It’s easy to laugh at the suggestion that “shopping” might constitute “activity” but if you’ve ever been a teenaged girl with the ability to consume vast quantities of beauty magazines you will have noticed that this is a piece of advice that keeps cropping up as an activity alternative all over the place. Having an active weekend doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to go to the gym or that you have to force yourself through a gruelling exercise class that you have no desire to be in. Having an active weekend means just that: having an active weekend. It’s about getting off your butt and moving that perfectly capable body of yours. In other words: let’s not sit at our desks all week and then sit at our televisions all weekend. Instead, grab a friend/spouse/child/sibling and do a silly tour of the mall. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on things that you don’t need, just mill around a bit. If you’ve got a pedometer you’ll quickly realise how much ground you cover just by walking through the different stores that catch your interest. If that sounds too dull, why not make a game of it. Make a list of completely obscure (and cost effective) items and go on a treasure hunt with your friends. The last contestant to complete the list gets to buy everyone frozen yogurt (or something healthy!) and the winner gets to dance around singing “I win I win I win I win!”
If you don’t want that lost weight to come back and find you, you can’t just stop what you were doing. When it comes right down to it, what you do in order to lose weight and what you need to do to keep it off are pretty much one and the same. So here are some tips for managing your weight successfully.
- Remember what got you into trouble in the first place. Was it too much fast food? Eating when you’re stressed? Too many sweets? You know yourself well enough to know when you’re falling back into old habits, so catch yourself before a slip becomes a fall.
- Continue to keep track of what you’re doing. Keeping a food and exercise log and tracking your weight are great tools when you’re in the weight loss phase – but don’t stop there. Self-monitoring is key to weight maintenance. You’re more likely to be successful if you continue to keep track.
- Stay active. Once you’ve lost weight, your body burns fewer calories than it did when you were heavier – so exercise plays a critical role in helping to burn calories and keep your weight off.
- Recognize what your true, best and natural weight is. In your efforts to lose, you may have ended up at a weight that’s actually below your body’s natural, healthy, weight – and it may be difficult to maintain. That’s not to say that you should let all your weight come back. But sometimes you may find it easier to maintain a weight that’s slightly higher than you had intended. Many of my clients tell me they’re happiest when they just live a healthy, active lifestyle and let their bodies find their own healthy, natural weight. For them, it’s so much better than obsessing over every bite of food they eat – even if it means carrying a few extra pounds.
- Reward yourself. When you were losing, you probably found ways to give yourself a pat on the back for sticking to your plan. But don’t forget to reward yourself for continuing those new habits every day.
- Remind yourself of how much you’ve accomplished. Keeping photographs around is good – old ones to remind you of where you were, and new ones to remind you of how far you’ve come. Remind yourself of all the positive steps you’ve taken to improve your health – and of how empowered you are, now that you’ve managed to take charge and manage your weight successfully.*
*Article originally posted on Discover Good Nutrition
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