So you finally lost some weight on the Military Diet and want to take a break from dieting and return to normal life. Focusing on weight maintenance is a worthy goal, meaning you’re not moving forward, but you’re not moving backwards. Not gaining weight is also considered a win. We’ve outlined some simple ways to avoid weight gain pitfalls and maintain your weight…
Stay active! If the family is sitting on the couch watching Netflix and stuffing their faces with chips and dip, take the dog for a walk around the block. Or take the kids for a nature walk.
Choose a small plate. We tend to eat larger than normal portions off larger plates, seems like a no brainer. It’s way easier to maintain portion control on a smaller plate.
Don’t lose sleep. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of weight gain. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are hungrier and less physically active. Low metabolism is linked to sleep deprivation too.
Try not to stress out. Uncertain times create extra stress in your life. Stressed out people have higher levels of Cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress. High Cortisol levels lead to weight gain. Make time for mediation and yoga. Learn how to say no to things that add more stress to your life. Ask for help to lighten your load.
Eat more protein. Potatoes, bread, cookies, and chips are certainly comfort foods, but terrible for your waistline. Make sure to balance your meals with protein, which increases your metabolism. Add fish, beans or quinoa to your plate and reduce the chance of overindulging on carbs. And without the carb crash that follows, you have more energy an hour or two after you eat, instead of craving a nap.
Avoid liquid calories. Special coffees and sugary fruit juices are loaded with calories. A rum and Coke can have over 200 calories – a couple of those is the equivalent of eating a big mac. Sugary mixes and alcohol, they’re all just empty calories that end up on your waist. Alcohol leads to hunger which leads to bad decisions and weight gain. Use club soda or sparkling water in place of sweetened beverages.
Step on the scale now and then. A regular morning check in lets you stay away from weight gain denial. Don’t get obsessed but keep your eye on the scale to make sure you are maintaining your weight and not gaining. The scale doesn’t lie, but our stretchy pyjama pants sure do.
Avoid processed foods like tv dinners or cookie mixes. Focus on making all food from scratch. Then you know what’s going into your food.
Water is your friend. Sometimes our body confuses thirst with hunger and we end up eating more calories because we’re dehydrated, easy to do if we’re drinking more alcohol than usual. Have a glass of water 10 minutes before eating to make sure what you’re really feeling is hunger when you approach the dinner table.
Don’t skip breakfast. You might attempt to save calories that way but your plan will likely backfire. If you skip breakfast, you’re going to be starving later and overeat. Eat a good breakfast with protein like eggs and peanut butter, not donuts or muffins.