By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Following a set weight loss plan, like a Reboot, can make following a weight-loss plan very straightforward. You know exactly what to eat or drink, you follow the plan and you meet your goals. You feel pumped and ready for a new healthy life, but it’s all too easy to go right back to your old bad habits.
During a Guided Reboot we help our participants meet their weight-loss goals, but we also set them up for long-term success by focusing on things you can do every day to maintain your healthful new lease on life.
Here’s just a bit of what I discuss with my Guided Reboot participants. Want to learn more? Check out our Guided Reboot page to learn how our Reboot nutritionists (myself included) can support you from day 1.
Skipping meals and eating all over the place can derail your efforts to maintain your weight loss. Eating sporadic and irregular meals puts you on a hunger and cravings roller coaster, getting to a point of extreme hunger, which can lead to overconsumption of calorie-dense foods, forming a vicious cycle.
The nutrients found in plant foods support good health and wellness while providing smaller amounts of calories, so plenty of bang for your buck! Fruits and vegetables are filling, satisfying and loaded with nutrition. In clinic, my clients that are the most successful are the high plant food consumers so eat a rainbow every day!
Any type of regular activity plays a crucial role in weight loss maintenance success. It is estimated in studies that 30 minutes to 1 hour per day is the ideal amount of time to maintain that weight loss. However, this can be broken up over the day. For example, walk just 15 minutes four times a day will do it. Try walking to the bus stop, parking further away, taking the stairs rather than the elevator. In saying this is also important to note that a minimal amount of exercise is always better than none.
Getting enough shuteye is absolutely necessary to support and maintain a healthy weight. In studies, people who had less than 7 hours of sleep per night were more likely to be overweight and struggle with cravings and episodes of overeating.
Weighing yourself daily is often discouraged, since hydration, hormones, digestive movements and other factors can change your weight by a few pounds. But studies show that self-weighing regularly can help to keep things on track: Once or twice a week is about right..
This comes back to people who eat more mindfully as they learn to remove themselves from distractions. People can eat up to twice as much food—TWICE!!—while sitting in front of a screen than eating at a table. People who succeed in long-term weight maintenance are more likely to watch considerably less television. More than 62% of successful weight loss maintainers watch less then 10 hours per week of TV.
Having the understanding and support of family and friends improves your success in the long term. Gym or exercise buddies, supportive health professionals, online healthy recipe sharing, communities and people who inspire you are all helpful for supporting and maintaining that healthy attitude.
If you were are person who ate to sedate unhappy emotions, then maintaining this weight loss on a long-term basis becomes difficult. You must re-learn how to deal with unhappy feelings in other more productive ways. Meditation, yoga, exercise, books, hobbies and other relaxing activities are all helpful. I often hear clients tell me ‘once this life issue passes I’ll then be able to get healthy.’ Unfortunately this never happens because life keeps getting in the way. If you learn to eat well when things aren’t perfect then you’re on the track to long-term successful weight loss and maintenance.
It seems relatively simple and often it is overlooked. Focusing on what the weight loss brings to you can be the greatest motivating factor to continue to maintain your health. Focus on your renewed energy, improved health, happier mood and easier mobility rather than dwelling on lingering insecurities.
Preparing for those unexpected moments with easy snack items and healthy options will support longer term healthy eating. It’s also important to keep the variety going by trying new meals and flavors regularly so you don’t get bored. We have lots of recipes to help!