A healthy road to weight loss: Goal achieved ... now what?
You did it! After several months of consistent exercise and better eating habits, you look in the mirror and see a new you.
But the journey is not over. Your next steps are critical to maintaining your success. While it may feel easy to ease up on the hard work and discipline that have gotten you here, stay the course and stick to your regimen, said Deviny Mo, manager of UCLA Health Sports Performance powered by Exos.
“When you go on a program or a diet with a specific timeline, and then it’s done, it’s important to reflect back on that path and look at what part of the program was sustainable for you,” she said. “You want to ask yourself, ‘Can I sustain this, and what are the positive things I can take out of this journey to keep it going?’”
How to maintain once you reached the finish line
One of two things can happen once a program or diet is finished: Either a person is motivated to continue a lifestyle of fitness and eating clean or they become complacent and return to old habits.
Mo said it is possible to maintain your results without feeling overwhelmed.
“Our approach with an eight-week plan is to make sure you can keep going with this new direction after it is over. Take the sustainable habits you’ve developed during your intentional journey and add them into your lifestyle so those good things continue to stick.”
It can be a challenge, and Mo said it is important to not make your ongoing weight-management journey feel like a burden. To that end, focus on keeping the parts of the program you enjoyed and replace the ones you didn’t with new weight-management strategies.
Strategies to help you stay consistent
Here are a three strategies to help you stay consistent with weight management once you’ve reached your goal.
- Keep food and exercise journals: Start planning and keeping a journal of the foods you eat and the exercises you are doing. Organizing your fitness and diet life as you would your finances is an effective strategy to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Stay positive: Your mindset has everything to do with how well you sustain the goals you have achieved. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself room to fail and get back up. Your weight-management journey is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Keep your goals manageable: We often come out of the starting blocks full-speed at the beginning. This results in burnout. Try setting smaller daily and weekly goals to stay in the race.
“If you are motivated by goals, then come up with new goals,” Mo added. “It might not be a specific number anymore. It goes back to your internal motivation.”
And once you’ve hit your initial goal, “Don’t stop,” she said. “Just remind yourself there is still work to be done.”
Find out more about weight management.