Congratulations! You’ve reached your weight loss goal, which is no easy feat at all!
So…now what do you do?
First of all, give yourself a huge pat on the back! You did it! You accomplished a very difficult goal! You kept the promises you made to yourself, you didn’t let excuses get in the way, and you put in the hard work to transform your life. And it was a lot of hard work, right?! But aren’t the feelings you’re feeling, and the new body you’ve created, so worth every minute of sweat and hard work and every “No!” you said to all those tempting foods? It is so worth it.
Since I’m assuming you’d like to keep your new body for the rest of your life, am I right? Here are some helpful hints that will make your hard-earned physical transformation last for years to come (these should be very familiar to you if you’re a carb cycler):
- Eat five meals every single day. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, and space your other four meals every 3 hours after that to keep your metabolism working at its best throughout the day. For weight maintenance, I suggest following either the Easy Cycle, Fit Cycle, or Extreme Cycle.
- Eat a wide variety of foods. Keep choosing your foods from our acceptable foods list, and be sure to include lean meats and poultry, eggs, nonfat dairy products, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, healthy fats and oils, and lots and lots of veggies.
- Watch your portion sizes. Follow the portion sizes in your chosen carb cycle and on our acceptable foods list and you’ll do fine. Don’t be tempted to eat “just a little more” because you’ve reached your weight loss goal. Those extra calories will creep in and turn into extra pounds pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
- Reward yourself. Plan your rewards: Once a week, twice a week, every other day, or once a day. The important thing to remember is to make sure you reward yourself enough to satisfy your cravings, because if you don’t, you’ll feel deprived and fall back into your old destructive eating patterns. This is one of the worst things that can happen!
- Give yourself a “window,” or an acceptable weight range to stay within. If you ever find yourself creeping toward the top of your range, return to your original carb cycle until you reach your goal weight again. If you find yourself going below your range, don’t add in more rewards to gain back the weight—this can also lead you right back to those unhealthy eating patterns. Instead, add 100 calories of smart carbs each day until your weight’s back to where you want it to be.
- Create a support group. Chances are that you have one incredible support group already. After all, weight loss is difficult to achieve alone. Now that you’re at your goal weight, don’t remove yourself from that support group. They are just as important now as they have ever been. While accountability is a huge part of weight loss, it’s an even larger part of maintenance. Find who your “super friends” are (friends who love you enough to tell you the truth no matter how much it might sting), and never let them go! You’re all in this together!
- Exercise. Keep doing the exercise program you’ve been doing. No changes here!
- Drink lots of water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water every single day (for example, 150 pounds = 75 ounces of water).
- Be patient with yourself. Just like there was a learning curve when you started carb cycling, there’s also one while learning how to maintain your goal weight. Remember two very important things: 1) Keep your promises to yourself, and 2) Just because you might fall, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Get right back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. One of my favorite sayings is “Fall down seven times, get back up eight.” You got this!
And congratulations, again! You’ve accomplished something so many people only dream about.