Weight loss is hard. It involves a lot of time, patience, commitment, sacrifice, and change. The feeling of satisfaction one gets when they finally reach their goal is amazing. However, it can all go south really quickly if you start loosening up. It’s easy to lose motivation and then let loose once you’ve finally achieved your goal, and that is something you should NOT do. The end result? All that hard work will eventually be undone. Here’s what you need to avoid after losing weight:
Do NOT stop working out
Something a lot of people get wrong after losing weight is that they stop working out. Yes, it’s hard to find the time to work out, but that doesn’t mean one should stop altogether once they reach their goal. After reaching your goal, you should strive to maintain or attain a new goal.
For example, a lot of people who lose weight have loose skin which doesn’t look good. A new goal for such people is to fill that skin up with muscle, and in order to do so, you definitely can’t stop working out. Even if you don’t have loose skin, you need to maintain a workout regimen in order to maintain that weight you lost.
The only case where it seems reasonable to ditch working is when you already have an active lifestyle. Even then, it’s still better to keep working out in order to maintain and build more muscle. The more muscle you put on, the higher your metabolism, which makes it easier to retain the weight you’ve lost.
Do not stop cardiovascular activity
This follows from the previous point of not skipping workouts. Even if people still work out after losing weight, a lot of them stop doing cardiovascular exercise. All those exercises that make you feel out of breath and uncomfortable, they also need to stay. This is because it’s easy to let loose with food on some days, and if you’re not burning as many calories as you used to, then the weight will come piling back on.
Although you can get a decent workout with a simple weightlifting regime and you can definitely cut back on the cardio, but don’t cut it out completely. Cardio burns a lot more calories than weightlifting if done properly (HIIT). Try to do 10-15 minute HIIT workouts at least 3 times a week.
Do NOT deviate from your diet
Perhaps the most common mistake people make is to let go of all restrictions and let loose when it comes to food. It’s a common mentality to give up everything for a few months and then restart all those bad habits again. However, that will only set you up for disaster. You will not only gain back all the weight you lost this way but will have no motivation left to lose it again.
Losing weight is all about making changes, lifestyle changes. If you don’t change the way you live, then you’ll never be fit in the long run. Identify the main reasons you were fat in the first place, and try to eliminate those from your diet for good. This doesn’t mean that you let go of your favorite foods permanently, there are plenty of alternatives.
For example, there are whole wheat pasta, pizzas, even healthy versions of ice-creams that taste as good as their unhealthy versions. Therefore, it’s about letting go of a few things and making some smart switches that will help you in the long run. Also, you’re allowed to have a cheat day every now and then too, so there’s that.
The hardest part of losing weight is not finding the motivation to work out, it’s to find the motivation to change the way you live. If you don’t do that and revert back to your old habits after losing weight, then it’s not worth it because the end result will be depressing.
Losing weight is hard, and if you’ve lost a lot of weight, you can probably relate. It would be really demotivating and frustrating to see your efforts be in vain. Of course, there are other factors that can lead to weight gain, but, if you stick to the basics (diet and exercise), then it won’t be hard maintaining that weight you lost.