1.Build more lean muscle.
Maintain, or even increase, your metabolism by continuing to build lean muscle. “Muscle has a higher metabolism than fat does,” explains Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. If you don’t yet train with weights, add this type of exercise to your overall program now. If you do, increase the amount of weight you’re working with to keep yourself challenged.
2.Fight off hunger with more filling foods.
A three-year University of Pittsburgh study of 284 women between the ages of 25 and 45 found that those who avoided weight gain the best were the ones whose meals kept them feeling full. “Keeping that feeling of fullness can be done with foods high in fiber — think fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein,” says Jenna Anding, PhD, RD, of the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
3.Watch less TV.
In the National Weight Control Registry Survey, dieters who watched fewer than 10 hours of TV a week were more successful in maintaining weight loss than those who spent more time vegging out in front of the tube. And less TV time might have other benefits, too — an analysis from the Harvard School of Public Health found that too much TV can raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and death.
4.Weigh yourself daily.
The same CDC study reported that people who weigh themselves once a day are twice as successful at keeping off lost weight as those who don’t step on the scale as often. Daily weigh-ins, which can be discouraging when you’re on a diet, can be a boon during maintenance; they let you see, and stop, any slow creep upward as soon as it happens.
They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason. In the survey, women who regularly ate breakfast were more successful with long-term weight loss than those who skipped the first meal of the day. It’s best to eat similar healthy choices regularly (think oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit) and always start out with a good breakfast to avoid splurging or overeating on special occasions.