One of the most important concepts that will help you maintain optimal weight long term is diet flexibility. Losing weight means saying “no” all the time. With weight maintenance, you need to learn how to balance your nos and yeses. Let’s go over a few tips that will help.
Avoid the yo-yo effect
The yo-yo effect is the biggest enemy of weight management. The initial excitement about weight loss is often followed by a very restrictive diet, which brings success. But then the restrictions are too hard to maintain and all the lost weight comes back. This is a frustrating experience and a very common one, unfortunately. To avoid this annoying yo-yo effect, you need to learn how to be less restrictive without going off rails completely.
It might feel scary to start saying yes to food and activities you were avoiding in order to lose weight. You might feel like you’re letting yourself down and you might be afraid that you’ll say yes too often. That’s why you should ease into it with the following steps.
1. Give “yes” a try
Choose food or a situation that you would normally say no to because of weight loss and say yes to it instead. It might be a piece of cake with your coffee on a cycling break or it can be a glass of wine or staying out late with friends.
2. Appreciate the value of that yes
If you start doing any of the above too often you are likely to gain weight. That’s why you have to fully appreciate these yeses when you go for them. They can bring a lot of enjoyment into your life and they make your lifestyle sustainable in the long term.
3. Note your experiences after
One thing that will help you keep these yeses special and meaningful is when you write down or consciously revisit the experience you had. Ask yourself a few questions. How did you feel? Would you do it again? Why or why not? This will also help you distinguish which yeses are worth it and which aren’t.
A few weeks of this approach should be enough to establish boundaries and know what works for you and what doesn’t. This new diet and lifestyle flexibility will be the key to keeping the weight off. Next article will be all about the supporting activities you can do now that diet is not the only thing on your mind.