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Maintaining Weight Loss: How to Relax Your Diet without Gaining

Maintaining weight after a significant weight loss is challenging, but it can certainly be accomplished. Many people who do lose weight will gain it back in time, especially those who lost weight in an unhealthy way (such as fad dieting). Once you’ve finally hit your goal weight, you’re ready for the weight maintenance phase of your weight loss program. Remember that your weight maintenance diet should be something you can stick with for a lifetime. Below are a few tips to help you relax your diet while maintaining your weight loss.

1. Exercise

Getting regular exercise is one of the most important ways to help you maintain a weight loss on a long-term basis. You will be able to relax your diet to a greater extent if you exercise. Remember to include both cardiovascular and resistance exercises in your workout program for maximum results and to keep your metabolism high. To maintain your weight and lower your risk of developing certain diseases, try to exercise 30–60 minutes most days of the week. When you are burning calories each day through exercise, you’ll be able to relax your diet a bit more without regaining weight.

2. Allow Yourself A Cheat Day

Although maintaining a weight loss means improving your diet indefinitely, it may be tough for you to eliminate all unhealthy foods. But you shouldn’t have to completely avoid all the foods you love. Reward yourself for eating well by giving yourself a cheat day where you allow yourself to have some of your favorite foods. This will help prevent you from having strong food cravings or junk food binges. However, to maintain your new and improved smaller self, you will have to continue to be somewhat strict with your calorie intake since a smaller body requires fewer daily calories for weight maintenance than a larger body.

3. Eat Unhealthy Foods But in Small Quantities

It’s not eating sweets or other junk foods that will make you gain the weight back; it’s eating large quantities of these foods that will pack on those hard-to lose-pounds. While some people can easily eat one cookie and then stop, others have a harder time with self control. Ration your servings of high-fat, high-calorie and high-sugar foods, but don’t cut them out of your diet completely if it‘s something you can’t live without. As long as your overall calorie intake doesn’t increase, you can add (in moderation) some foods that might be considered not so healthy.

4. Choose the Healthiest Varieties of “Unhealthy” Foods

Believe it or not there are healthier choices for the unhealthiest of foods. For example, if you don’t want to give up potato chips choose baked chips, whole grain chips, whole grain crackers, nuts or seeds instead of regular potato chips. Choose salsa instead of cheese sauce or taco dip; frozen yogurt instead of ice cream; or graham crackers instead of cookies. Look for products with lower sugar content (compare food labels when you shop).

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