You’ve lost that unwanted weight. Your sweat, tears and determination have paid off. You’re finally confident and relishing in all of your newfound body love. The battle is over – or so you think.

A study out of UCLA found that 83 percent of people who shed pounds over a course of two years end up gaining it back. A surprising number to say, the least.

The issue lies behind a dieter’s mindset.

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Many people believe that once the weight is gone, they can return to their old eating habits. This is just not so. With a mentality like that, you’re sure to end up right where you started.

Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. I can only offer my best advice, but it is up to you to take heed.

Here are five tips to help you keep stay slim. Keep these tips at the forefront of your mind as you continue on your journey and you will not end up another statistic on the scale.

1. Use your cues

Put your fork down every few bites. Take a sip of water. Relax. There is no reason to rush your meals. Remember that food is your fuel that keeps you going. Give your body enough time to register the food you are eating.

It takes roughly 20 minutes for your brain to get the signals from your stomach that tells you that you are full and to stop eating. It’s a training process that takes time, but becoming more in tune with your body’s natural cues is a sure way to feel more confident about your eating behaviors.

2. Don’t bypass breakfast

Stick to eating breakfast every day. They say it’s the most important meal for a reason – breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Foods such as granola bars, muffins and donuts will cause a spike in your glycemic load and will only energize you for a short period of time. Low nutrient-dense breakfasts like these will leave you sluggish, tired and aggravated.

Not to mention, starving after only an hour.

Getting the proper balance of nutrients in the morning will not only jumpstart your metabolism, but prevent episodes of overeating later on in the day. Examples of good breakfast menus include peanut butter banana toast, a veggie omelet on a whole grain English muffin or warm, delicious oatmeal topped with berries.

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3. Pack a snack

Eating well-balanced meals is one step towards maintaining your new slim body. But what about in-between meals?

If you have large gaps between your meals, you run the risk of getting too hungry by the time your next meal rolls around. If you start your meal in a starved state, you are more likely to overeat. Take snacks with you to work, in your car or in your bag to fuel up in-between your meals to avoid the potential for overeating and bingeing.

4. Look for the label

Though this is not new news, I feel that it is necessary to reiterate how important it is to read food labels. Food labels allow you to view and reflect on the fuel that you’re putting into your body.

When you’re reading a label, take note of the ingredients. If there is more than one or two ingredients that you cannot read or do not recognize, it is probably something that you wouldn’t want to feed your cells.

Look for wholesome ingredients and shorter lists as better alternatives. Energize your body with the proper nutrients and you will find yourself feeling and looking better.

5. Don’t jeopardize your exercise

Don’t stop your workout regimen! You’ve reached your goal, but that is no excuse to end your workout plan. If working out helped you get this far, think about how much better you’ll feel if you continue to be active every day.

Physical activity stimulates the brain and releases endorphins that physically and chemically make you happier. If 30 minutes of exercise is just too much for you, try breaking it up into two 15 minute exercises throughout the day! Walk your dog, go for a light jog or do a couple laps in the pool. You won’t regret it.

Your recent weight loss definitely feels good. It is great knowing that you’re not only improving your present, but promising yourself a healthier future. Maintain the success you’ve had by following these simple tips and you will keep the body you love. You deserve it.

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And they can do the same for you.

Expert:

Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!

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Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans