When you go on a diet and you’ve managed to lose some weight, it’s very easy to ‘cheat’ a little and deviate from your healthy eating habits or your exercise routine.
That is pretty normal human behaviour – the bulk of us say, “I know how to lose weight, I’ll just cheat a little and then go back to my dieting later on”. And no later, we all slip back into our old behaviours and any effort put in would’ve been gone.
So, here are some of the tricks I use to keep myself on track whenever I lose weight. No worries, none of these tricks will make you feel deprived – it’s just making a few minor adjustments to your regular routine – and then you can hang on to those hard-earned losses for good.
1. Weigh Yourself Regularly
Hopping on the scale consistently provides positive reinforcement for your healthy eating habits and exercise regimen. It also helps you catch small gains before they escalate.
2. Eat More Protein
Eating more protein makes you feel fuller and longer so you don’t eat more during or after your meals. So, rather than getting additional energy from carb- or fat-laden foods, add protein to all meals and snacks. Sprinkle kidney beans or chickpeas on your salad, switch to protein-rich Greekstyle yogurt from the regular variety, and trade your afternoon bag of chips for a cheese-and-turkey roll-up (cut the mayo, add mustard instead).
3. Five Servings A Day
If the Standard American Diet got anything right, it’s the 5 servings a day recommendation – that is 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Packing your plate with greens (as well as oranges, reds, and blues) not only helps protect you from a variety of diseases, but also keeps extra pounds from sneaking back on. Also, my fitness trainers continuously tell me that loading up on produce, which generally has a high fiber and water content, means you have less room for other, higher-calorie foods.
4. Learn to Love Exercise
Regular workout routines help you maintain lean muscle mass, which means you’ll burn energy even at rest – that’s the key – to get your body burning calories while you’re sleep (seriously guys, how great is that?) Plus, exercise gives you a bank of extra calories to play with, allowing you to enjoy an occasional slice of chocolate cake or a small bag of movie popcorn – all without gaining weight.
5. Eat Out Less Often
Have you noticed how portion sizes at restaurants have grown exponentially over the years? You may not know it but some dishes pack more than 1,000 calories! That said, it’s no surprise restaurant meals will always sabotage our weight-loss progress.
So, if you can, prepare your own meals – it’s a far more effective way to ensure you’re eating foods that are low in fat and calories. But if you can’t prepare your meals all the time – it’s pretty unrealistic to expect that you’ll never sit down at a restaurant again – what I do when I goto a restaurant is to split my meals with a friend. I usually order an appetizer as my main and split the main meal with a friend. Or if a restaurant offers half portions, then by all means get it!