How to Not Gain Weight After Dieting

Young girl running outdoors in a city park
A woman is jogging on a running path. (Image: SHipskyy/iStock/Getty Images)

Losing weight is challenging, as anyone who's ever been on a diet knows. However, once you've reached your goal weight, returning to your old habits will pack the pounds back on. According to "Oprah" magazine, 80 percent of people who lose weight gain it right back. Thinking longterm rather than short-term can help you make changes that last a lifetime. Mindfulness is key when it comes to maintaining the weight you worked so hard to lose.

Step 1

Weigh yourself weekly. Be more mindful of your diet and diligent about exercise if you've gained a few pounds back. It's easier to lose a little weight than a lot.

Step 2

Move as much as possible. Exercise is cumulative, so even if you don't have time for a workout one day, walk or bike instead of driving. Bypass the elevator and take the stairs. Go for a walk after dinner. Find ways to incorporate movement into your day.

Step 3

Eat breakfast every day to kick-start your metabolism and prevent overeating throughout the day. Make healthful choices such as oatmeal or fruit. Add protein to your breakfast, whether it's peanut butter on whole-wheat toast or a side of eggs.

Step 4

Control your portions. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy a big dinner or a decadent dessert every once in a while, but don't use the fact that you've reached your target weight to allow you to eat more on a daily basis.

Step 5

Find healthy ways of dealing with stress, especially if you tend to eat when you're anxious. Instead of hitting the fridge or the couch when you feel stressed, take up a yoga practice, meditate, soak in a hot bath or go for a walk with a friend.

Step 6

Track your eating. Keeping a food journal or entering your intake into a smartphone app will help keep you accountable.

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