On your diet. Off your diet. Weight goes down. Weight goes back up. Being on a dieting rollercoaster like this is exhausting for your body – and your mental wellbeing – but how do you get off? How can you find the consistency you need to achieve lasting weight loss and leave those rollercoaster days behind you?
Said Emma Brown, nutritionist for calorie counting App, Nutracheck: "Most people who are trying to lose weight will go through spurts. I hear this all the time because throughout the year there are many occasions – think birthdays, Christmas, holidays – that may cause blips and set you back temporarily.
“Reaching your goal weight can be equated to the ‘pause’ in the middle of a rollercoaster. So, how can you keep it off and get off the rollercoaster for good? Here are some tips to get you on solid ground.”
When you hit your goal, it’s tempting to think ‘job done’ and stop using the tools that have helped you achieve your success. At this point you need to create a routine to keep you from sliding back into your old eating habits.
We encourage members to keep using the Nutracheck App: you may not be using it on a daily basis like when you were losing weight, but keeping it close to hand helps if you need to check the calorie content of a meal out for example, and it’s really important to weigh in weekly to keep any small gains in check. Even when you’re maintaining it’s normal for weight to fluctuate, but setting yourself a figure (3-5 lbs above your goal) and using this as a threshold you won’t let yourself go above is a good discipline. The saying goes “Look after the pounds and the stones will look after themselves!”
Use the App to help establish what your maintenance calorie allowance is. The great news is that you’ll be able to eat the foods you love as long as you stay within this. Keep in mind the ‘offsetting’ rule – if you over indulge one day, you can rein it in the next. It’s all about damage limitation: small excesses can be quickly addressed.
Your mindset is key to your success. Choose two or three mantras and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. You might want to try ‘maintaining my weight is easier than losing weight.’ Or ‘I am eating for my health’ to encourage you to make healthier choices.
It’s important to keep a check on your weight, but if you find the numbers make or break your day, using your clothes is a helpful way to track how you’re maintaining. Just choose an item of clothing that is a snug fit to start with, not something with a bit of ‘give’!
Successful, sustained weight loss is about understanding basic calorie numbers so you avoid the peaks and troughs. Hopefully the Nutracheck App will have educated you about the calorie and nutrient values of certain foods.
Healthy living isn't ‘all or nothing’. If you overindulge on food or miss your exercise work out, avoid letting that destroy your motivation by remembering the ‘offsetting rule’. Aim to eat well 80% of the time, and then you can enjoy your indulgence guilt-free.
Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.