Ditch the Diets for Good: 5 Tips for Long Term Weight Loss
Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster and keep the weight off for good?
Maybe you’ve just finished a diet program like The Whole 30, a Keto challenge, or a juice cleanse and you’re wondering what’s next. You might be craving some carbs if you’ve just tried keto or maybe you just want to eat solid food again if you’ve done a juice cleanse.
Whatever program or challenge you’ve just completed, you might be asking yourself, what’s next? You’ve had some success losing weight and you’re fearful of putting the weight right back on if you return to your old habits and maybe you want to continue to lose a little more. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve dieted and you want to get off the diet roller coaster. You know you can’t keep up the way you were eating on your recent diet forever. So now what?
You’re sick of the yo-yo diets and just want to find a lifestyle that you can maintain.
I have been in your situation way too many times. I’ve done countless challenges and diets where I’ve had some success initially but the way of eating just wasn’t sustainable. In a few weeks after I had completed whatever fad diet I had just tried, all the weight I had lost would come right back on. I would end up feeling so defeated and frustrated. It was a never-ending cycle that I just couldn’t break.
Once I discovered these 5 tips to keeping weight off after dieting, I was able to keep 15 pounds off for good after I had my third child.
Long Term Weight Loss Tip #1: Don’t Restrict Entire Food Groups Forever
Restricting entire food groups forever just doesn’t work. To think that you’ll never eat brown rice, a slice of bread, or fruit again is just simply depressing. And you don’t want to feel like a complete failure and beat yourself up for days if you enjoy some of your daughter’s birthday cake or have a glass of wine with friends. It just isn’t realistic.
Yes, you’ll want to limit foods you know you’re sensitive to and foods that aren’t healthy but cutting out entire food groups that a particular diet says should be restricted just isn’t sustainable. You need to find a balance with eating all of the things you enjoy and listen to what your body craves.
Long Term Weight Loss Tip #2: Eat More Food
Many people are on the diet roller coaster because they simply aren’t eating enough food. When you’re too much in a calorie deficit, your body will go into starvation mode where it will hold on to excess fat because it’s not being fueled correctly.
You want to be in a calorie deficit if you’re looking to lose weight but just a slight deficit. If you’re in a huge calorie deficit you’ll feel deprived, hold on to excess fat, and you’ll likely to be back to where you started because that way of eating just can’t be maintained forever. You need to eat enough whole, nutritious food to find long term success with weight loss.
Long Term Weight Loss Tip #3: Keep Up the Healthy Habits
Focus on what you learned and what sustainable habits you did pick up on whatever diet or challenge you just participated in. Take a step back from the details and appreciate the good habits you developed.
While you might be sick of eliminating certain foods, for example, perhaps you enjoyed cooking more healthy meals at home and eating more vegetables. Therefore, when you’re done with the diet, you can continue to make nutritious meals in your kitchen and eat greens at every meal. Take the positive things you learned and carry them forward into a realistic daily routine. Over time, these healthy habits will help you keep the weight off.
Long Term Weight Loss Tip #4: Find What Works for You
Specific diets take a one-size-fits-all approach. They prescribe a specific way of eating for everyone; however, everyone’s body is different. Maybe you just completed the Whole 30 but your body might do better with less meat and more whole grains. Perhaps you did a 21 Day Vegan challenge but you feel better when you incorporate more chicken and fish into your diet. Everyone’s body is different and you might have just tried a diet that isn’t optimal for your body type.
The key to long-term weight loss is to find a lifestyle and way of eating that works for you instead of adhering to a specific dietary theory or restrictive program.
Long Term Weight Loss Tip #5: Stop Looking for Shortcuts
Losing weight the right way takes time and can’t happen overnight. There’s no magic pill you can take or special tea you can drink that will solve all of your weight problems. You’ve got to stop looking for shortcuts and start focusing on developing sustainable habits and eating enough whole, nutritious foods that fuel your body.
Focus on being healthy instead of thin. If your only goal is to be thin no matter the cost, you’ll likely slip into bad habits that are too restrictive and not sustainable. You’re destined to fail in the long-term even if you see short term success. Be patient and develop habits you can maintain.
If you’re ready to focus on a more sustainable lifestyle by focusing on clean eating, download my free 7 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan.
Ashley Lillis is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach dedicated to helping women find their own version of healthy through sustainable lifestyle changes.