by Lindsay Fraser
Weight loss competitions such as the 2018 Florence’s Biggest Loser are great ways to jump start weight loss and can create a sense of healthful thinking.
Sometimes, after the hype and intensity of the competition ends, post-competition weight gain can set in. After all of that hard work for 10 weeks, feeling clothes fit tighter, seeing the scale begin to creep up and watching your strength and endurance decrease is absolutely frustrating.
Good news: This does not have to be the case!
Weight loss competitions can lead to big changes in individual’s lives, creating new habits and a vast improvement in one’s overall health, especially when under the guidance of a fitness and nutrition team like our Florence’s Biggest Loser contestants have been experiencing.
Yet, competitions can also yield rapid, drastic and exciting weight loss results over a short period of time. Unfortunately, extreme results tend to be unsustainable, as the means to get those results was extreme and unsustainable.
This is when weight regain can be seen, when life returns back to normal. One to two pounds per week is a healthy and sustainable loss and has not been shown to produce weight regain, as individuals are able to maintain their new weight.
So, what is the secret to maintaining weight loss and to avoid weight regain?
Here are five ways to continue reaping the fruit of your labor:
>> 1. Follow the 90/10 Rule: 90 percent of the time, meals and snacks are well balanced, nutrition and wholesome; 10 percent of the time, you should allow yourself small indulgences. This way, you are “behaving yourself” 90 percent of the time and yet allowing yourself to enjoy life’s delicacies. If you forgo this time for taste indulgences, you probably might find yourself overeating (or binging) on these indulgences, because you have not allowed yourself a treat.
>> 2. Use the “Plate Method”: Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, greens, salads, squash, zucchini, etc.). The remaining half of the plate should be filled with lean protein (lean cuts of beef, chicken, turkey, fish, lean pork, eggs, beans, tofu) and whole grains/starch (brown rice, couscous, pasta, quinoa, potatoes/peas/corn). At the end of it all, your plate should be ½ vegetables, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grain. Have a piece of fruit on the side and you have yourself a well-balanced meal.
>> 3. Mix it up: Diet foods can get boring real quick. Keep your kitchen well-stocked with a variety of foods to avoid taste bud burnout. When we get bored with the “same ole, same ole,” that’s when To-Go meals and running through the drive-thrus happen.
>> 4. Eat more whole foods: This concept is not new. Eating less processed foods saves you a ton on calories, salt, sugar and extra fat. Frozen vegetables are a great way to still get your veggies in, without the prep. Batch cooking foods such as chicken breast, roasted veggies and even whole grains for easy heating later is very helpful and makes weeknight dinners much less time consuming.
>> 5. Join forces: Get friends and family on board! Even try a group training session or some new group fitness classes. And, as always, you can speak with a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition care and guidance to continue to see improvements in your health and well-being.