Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lose More Long Term

Now that you've lost some weight, how do you keep it off—and lose some more?

To lose weight—or keep it off—long term, continue to write down what you eat, make good food choices and stay active every day. But you also need to start planning how you'll continue this healthier lifestyle into your future.

The plan for Week 5—and beyond:
Assess your 'before' and 'after.' Go back and review your original Baseline Diet Diary, where you tracked your previous eating and activity patterns. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Has your new lifestyle dramatically changed? If so, will it be impossible to keep it up?
  • Does this new lifestyle look similar to your previous lifestyle, with tweaks that improve eating habits and raise activity level? If so, have these lifestyle changes produced satisfactory results?
  • When you look back on what you used to eat, does it entice you back? Or do you feel a little repulsed by all the fried foods and the enormous portions?
  • Is exercise becoming a regular part of your day?
  • Is it easier for you to make time for fitness sessions?

Noticing and assessing the changes you've made—and determining how easy (or not) it will be to maintain them—will help you shape your lifestyle going forward. You'll be able to know which approaches to better eating and regular exercise are effective for you. Read this week's Eat Smart tips.

Keep on tracking. Don't expect to eat perfectly and exercise intensely every day for the rest of your life. You'll have some days where you slack off on workouts, or eat or drink too much. Just don't allow a slip-up to mess you up for good. Be consistent. Track your eating and exercise habits on My Wellness Center.

Move every day and try new forms of exercise. For most people, the only way to keep the weight off is to exercise almost every day of the week. Devise strategies so you enjoy it and can stick with it! It's natural for your motivation to wax and wane over time. So go with the flow. (See "Walk the Fat Off" to the right.) If walking or your gym routine suddenly feels tedious, find something else to do. You may surprise yourself and discover a new obsession, like biking or a rock-climbing gym. The past weeks have been the kickoff to the rest of your life. You know what it takes to feel better and look better. The challenge is not only doing it, but staying motivated. So find ways to stay inspired and on track. You can do it!

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