when you dine out. You know, for instance, that the rich tomato soup is loaded with cream and butter, so you order chicken noodle instead.

Don’t Drink More Calories

If you are at a healthy weight and drink alcohol moderately, there’s no reason to stop. In fact, people who have one drink a day are actually less likely to gain weight over time than those who completely abstain. But if you start to imbibe more than that, the calories can really add up. At the same time, your food judgment can falter, so you may ending up eating more, too.

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To avoid overdoing it, hold yourself to no more than five drinks a week. And choose lower-calorie drinks like wine, light beer, and vodka with club soda.

Follow the Two-Day Rule

A regular and consistent workout routine is one of the most important strategies for maintaining your weight. Aim for four to five hours of exercise a week, schedule it, and try to stick to it, because skipping too many sessions in a row can cause your motivation to slide. Our rule of thumb: Never let more than two straight days go by without some type of workout. If you’re too busy to exercise on Thursday and Friday, make it a priority to get to Spin class on Saturday.

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Tweak Your Technique

Consistency is a good thing, but it’s also important to switch things up every so often to keep your body burning calories efficiently. If your pants start to feel tight, just make one or two small changes to your routine—trade your sweetened lattes for black coffee, say, and go for a walk during lunch—and see if that does the trick. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, people who were taught to cut 100 calories a day from their diet and burn 100 calories through exercise when the scale started to creep up were able to maintain their weight over three years. (Add up enough of those little tweaks, and you might even lose weight without trying).

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Adjustments to your workout routine can also have a big effect. If you know you’re going to be eating more for the next week or two or during the holidays, try increasing your workouts by at least 10 minutes to bump up your calorie burn. And incorporate one or two intense workouts weekly as extra insurance.

author: Matt Williams


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