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Congrats! You’ve reached your ideal weight — woot woot! Now you need a plan to keep it off. Fact is, people often regain the weight they’ve lost for a variety of reasons:
Their food intake is so restrictive that they’ve lowered their metabolism.
- They let a small dietary lapse sabotage their efforts.
- They focus more on what they eat than adopting healthy lifestyle habits.
Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your success:
- Choose whole over processed foods: Instead of processed foods that have added sodium, sugar, and fat, go for whole foods, like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes, that are loaded with nutrients.
- Eat breakfast every day: By eating a healthy breakfast, you’re less likely to get famished later in the day and end up overeating. Try Overnight Oatmeal, Potato, Asparagus & Mushroom Hash, or a Green Smoothie!
- Have a game plan: If you’re heading to a party, bring a healthy app, like deviled eggs or shrimp cocktail so you’ll at least have one healthy option. Or if you’re going out all day or traveling, pack healthy snacks to take with you.
- Experiment with new recipes: Prepare dishes you’ve never made before so you don’t get bored with the same old same old. You can find a variety of recipes online, from Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini to Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders.
- Eat mindfully: Take the time to appreciate the colors, smells, textures, and flavors of what you’re eating. To avoid feeling overly stuffed, pay attention to your body’s cues to stop when you’ve had enough. After your meal, be aware of how you feel.
- Nix the “nevers”: This all-or-nothing mentality about what you’re allowed to eat can set you up for failure. Allow yourself to indulge occasionally, in moderation. By not depriving yourself, you’re more likely to stick to your plan.
- Exercise regularly: Pick an activity that you truly enjoy — whether it’s dancing, tennis, or your favorite class at the gym — and try to work out at least three to five days a week. Every day, be as active as you can by choosing the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the entrance.
- Get a workout buddy: Tag team with a family member or friend and work out together. Besides making your workouts more fun, you can hold each other accountable — when you have preset plans, you’ll be much more likely to follow through.
- Track your progress: Weigh yourself a few times a week to make sure you’re staying on track. Try to weigh in at the same time of day (preferably first thing in the morning) so what you eat/drink later on won’t cause your weight to fluctuate.
Know that some days will be easier than others. And if you have a small setback, don’t dwell on it. Forgive yourself and get right back to your new healthy lifestyle.