You’ve done well to lose weight. You’ve invested time, energy, and money to work off the extra pounds at the gym. You’ve cut back on the foods you love but know you shouldn’t – it may be pizza, fries, potato chips, chocolate, donuts, or something else. None of this is easy to give up, and your commitment is admirable.
So you deserve a treat to reward yourself – a pick-me-up once in a while can make you feel good and satisfy those cravings. However, you really need to take care when treating yourself: once every few weeks should be fine, but if you find that you need a reward more often, keep it to smaller portions – rather than eating a whole candy bar, just have half; rather than eating an entire pizza, just eat a couple of slices and spread the rest over the next day or so.
Mix Up Your Exercise Routines
If you perform the same exercises over and over, three or more days a week for years, you’ll likely get very bored! Maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term commitment, so you need to make sure your exercise routine remains a big part of your life. If you feel unenthusiastic or bored as you head to the gym, you’re more likely to start skipping sessions – and eventually quit altogether.
So what can you do? Make sure to find forms of exercise you enjoy, and that keep you coming back for more. For example, try basketball: a fast-paced sport, played in short quarters, involving constant running – this will help you stay in shape while enjoying an exciting, team sport. This and other sports – including soccer, volleyball, football, and martial arts – can all help you meet new people, burn calories, attain fresh skills, and build muscle over time. Remember: muscles burn more calories than fat does.
Check out your local community center, hop online, or ask friends or colleagues – you’re sure to find sports or other activities in your area. Combining this with regular visits to the gym (or replacing them altogether if necessary) will keep you motivated to stay involved over the years, and give you real goals to work towards: being part of a team and striving for victory, is a great incentive for putting your sneakers on and getting out there!