By: Tina Haupert, health.com
Does this pattern sound familiar? You follow a strict diet and lose weight but then, on reaching your goal, you ditch the diet and gain the pounds back. If you want to shed weight once and for all (and stop torturing yourself with restrictive dieting and constant hunger!), you should focus on adopting healthy eating and exercise habits that are balanced and livable. Small changes to your daily lifestyle can add up to help you lose weight and maintain it. Here are everyday ways to help maintain your happy weight.
Eating frequently might sound counterintuitive if you’re trying to lose weight, but aiming for three healthy meals and two small snacks a day means you’re eating something every three hours or so, so you’ll never let yourself get too hungry. This prevents overeating later and keeps your metabolism humming along.
Get cooking with your oven.
Roasted vegetables are an easy snack or quick addition to a meal. Get into the habit of popping a baking sheet full of vegetables in the oven to roast along with whatever else you’re cooking. That way, you always have a nutritious option on hand.
Your online calendar can keep you organized with all aspects of your life, including workouts. Schedule workouts for the week ahead every Sunday. Having them all laid out with plenty of time to exercise may motivate you to stick to your routine.
Create a motivation board.
Feeling down-in-the-dumps and unmotivated about fitness and exercise? Try making a motivation board on Pinterest. Just the act of creating it may lift your funk and serve as a constant source of inspiration when you’re just feeling lazy but know you should exercise.
When preparing meals, aim to have fruits and veggies make up about half of the plate. Breakfast, for instance, could include a large banana or a cup of fresh berries. For lunch and dinner, add roasted veggies or a big salad (or both!). All of that brightly colored produce packs tons of nutrients, but not many calories!
Eat real food.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but the more packaged and processed foods you eat, the less satisfied you’re likely to feel. Instead of eating a package of pretzels or cookies, for example, reach for half of a sandwich or a banana with peanut butter to fill you up and satisfy your hunger.
If you plan out what you’re going to eat at the beginning of the week and the start of each day, you’ll be less likely to scramble for something to eat when you’re really hungry. This can help you resist junk food and takeout when your stomach starts to grumble.
Eating is not a race! Slow down and properly chew your food instead of inhaling what’s on your plate. Try this out and you’ll consume fewer calories and focus more on the overall dining experience.
Eat by the numbers.
When enjoying a big meal, stop eating when you’re at 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 is stuffed to the gills). It may be that 20 minutes later, you feel even more full. Aim for feeling satisfied, not stuffed.
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