Keeping the kilos off for good takes commitment

YOU'VE put in the blood, sweat and tears to kick the kilos but reaching your goal weight is only half the battle.

Keeping the scale from creeping up can be a challenge and nutrition experts say it takes perseverance and commitment to healthy habits.

Queensland University of Technology health clinic accredited practising dietitian Emily Gill said many people found it a struggle to maintain initial weight loss.

"When people first start losing weight they can be really motivated and are often paying a lot of attention to how they eat and when they eat,” she said.

"Once those weight loss goals are reached it's then a different kettle of fish to maintain that weight loss as life gets busy and perhaps the focus shifts a little.

"It's important to maintain that focus so you're looking at your goals and that you're following those plans.”

Ms Gill said sticking to regular nutritious meals was a good strategy to avoid getting too hungry and seeking unhealthy options.

"We know that that can help to moderate your appetite so you don't get great peaks and troughs when you can go for high energy dense foods,” she said.

She advised looking at the balance of foods on your plate and aiming for portions of half vegetables, a quarter protein and quarter carbs.

"It gets you the nutrients that you need and the fibre you need,” she said.

Ms Gill said people who found they were regaining weight should not be discouraged by setbacks.

"It's normal to see fluctuations in weight and if you see your weight heading upwards then it's important to get back on the horse and get going with the previous goals,” she said.

Getting others on board with your new healthy lifestyle is also encouraged.

"We know that support is really important so share your goals with your friends and family, people who are around you so they can keep you on track,” she said.

She said seeking professional nutritional advice could also be a useful strategy for maintaining weight loss.

Six expert tips to maintain weight loss

1. Rediscover home cooking

By learning to cook at home using healthy ingredients you'll boost your nutrient intake. Those who cook at home regularly are more likely to have a healthier diet than those who rely on takeaway foods.

2. Eat fruit and vegetables

Build up to the recommended five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day. Fruit and vegies are packed with a variety of nutrients and they're filling.

3. Write down everything you eat and drink

This will help you become more aware of what you're eating and drinking, and where you can improve.

4. Be a mindful eater

Pay attention to hunger levels and how much you're eating. Turn the television off and instead concentrate on the tastes, textures, and smells of your food.

5. Keep active

Exercise is important for health and can be a useful tool for managing your weight. People who exercise regularly are more likely to keep weight off after their initial weight loss efforts.

6. Recruit a support team

Everyone needs support to maintain healthy habits. Find at least one person who will support and cheer you on.

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia


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