When you’re making the long, hard haul to your goal weight, everything feels challenging and time-consuming. Even when taking an Adipex alternative, change can be an exhausting and overwhelming process on every level: physically, mentally, and socially. After all, changing multiple facets of your behavior causes changes in other parts of your life, and you find that, in order to reach and maintain your goal weight, certain things have to give.
All too often, the social constructs involving food are, in part, what predict weight gain. Social events, unhealthy workplaces, and unhealthy modeling of friends and family members can all play a role in weight gain. It’s not uncommon for someone going through a weight loss journey to shy away from social events involving food, especially if they fear they’ll revert to unhealthy eating habits.
So, what can you do when it comes to maintaining your weight? Well, it starts with the knowledge that weight loss and weight maintenance aren’t a race. Keep reading to see what we mean.
Tips for Maintaining Your Weight
As you creep closer and closer to your goal weight, and your rate of weight loss begins to slow, you may find that you have more time on your hands: you’re now accustomed to the diet and/or exercise patterns that allowed you to achieve weight loss thus far, and you’re ready for a new challenge, which would be learning the tools necessary for maintaining your weight.
Knowing how to navigate social occasions is at the top of that list. It’s hard enough to lose weight and keep it off alone. What do you do while engaging in the problematic events that might have gotten you to your not-so-happy weight in the first place?
First, Find a New Normal for Maintaining Your Weight
Naturally, in the course of weight loss and maintenance, there are certain events that must be attended: weddings, graduations, and birthday parties, for example. However, other events, such as girls’ night out, happy hour events, and invitations from friends and neighbors, often get put to the side in an effort to focus on building a healthier lifestyle.
According to Healthline, maintaining your weight requires that you make sustainable and lasting lifestyle chances. At the same time, you’re a human that needs social interaction to be happy, so it’s important to reintegrate events into your life. Holidays and social events are enjoyable and food-oriented occasions, and learning how to manage those events and occasions becomes an important tool for long-term maintenance.
Navigate Social Events Like a Pro
As you get closer to your goal weight, it’s important to break from routine a little bit (notice we said “a little bit” here; we’re not going whole hog, folks), in order to learn how to manage social events and occasions involving food. This can include more regular restaurant dining, nights out with friends, eating with friends and family members, holiday and seasonal occasions, barbecues, and other uncontrolled food environments.
How do you manage food choices in an environment where you’re not accounting for every last ingredient?
- First, always pay attention to portion size and options. You shouldn’t eat more than necessary to sate your hunger, regardless of whether you’re eating inside or outside of your home.
- Next, turn your attention to your options: what looks most tempting, and what’s healthiest? If you’re at a potluck, family dinner, or other event or occasion where the food is free and you can help yourself to a bit of everything, fill half of your plate with salad or cut veggies, and at least ¼ of it with lean protein. Leave the remaining ¼ of your plate for a small portion of one or two items you might not typically select since having begun your weight loss journey.
- Finally, use a moderate portion size. And, learn to eat “off plan,” while controlling the amount, rather than the type, of food.
A tip for eating at a restaurant: decide beforehand what parameters you’ll be setting. Realistically, most meals out cannot include a drink, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert in the realm of weight maintenance. While a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, allows for more wiggle room, you should aim to stick with an entree and a non-caloric beverage during 9 out of 10 dining occasions.
Maintaining Your Weight Doesn’t Have to Be a Challenge
As you can see, by using the right set of tools and strategies, you’ll find that maintaining your weight doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task.