Nutrition

So You’ve Reached Your Goal… What Now?

By August 27, 2020 No Comments

Deciding to go after big health and nutrition goals can be hard. But once you get started and can find a process and community you love, it gets easier. Then you reach your goal. The rest should be easy. Right?

Compared to losing weight, staying the same weight should be a walk in the park. You just keep doing what you’ve been doing. 

Then why does it feel so hard?

Probably because maintaining once you’ve reached your goals is usually a lot harder than we are prepared for.

Turns out, what makes you good at losing weight doesn’t necessarily make you good at keeping it off. Generally after losing weight people start to lose direction because they no longer have a clearly defined goal. They start to wonder if they can always say no to pizza and queso. Or they find themselves trying to find the unicorn known as, “balance”.

But the cool thing is that if you acquired the skills and habits to lose weight in a healthy way, then you have the skills and habits to keep the weight off. 

Because reaching your goals means you’ve had to get good at some things. Things like maintaining your boundaries and avoiding foods that doesn’t align with your goals. Things like gaining new habits that support your goals, the ability to be consistent, and hopefully an awesome support system.

But once you’ve reached your goal, the game changes. You may not have thought about how you maintain your goals once they have been reached. You start to become worried that you’ll always  have to live your life on a diet or track and weigh your food regularly in order to maintain. 

But here’s the cool thing; you have all the skills you need. You just have to change how and maybe when you use those skills. I saw it put like this,  “Ever rewrite your resume for a new job? Your skills don’t actually change, but how you express those skills does.”

So here are 3 easy tricks to help you crush maintenance.

Trick #1: Try the 80/20 Rule and go from always saying “no” to “sometimes yes.”

Say not to unplanned treats. You can do it for a little while. But eventually you start to feel left out of events and people start to make comments. This also usually leads to labeling foods as “good” and “bad” and can lead to an unhealthier relationship with food than the one you might have started with.

The idea of the 80/20 Rule is that you make decisions that align with your goals 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, you move the dial back and relax and enjoy something.

Trick #1.5: Don’t keep things in your house. You want ice cream? Go get it! But don’t keep it in your freezer. Go out and pick the ice cream you really like and go enjoy it, make memories. Also, the act of deciding to leave your house to go get something like ice cream helps you decide if you really want it or not instead of mindlessly grabbing the gallon and a spoon while you binge watch Netflix.

Trick #2: Reframe your habits.

By the time many people reach their weight loss goal, they are excited for a minute but then find themselves getting bored. They know how to stick to their food and exercise habits, but it’s not exciting anymore. They’ve lost the challenge, the thrill of the chase.

What happens next? They start to let their healthy habits slide. One way to make healthy living feel more exciting now that weight loss isn’t your number one priority: put your health and nutrition habits on a dial that you move rather than in black and white or “good vs. bad”.

Maybe you can dial down your nutrition habits slightly, while dialing up your sleep or hydration habits. For me this recently meant spending less time meal-prepping on Sundays to make time for yoga. 

You have to force yourself to think about your health beyond the number on the scale. You have to look at all aspects of your life and think about your Deep Health. 

Trick#3: Continue to use your “Why”.

Life after your goal has been met can feel like a total letdown.

That’s how maintenance can feel, especially if your goals were big, hairy, audacious, and you’ve met them all. When you feel like your goal has been met and you don’t have another one on the horizon, you can feel lost about what to do next.

So remember why you started in the first place. Why you started is also probably a really good reason and motivator to keep going.

And once you remember why you started, tell yourself often. Put it on a Post-It note and stick it on the fridge. Don’t forget what got you going in the first place.

 

 

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