Losing the extra pounds isn’t always the hardest part – learning how to keep weight off after losing it is. Successful dieting is as much about a change in behaviors as it is eating less and exercising more. On the assumption that dinner is your main meal of the day, there are positive habits you should develop to reinforce your weight loss and learn how to keep weight off after losing it. Ready to find out what they are?
1. Stay Awake
One of the best post-eating habits to develop is to fight the urge to have a nap after a big meal. Staying awake during this time means that your digestion will not be slowed down. Therefore, it is vital not to take a nap in the first two or three hours after having a meal. This is the time when your metabolism should be working its hardest to digest the food that you have just eaten.
2. Don’t Smoke
We all know that smoking is bad for your health overall, but it can also be especially bad for your weight loss ambitions. Popping out for a post-dinner cigarette is one of the worst things you can do, as the chemicals being put into your body can act to leech the nutrients from the food you have eaten, which will in turn make you more likely to snack between meals to make up the deficit.
3. Do Not Shower
Much like going to sleep, bathing or having a shower can also interrupt the body’s natural digestion process in a negative way. Experts believe this is due to an excess of heat for the body whilst it is working to digest the food. If you need to do both in quick succession, it would be a much better idea to shower first, then you are free to cook and eat your meal feeling clean and fresh, and not have to worry about your digestion later on!
4. Go for a Walk
Though you may not always be in the mood to go for a walk after a big meal, it is actually one of the best things you can do to aid digestion and one of the best post-eating habits to get into. Going for a leisurely stroll around the block can encourage the digestive juices to flow as well as helping the body to avoid bloating. The key here is that just a relaxed walk will suffice; there is no need to get the power walking sneakers out!
5. Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth about an hour after a big meal works positively in two different ways: the first being that it will rid your mouth of any fatty, sugary or acidic leftovers from your meal; and the second being that the clean freshness of a freshly brushed set of teeth will dissuade you from eating more food between the end of dinner and bedtime, therefore helping to curb snacking and contributing to your weight loss cause.
6. Avoid Post-Dinner Fruit Snacking
It seems bizarre to suggest avoiding snacking on fruit, but there is a valid reason. Fruit has been known to cause bloating and slight stomach upset, so a good piece of advice is to wait a couple of hours for your main meal to digest before you reach for a healthy piece of fruit.
7. Avoid Intense Exercise
While a light stroll after dinner is recommended, something you should not try to do is engage in heavy-duty exercise after a big meal. Putting such strain on your body whilst it is still trying to digest a meal can lead to a lot of discomfort and really hinder the proper digestion process, which could lead to cramping and uncomfortable indigestion. Intensive exercise should always be done prior to a big meal.
None of these habits are difficult to develop. And if you set your goal to not only lose weight but to keep it off, they will definitely help. I’m always guilty of the fruit one! Time to change that, I think. How about you? What habits do you need to change?