I had someone contact me recently who wanted tips on how to successfully maintain her diet. I was a little hesitant to respond for a few reasons:
I’m not a professional.
I’ve never had to lose weight.
That said, I do hang out in a profession where I study how thoughts and behaviors play into weight loss/gain, and although I’ve never had to lose weight, it’s because of conscious choices that I make.
That said, I compiled some tips that have helped me maintain a healthy weight. She said they were helpful, so I thought I’d share them with you as well!
1. Eat throughout the day.
I eat a calorie-heavy breakfast every morning – a big bowl of oatmeal topped with 1.5 T of peanut butter (and sometimes jelly), 1/2 a banana and a small handful of cereal for a little crunch.
I eat small meals throughout the day to avoid feeling starved. When I’m absolutely ravenous, I turn into a raging bitch and I stuff my face. Not a good combo.
I used to think that eating less would keep me from gaining weight – but that’s NOT true. If you don’t eat on a regular basis (every 4 -5 hours) your body goes into “starvation mode” so when you DO eat, your body retains the calories because it doesn’t know when it will be fed next. Crazy, right?!
2. Don’t Marry the Cardio Machines, but Don’t Divorce Them Either – I used to believe that 45 minutes on the elliptical was the be-all-end-all. And you know what? I never lost a pound. Strength training is where it’s at! I’ve seen great results since combining the two.
3. Have a cheat MEAL not a cheat DAY: I can’t give up Mexican food forever, you know what I mean? So if that’s my cheat meal, I eat what I want and don’t worry about it. But having a whole DAY of cheats can easily undo a lot of the hard work that I put in earlier in the week.
It’s a concern how excited I get about my favorite Mexican restaurant…
4. Alcohol has Calories: A friend once told me that beer didn’t aid in her 15 pound weight gain. Ummm…yeah it did. I drink socially, but not every weekend. I’m also a huge fan of “skinny” cocktails.
- My favorite: Vodka + Zero Vitamin Water, lemonade + a splash of Sprite Zero + a splash of cran. So delish.
I also make smart food choices during the day if I know I’m going to be drinking that night.
That said, I try not “drink my calories” on a normal day. I don’t actually count calories, but I stick to water, skim milk, and coffee (with skim and truvia.)
5. Find a buddy to hold you accountable: Someone who’ll be straight forward with you and give you hell if you skip the gym. My BFF and the blogging community do that for me. If I feel like I might not make it to the gym, I tell someone that I am going to the gym that afternoon, because then I know I’ll feel like a lazy slob if I don’t.
I talked Jamie and Emily into a 5k last year. This year we’re doing a 10k!
6. Avoid the “health halo” I fall privy to this from time to time. An example of the health halo effect would be running a quick three miles in the morning and then eating a huge dessert after dinner with the justification of “Oh, it’s no big deal. I worked out today.”
It’s really pretty easy if you break it down into smaller steps, don’t you think? Again, I am not a professional. These are simply strategies that I personally use to maintain my healthy weight.
Let’s chat – Do you have any tips on how you maintain your weight and/or healthy lifestyle?