Oh, but Wait! You CAN Maintain Your Weight!

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Tips for preventing the yo-yo dieting cycle

You’ve lost a nice chunk of weight. Congratulations! Trouble is most folks just gain it back – and then some. There are tasty ways to prevent weight gain. Make a few minor adjustments and you’re on your way to maintaining your weight loss.

1. Eat 3 times a day. Trick here is to keep from getting too hungry at any point in your day. Start your day with a meal that includes fat. Your brain is mostly made of fat and it runs on fat. So if you want to stay full and focused throughout your morning, target full fat in your breakfast. My go-to is full fat yogurt. Buy the good stuff. Full fat Greek yogurt – plain. Then sweeten it yourself by adding a bit of Truvia instead of all the sugar that is in most yogurt. Add a bit of vanilla. Stir that around. Add your favorite berries — I even add some nuts on top. Eat that instead of cereal.

2. Snack. After work, the stretch between when I get home and when I get dinner done is too long. I get hungry and don’t want to overeat at dinner so I have a little snack. I like to sit and watch the news before I start dinner so I’ll eat some nuts. A quarter cup of nuts in a little bowl will do it. You can eat that while you drink your glass of sparkling water, your glass of wine, or your low carb beer. Relax.

Walnuts in a small bowlI don’t often eat nuts from a can. Those contain a ton of table salt. Not good. Instead I buy raw nuts and make up a batch of my own snack nuts. Most often I buy walnuts and pecans. I find them in the baking section of the grocery store, not the snack section. Walnuts and pecans are known to be cancer fighters. Raw cashews or macadamia nuts are good, too. Put them in an ovenproof pan. Spray with olive oil spray and then season them. You can use any seasoning mix or sprinkle on things like ground cumin, sea salt, pepper or even cayenne for some zip. They even taste great with your favorite meat rub sprinkled on them. Roast them in your oven at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes and you’re ready to snack. Make up a big batch on the weekend and keep them in a zip-lock bag and you’re ready for nut snacks all week. The kids can have them after school, too.

3. Use little bowls. You’ll notice I said I sit down with a little bowl of pre-portioned nuts. Little bowls are the secret to making sure you don’t overeat a good thing. Never take the package to the sofa. You’ll eat more than you should. I buy little ramekin-sized bowls for snacks and desserts. I buy smaller bowls for things like my yogurt in the morning, too.

4. Stay away from soda. Soda, whether regular or diet, has been proven to be bad for you. Drink sparkling water if you want fizz. La Croix is one company that makes a ton of great flavors with no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavors. There are others, too. Read labels. Or just drink plain water. I crave plain water now; just cold, refreshing water.

5. Stay hydrated. Most experts will tell you to take your weight and divide it in half and set a goal to drink that much water in ounces per day, minimum. I drink at least 100 ounces of water at work at my desk. I try to keep a bottle of cold water near me in my garden, too.

Some diet gurus tell you to drink water to stay full. I say, drink the water to keep your system “flowing.” Your digestive rate will be more efficient if you have plenty of water in your system.

6. Make what you can eat. This means manage your portions before you sit down to eat. If I’m going to have a chicken dinner with my husband I buy two chicken breast halves, the veggies and my dessert and that’s it. If I’m at the grocery store and I’m buying for more than one day I keep portioning in mind. When dinner is ready, I put on my plate what I am going to eat and I go off to the table and eat it. If I am going to go to the TV room and eat, I do the same thing. I don’t go back to the kitchen to get more food when my plate is clean. If I have made something that has more portions (like a casserole) I pack it up and put it in the fridge or portion it out and put it into storage containers. You can have leftovers around for additional meals if you have the discipline not to dive in a second time the same evening.

7. Think fruit for dessert. It’s as easy as making my raspberry ice cream for dessert. Or take an apple and cut it into cubes or thin slices. Sprinkle it with Truvia and/or pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Sit down and watch your favorite TV show eating that. You’ll be amazed how long an apple can last while you’re engrossed in the drama going on in the show. Your kids will be pleasantly surprised with how good fresh fruit can taste.

There are lots of little tricks you can incorporate into your habits to keep your weight in line. These are just a few to get you started.

For This Week’s Featured Recipe make yourself a healthy snack to help maintain your weight by trying my Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts.