You’ve finally reached your goal weight, and now you’re living your dream, wearing a size 8 when you used to be a 14, with more energy and less muffin top. But now what? What are the ways to stay in shape, the few simple rules you can follow to keep the weight off for good? Keep reading. Here are 9 simple ways to stay in shape, little tips and tricks with your workout and diet to keep you in those size 8 skinny jeans.
1. Cut Back on TV and PC Time
The bad news: sitting on your butt isn’t one of the ways to stay in shape. The good news: there is one incredibly easy way to stay off your butt, and that’s by limiting, literally with a time limit, the minutes you spend on the couch watching TV or using your computer. I’ve actually started multi-tasking for the 2 hours a week I watch TV, using that time to wash dishes (standing up and moving around) or fold laundry (also standing, with some bending and stretching involved).
2. Sneak in Exercise
I’m not saying you can totally skip the gym (see item 3), but another of the easiest ways to stay in shape, now that you’re fit, is to sneak in a little exercise when you can. For instance, walk to the store, rather than driving. Take the stairs at work, not the elevator. Do calf raises while you’re standing in line at the grocery store. Get creative, get sneaky, and get some exercise!
3. Make Time for Exercise
Even if you’re sneaking in exercise, you’ll still have to set time aside a few days a week for your no-muffin-top maintenance routine. Unlike when you were trying to lose weight, you won’t have to work out at the gym every day, but rather just a few times a week.
4. Skip Fast Food
Whenever you’re tempted by that double Whopper with cheese, remember that one value meal, with burger, fries, and a soda, contains all of the calories you’re supposed to eat in one day, most of them from fat. Eww! If you start eating fast food again, you’ll soon be back in those size 14 mom jeans. One of the best ways to stay in shape is to keep your healthy eating habits, and that includes limiting fattening fast food… forever.
5. Don’t Drink Soda
I know I’m beating this one to death, but even diet soda can make you fat, so another of the ways to stay in shape is to continue to boycott soda, even the diet stuff. You were fine without the chemical-laden, calorie-rich stuff on your diet, so why go back to the nasty junk now?
6. Watch Your Portions
While you were dieting, you learned what a true serving size looks like. Don’t think for one minute that serving sizes somehow change once you’ve reached your goal weight. While we’re on that topic, let’s talk about calories in general… remember, to lose weight, you had to burn more calories than you ate. Now that you’re at your goal weight, you have to burn the same number of calories as you eat to stay at that magic number. Eat more calories (a bigger serving) and you’ll gain weight again.
7. Fill up on Fiber
Remember when you were dieting, how you loved to fill up on whole grains, because they were loaded with fiber? Well, that hasn’t changed, so one of the ways to stay in shape is to keep fueling yourself smartly. You’ll see that keeping fiber in your diet will help you feel full and satisfied all day, so you’re less likely to go back to your pre-diet unhealthy snacking ways.
8. Try for Five, Twice!
Again, this way to stay in shape is something you already know from when you were dieting. Try for five servings of fresh fruits and veggies each day, and try to eat five small meals a day, rather than three large ones. This will ensure you get the nutrients you need, and that your metabolism keeps rocking in high gear all day long.
9. Keep Inspired!
Last, there’s one more way to stay in shape post-diet, and that is to keep inspired to stay healthy! I’ve kept a photo of myself when I was at my unhealthiest, to remind me of how far I’ve come. I also keep inspired to keep running by registering for a 5k every 4 or 5 weeks, so I always have a goal. Figure out what motivates you, and keep going!
I’ve tried every one of these ways to stay in shape, and years after I’ve gotten to my goal weight, I’m still there. Believe me, staying in shape is a lot easier than giving in to temptation and having to start all over again! Which of these ways to stay in shape works best for you, or do you have another secret tip you’d like to share?
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