You work hard all week to stay on track with your weight loss – or even muscle gain – plan. But when a birthday party, social event or just a weekend comes around, you fall off the wagon. The truth is, you’re not alone. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that less than 20% of people who have lost weight will successfully keep it off. Instead of feeling defeated, ask yourself this: “What are these people doing and how can I be one of the successful few?”
With these 4 simple weight management tips, you can overcome the odds:
Keep keeping on track
Tools and apps, such as the InBody Composition Scanner, MyFitnessPal and RP, were designed for a reason – to HELP YOU! You may have been introduced to these tools when you first started your nutrition plan, as they provide a good view of your baseline. Here’s the thing, though. You have to USE these tools in order to reap their benefits. If you want to continue seeing results – or even just focus on maintaining the weight loss you’ve achieved so far – you will need regular check-ins and reminders to track your progress.
What exactly should you be tracking?
Body Composition: While weight is an important piece of the puzzle, body composition shows a more detailed picture of that weight. Measuring body composition with the InBody Composition Scanner allows you to see what percentages of muscle, fat, bone and water make up your body.
Body measurements: Are you losing belly fat? Have your biceps grown? By pulling out the tape measure, you’ll be able to better track your progress with hard, factual numbers. If this is not a comfortable form of measurement, you can gauge continued results just by putting on a pair of jeans. Your clothes are good indicators of your weight-loss or weight-gain efforts. When you can fasten a belt buckle a notch tighter, you know you’re headed in the right direction.
Total calories: Weight loss is achieved by creating a calorie deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you take in. Weight gain is achieved by a calorie surplus – and hopefully enough weight bearing exercise to minimize fat gain while maximizing muscle gain. (Of course, there are more variables here, but it is a simplified start.) The only way to know if you’re accomplishing this is by tracking the total calories you consume each day. MyFitnessPal or RP and a food scale at home can be useful tools to help make this easier. Too much time and effort to input all that data? Simply snap a photo of everything you eat. A certified nutrition coach can help work with you to analyze total calories and guide you on portion control and nutrient balance.
Macronutrients: While total calories are important, knowing the composition of those calories is, perhaps, even more important. In order to properly fuel your body for physical activity – or for your daily routine – the right nutrients must be readily available. The primary nutrients to focus on are macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Getting the right balance of macros for you and your goals will ensure your body is healthy, strong and well-prepared for anything the day may bring. A certified nutrition coach can work with you to determine your right mix of macros.
Pick an accountability partner
The willpower and energy it takes to maintain your desired weight can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone. Find an accountability partner to support your efforts and take some of the load off your shoulders. This person should be someone you can confide in and is available to talk regularly. Most importantly, your accountability partner should be a positive influence, offering motivation and guidance. A close friend or spouse seems like the obvious choice, but you may find yourself not listening to their advice. Think of someone you respect and admire, such as a fitness coach or nutrition professional. Plus, these professionals have the specific education and experience to guide you through a long-term weight loss / muscle gain plan successfully!
Plan your attack
Speaking of plans, what are you doing this weekend? Do you have a birthday party coming up? Treat your healthy body goals the same way you do on your workday – with careful preparation. Look at your calendar to see what you have planned for the next week. If you know you’ll be going out to eat, review the menu and decide on a meal before you get there. Maybe festivities are at someone else’s house. Offer to bring a healthy side dish, so you know you always have something to eat when temptation strikes.
Refresh your goals often
If you’ve had success meeting your weight goals so far, these tips may already be familiar to you. In fact, maybe you have all the tracking, accountability and meal planning down to a science. Great! But there’s still one more piece to your long-term weight maintenance plan. Continue to set goals. Constantly having a health and / or fitness-related goal to work toward with a deadline will keep you motivated and focused. This will help the goal feel achievable. Keep in mind, your goals do not always have to be sky-high. Smaller, frequent goals are often more reasonable and more motivating.
When you’ve fallen off your eating plan, get right back on by implementing these 4 tips. Tracking, accountability, planning and goal-setting are sure-fire ways to keep you on the path toward success.
Michelle Ann Keely
CEO, CrossFit Grail
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Precision Nutrition Certified Coach
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