iStock_000046160886_SmallIf you’ve met your weight loss goal, or you’re getting close, congratulations! You have accomplished something that many people find incredibly challenging. But of course, losing that weight is just the beginning of your self transformation. In order to keep the weight off for good, you will need to make permanent changes to your mindset and lifestyle.

Don’t “go off” your diet. Many people view a diet as something they “go on” for a period of time. Then they lose weight and assume they can stop “dieting”… But they gain the weight right back! In truth, your “diet” is just the foods that you eat every day. Choose healthy ones, and you will stay healthy. Choose unhealthy foods, and… Well, you know what happens next.

Continue your new habits. While you were losing weight, you had to develop some new, healthier habits to replace your old ones. Maybe you avoided the junk food aisles at the grocery store, or you developed a strategy for eating out with friends. Hopefully those habits are ingrained in your day-to-day life by now. Be careful about slipping back into your old, less healthy habits at this point, and hang onto the new strategies you have learned.

Continue exercising regularly. Much like the diet that people “go on” and then “go off” later, exercise is not something you do just to lose weight! By now, it should be a part of your regular life. Hopefully, if you chose activities you enjoy, you’ve even learned to love it. Keep riding bikes with the family, going on hiking adventures, playing basketball with the kids, or whatever you have learned to love over the course of your weight loss journey. These activities are good for your body, but they are also good for your mind and your relationships.

Continue to practice your new mindset. You have learned a lot about yourself. You have investigated your relationship with food, and analyzed your responses to stress. Hopefully you developed coping mechanisms and you’ve grown to love yourself even more than before. Continue to manage your emotional and mental health, through journaling, yoga, meditation, regular visits with a counselor, or whatever works for you. A healthy mindset leads to a healthy body!

Weigh yourself weekly. Regular weigh-ins will keep you accountable. If that number jumps up by a pound or two, make the necessary adjustments to your exercise and eating routines. If you monitor your weight regularly, you will never have to worry about losing twenty, thirty, or more pounds.

Stay in touch. Continue to schedule regular checkups with us, so we can monitor your weight and health status. If you do experience any weight rebound or other problems, we can catch it early and address it together.