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Keeping the Weight Off

Por Claudia M. González, MS, RD, LD/N* -
Keeping the Weight Off

You've lost the weight. Now what? Now you get to maintain your new weight. Maintaining your weight can be harder than losing it. We'll give you some pointers for keeping the weight off.

Mission impossible?

First, analyze how you met your weight-loss goals. Most people who reach their "ideal" weight with unhealthy diets tend to gain the pounds back--and even more than before losing the weight. Nutrition experts agree that you'll have a harder time maintaining the weight you lost than actually losing it.

You can reach your desired weight and keep it there. You need a positive attitude toward food and exercise. Think about your health above all. Remember that good health requires a daily commitment. You need the right balance between diet and activity.

Six strategies to keep pounds off

If your want to improve your health and lifestyle long-term, these six fool-proof tips can help you keep off the weight you lost and lose even more weight:

1. Don't fool yourself. You need to think that your weight problem has to do more with the type of food you eat and/or your lack of exercise. You'll experience more success losing weight and keeping it off when you recognize this, than those who blame their metabolism or genes. When you see the real reasons for your weight gain, you'll have more control over your actions. You'll find it easier to follow a diet and exercise program.
2. Find a support group. Support groups help ease depression or resolve conflicts. They also give you inspiration and advice. Your family, friends, or an organized group of people can make up your support group.
3. Don't abandon your purpose. Think about everything you've accomplished--your career, the promotion at work or travelling to your favorite city. These goals had a beginning. You probably followed a plan of action all the way through to the end. In order to lose weight, you also have to plan in the same way. Picture yourself as a thin person. Take the steps, one day at a time, so your dream comes true.
4. Eat sweets or fried food once in a while if you get the urge. The perfect diet doesn’t exist. Finding a balance can include eating the foods you love in moderation. Don’t keep high-calorie foods at home or at your office. But if you do get the urge once in a while, eat these foods in small quantities.
5. Ride your bike today, lift weights tomorrow, and swim on the weekend. If you vary your activities, you'll be less likely to get bored and more likely to stay active. Only a few people can ride a stationary bike all their lives. Exercise with a buddy. Take tennis or dance lessons.  Hire a private trainer for at least for a couple of sessions. Have fun while you exercise!
6. Look at this as an investment in your health!  Instead of just focusing on your short-term goals, don’t lose sight of your long-term objectives.

Remember to keep your health the main focus.
Live the moment. Celebrate your accomplishments every day. Did you lose two pounds this week? Did you walk for an hour today? Pat yourself on the back! The small successes will help you accomplish your goal.



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