Create Healthy Habits & Keep the Weight Off

2 February 2024

Ryan Pinto

My Muscle Chef Advanced Sports Dietitian

If you’re coming to the end of your program or simply looking to maintain the weight you’ve achieved, you might be wondering what to do next. Do you follow a diet plan for weight loss forever? Or stop focusing on your diet altogether? The answer is neither! Finding a balanced approach that you can sustain is the answer.

Tip 1: Sticking to healthy habits

The sound of maintaining weight loss can sometimes sound like a lifetime of counting calories and forcing yourself to hit the gym, but fear not, because that is not the case. Instead, think of it as maintaining the healthy habits you have formed or finding alternatives that you can happily incorporate into your routine long-term.

The key is finding exercises that you enjoy; you want to see your health as a lifestyle rather than a task. The good news is, there are plenty of activities that promote weight loss – think swimming, walking, Pilates, running and cycling. If you can’t stand lifting weights in the gym and would rather be outside, ditch the weights and make running, cycling or perhaps an outdoor Pilates class your new go-to. Mix it up, try something new and whatever you do, choose things that bring some happiness to your day.

Tip 2: Eat a balanced diet with a focus on protein and fibre

The same goes for food. Weight loss meals and well-balanced diets don’t need to be restrictive or boring – as you would have noticed from our weight loss meal plan! Healthy habits stick when the habit is both attractive and convenient, which is where My Muscle Chef meals can really make a difference.

It is important to keep a balanced approach to your nutrition long-term. However, this does not mean eating celery sticks at every meal (because that is just boring and who wants to do that?!). What it does mean, is having a balanced diet that consists primarily of whole foods – that are especially high in protein and fibre – distributed evenly across the day.

Foods high in fibre and protein have a trick or two up their sleeve when it comes to helping with maintaining a healthy weight. Unlike processed foods, meals rich in fibre and protein reduce hunger hormones in the body, keeping us fuller for longer while preventing those pesky cravings.

Lean proteins, low-fat dairy, complex carbs and fruits and vegetables are all part of a healthy balanced diet and are no doubt some of the best foods for weight loss. Below are some of our favourite high protein and high fibre foods:

List of high protein foods:

  • Lean meat such as chicken breast, sirloin or rump steak

  • Eggs

  • Soy products such as tofu and tempeh

  • White fish such as barramundi, john dory and cod

  • Legumes

  • High Protein, lower sugar greek yoghurt

  • Protein powder (great in shakes!)

List of high fibre foods:

  • Wholegrains such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice and multigrain bread

  • Rolled Oats

  • Legumes such as chickpeas and lentils

  • Broccoli

  • Berries

  • Avocado

  • Apples

  • Nuts and seeds such as raw almonds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds

Eating frequently also reduces your hunger levels and keeps your energy levels consistent throughout the day. It also helps your metabolism function properly so it’s best not to skip meals!

Top tip: Eating 6 small meals a day is the best way to curb hunger and keep up your energy levels! So say goodbye to that 3pm slump and 4pm sugar craving

Tip 3: Drink water and stay hydrated

Hey, H2O – the most underrated nutrient! From keeping you hydrated to helping the functioning of your metabolism and maintaining your energy levels, there are a number of reasons why you should keep your water intake up at all times.

Not sure how much to drink daily? Here’s a simple way to work out exactly how much water you need to consume.

0.45ml x body weight (kg) = litres of water you need per day!

Top tip: Add this in your notes on your phone as a reminder or track it in your My Muscle Chef app!

Tip 4: Maintain regular physical activity

Nutrition is just one part of the equation when it comes to maintaining weight loss; the other part is exercise. You’ll find that if you start to slow down, so will your body’s metabolism. If you’re not careful, this is when you could start to see those kilos creeping back on as you burn fewer calories from inactivity. As we’ve established, the key here is maintaining a routine that you enjoy and can actually sustain without feeling overworked or overwhelmed!

If you find it tricky to squeeze exercise into your routine then don’t stress, these handy tips below will get you exercising with minimal effort on your part.

Incidental activity - Adding incidental activity such as taking the stairs rather than the escalator, combining a social meet with a walk, or even playing with the kids at the park adds extra steps and activity throughout your day (usually without even noticing it!).

Walking - Adding a 30-minute fast-paced walk to your start or end of the day. I know what you’re thinking. Is walking good for weight loss? Yes! And if you don’t already, you’ll no doubt learn to love it.

Express home workout - If you don’t have time to hit the gym, try adding a quick 15 to 30-minute home HIIT or Pilates workout into your routine. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out the ‘Workout’ Tab in the My Muscle Chef app!

Weekend activities - Add some adventure to your weekend! Australia’s bursting with outdoor activities so why not take advantage of your backyard? Get hiking, running, swimming, cycling or even surfing!

Tip 5: Practice mindful eating and portion control

Eating mindfully has many benefits and it’s one thing you can do anytime and anywhere. Paying attention to how your body feels before, during and after consuming your meals, and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues is a great way to control your intake and maintain a healthy weight. 

Mindful eating doesn’t have to be complicated; think about eating when you’re hungry only and stopping when you feel full. Another top tip is to remain present when you eat. Put your phone away, turn off the TV and focus on the food you’re eating. You don’t need a full digital detox – but just a couple of technology-free minutes will help your digestion and allow you to focus on your food and how your body feels.

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