Did you gain back all the weight you lost?
Self-destructive behaviors that are ruining your weight loss efforts.
Losing weight is easy. Any gal whose ‘been there-done it’ can testify to that. As the compliments roll in, your resolve gets stronger till you fit into those skinny jeans. But once that happens, your resolve weakens. The extra cookie or cheese sandwich doesn’t seem such a big deal and before you know it, you’re back to where you started. Luckily for you an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study pinpoints key lifestyle behaviors that cause weight-loss winners to pile back the pounds. And since forewarned is forearmed, you can learn to undo these mistakes and hold on to your curves.
Make sure that losing weight is important to you
Losing weight is at the top of almost every woman’s wish list. Yet very few manage to do so. Is it because they don’t have the willpower to do so? Actually the reason is more complicated than being unable to say no to a plate of French fries. Open the newspaper and you’re bombarded with images of before-after ads from some weight loss clinic or another. All these messages make you think weight loss is indeed a worthy goal without pausing to think it’s important enough for you. Ask yourself: Do I really want to lose weight? Why? Is it because you want to look better? Do you want to get healthier? Or is it because you’re surrounded by slender women who think stick thin is the ideal weight to be? Unless you really want to lose weight to feel and look better, there’s very little chance that you’ll stick to a diet or fitness regime. So the first thing is to make sure you really do have a better reason that the mass hysteria and peer pressure around losing weight and becoming a size zero.
Refusing to step on the scale
For someone whose just lost weight, the waistband on your skirt or pants is the best indicator of whether the pounds ae returning. But next to that, the most reliable judge is your trusty weighing scale. If you’ve come to averting your eyes from your bathroom scales, it’s easy to miss the weight that creeping back up before you realize it. So try stepping on the weight scale at least every alternate day and get into your non-elasticated skirt or jeans at least once a week to know if your weight is creeping back on. Stop being an ostrich with your head in the sand! Learn to spot weight gain in its early stages when it’s easier to combat.
Eating too much
Once you’ve lost weight by controlling serving portions, your stomach tends to shrink. But post weight loss, eating out with friends, loneliness and boredom can see you eating much more than you need. Also, many women think eating a large order of fish and chips or a samosa is in order to celebrate their weight loss. Stop right there! One splurge leads to many more and before you know it the pounds and fat creep back and you’re back to looking voluptuous.
Skipping your gym session
When you hit your 20s and spend more time sitting at a desk, your body is doing one of two things: gaining or losing muscles. It’s a misnomer that slim people don’t need to exercise. In fact, regular gym sessions will keep you toned, increase your levels of serotonin and strengthen your resolve against temptation and binging. If you worked for an hour daily during weight loss sessions, you can make it a 45 minute session four times a week to keep the weight off.
Know the difference between good and bad fat
On your weight loss diet, chances are you shied away from all things fatty—burgers, fries, farsaan, mithai, butter and cheese—but now that you’ve shed the fat, you sneak in the occasional samosas and paratha. You should include fat in your diet both during and after your weight loss but stick to good fats. This means avoiding saturated, trans fats at all costs no matter what your weight and instead focus on including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats derived from pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds and fish in your food. Eat such foods to ward off hunger pangs (fats take longer to digest), improve satiety levels and boost your HDL cholesterol.
Establish habits that will help you to lose and keep off excess weight
Willpower alone is rarely enough to keep off weight. You can refuse sweets all week at work but one little moment of weakness can see you demolish a bowl of rasgullas on the weekend. Instead focus on developing habits that support your weight loss goals. It could be as simple as eliminating all maida or refined sugar from your diet for a month. It might not translate to ten kilos weight loss in a month but it will definitely make you two or three kilos lighter. And as we all know, slow and steady wins the race. So go on, restart your weight loss regime with fresh resolve.