How to Maintain Your Weight

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weight scalesYou’ve spent months upon months avoiding packaged foods, giving up your morning donuts and reading labels as closely as possible, and you’ve finally reached your weight loss goal. When most people reach this goal they automatically start eating whatever they want and rolling back to old habits. Unfortunately, this only leads to gaining back the weight lost, along with many other unwanted pounds. By learning how to maintain your weight, you can avoid nasty weight gain and keep your shape well into the future.

Move Often:

Instead of sitting down and being a couch potato, move around! Take walks as often as you can and try to be active instead of lazy. For example, you can park far away from the front doors when you go grocery shopping or any other kind of shopping. You can also opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator and make it a point to take a 10 minute walk during your lunch break at work. There are a lot of ways you can fit more movement into your day, which will add up to a lot of calories burned at the end of the week.

Count Calories:

If you count calories throughout the day, you won’t end up eating more than you anticipated. You will remain accountable for everything that goes into your mouth, which will result in maintaining your weight. For example, eating just one tablespoon of peanut butter per day will add up to an extra 700 calories per week. Just five weeks of that one tablespoon per day would be 1 pound of extra fat! By counting your calories you won’t have those extra pounds sneak up on you.

There are so many apps you can use to track calories, including Myfitnesspal, which is free. Use these and you will get accustom to the tracking after only a few days.

Reduce Alcohol:

Alcohol has a lot of calories in it and can cause you to eat more food at the end of the night. So, if you’re going to drink, make sure you stick to a low-calorie beverage and set a limit based on your calorie allotment for the day. It’s best to avoid alcohol all together, but one drink per day is generally accepted for women (two for men). Make sure you count this in with your regular calories to make sure you don’t go overboard.

Portion Control:

Another important part of learning how to maintain your weight is portion size. In order to keep your weight under control, you should eat only normal portion sizes, not those that are huge. This means not super-sizing your meal at fast food restaurants (when you eat at them), using measuring cups to measure out your meals and cooking only as much food as you need. When you have adequate portion sizes in front of you there will be no temptation to eat more!

Avoid Dining Out:

Dining out is great because it reduces your need to do the dishes, but it can cause you to gain weight rapidly. There are a lot of hidden oils, sugars and fats inside of most restaurant meals, including those that look healthy. Try and make your own food as often as you can and when you do eat out, opt for foods that are grilled or baked. You can also look at menus for restaurants online, as most offer calorie counts for their popular dishes.

Eat Whole Grains:

Whole grains are better for you because they have more fiber, keep you feeling full for longer and have more nutrients in them overall. So, when you eat these you will feel full and satisfied so you don’t have to eat a lot more food. Whole-grain breads, quinoa and brown rice are all examples of foods you should try to get more of.

Drink Water:

A lot of people eat snacks throughout the day when they feel hungry, but they should just be drinking water! By drinking more water or unsweetened teas throughout the day your body will stay hydrated, but you will also feel more satiated. This can result in eating a lot less food and staying full for a longer period of time. You can cut your calorie count dramatically if you just drink more water before you reach for a snack.

The key to knowing how to maintain your weight will surely help you without having to sacrifice eating and drinking. You can still live a normal life while being healthy; you just have to simply compromise. The best part is you will be keeping that body you worked so hard to achieve!