Well, here you are! You've made it! You have finally achieved your health and fitness goal, spent hours in the gym, followed the eating programme and lost the weight! Now what? Are you now going to let out a sigh of relief and head straight for the fridge?? Absolutely NOT!
Now is the time for maintenance and for making positive decisions and healthy choices about your lifestyle.
For maximum results in any programme, it is not sufficient to simply follow the rules of healthy eating and exercise because once you stop being disciplined, the results will quickly vanish. What is really important here is the shift of mindset and the ability to maintain the results that you have achieved. Understanding who you are and how you react to certain situations will help you along the way to going the distance. After all, what we want to achieve is the ability to lead a healthy life, to get on with our day at work, rest or play without constantly going on and off a weight loss programme. There are a few simple steps that you can follow once you have arrived at your goal which will help you from slipping back into your old habits.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Staying lean and fit for the rest of your life is not simply a matter of eating the right foods and doing the right exercise. You have to start thinking right too. Staying positive about yourself and understanding what your body needs is of utmost importance. In the past you may have been prone to emotional eating which lead to weight gain or you may have found that your busy and hectic lifestyle lead to your lack of exercise. Whatever your reasons, you are no longer that person. Your body is totally dependent on your mind and your emotional state, so do your best to stay positive and nourish your soul as well as your body.
UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTIONS
Be aware of your reactions to your emotions. What do you do when you are angry? Frustrated? Tired? or sad? Chances are, you head straight for the fridge! Start to recognise your actions and change them. Stop using food as a medication or stimulant and stay away from situations that you know are going to trip you up. Find what works for you and stick with it.
LET YOUR HEALTH MOTIVATE YOU
Keep reminding yourself that you are following a healthy food and exercise plan for life so that you can continue to live that life, free of disease and disability. By the time you are on a maintenance programme you should be feeling the benefits of your results. You will feel great and will hopefully want to stay there. Let your health motivate you to continue on the right path.
EAT WITHOUT GUILT
Food is one of the great pleasures of our lives. We can not exist without it nor do we want to. However, we often consider food to be the enemy or a guilty pleasure and this turns the idea of food into a negative one. A fit and healthy body has no place for negative thoughts so we must turn our guilt away. Stick to real food and do not deprive your body and soul of what is good and essential. This is not a green light to go off and splurge every day of the week mind you, so be mindful of quantity and balance it out with a good exercise programme.
FIND FOODS THAT WORK FOR YOU
Once you have reached maintenance, you should have a good idea of which foods work well for you. Not all healthy food is to our liking or good for us and even though organic homemade bread is delicious and nutritious, it may be contributing to that bloated stomach and weight gain. Take stock of the trigger foods which lead you to over eat and eliminate them as much as possible.
REMEMBER, ACTIVITY IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR DAILY BREAD
Maintaining an exercise programme that works for you will help you maintain your fitness goals. Be active every day and by this I mean, walk, cycle,swim, dance, garden, clean the house...it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you MOVE. Continue with the strength training and group exercise classes too as these will have been an essential part of your fat loss programme and should not be ignored.
So there you have it, eat clean, move daily and stay positive ....oh yes, and SMILE....
In Peace and Health,