Is there a hole in your life where your diet used to be? If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, reaching your target could leave you wondering what to do next with your new and thinner self.
Give yourself credit for making changes to enhance your health and be prepared for more work ahead. Slimming down affects more than your waistline. Take a look at what’s in store for your body, mind, and relationships.
Things to Do for Your Body
Reaching a healthy weight is worth a few less pleasant side-effects. These are some common issues you may face.
1. Eat less. A recent study found that contestants on The Biggest Loser gained back most of their weight due to slower metabolisms and increased hunger cravings. If you want lasting success, you’ll need to keep watching your portions.
2. Train for strength. Boost your post-diet metabolism by building up muscles that burn more calories than fat. Lift weights or do push-ups.
3. Tighten your skin. Depending on your age and how much weight you lost, you may see saggy skin. If it doesn’t bounce back in time, surgery or compression garments could help.
4. See your doctor. Are you taking prescription medications? Ask your doctor about lowering the dosage since being overweight could have aggravated chronic conditions. Also, if you’re having stomach pains, look into being tested for gall stones.
Things to Do for Your Mind
Your brain may need time to catch up with your new figure. Pay attention to your mental and emotional wellbeing.
1. Adjust your image. Do you realize that your dress size shrunk and you’re taking up less room on public transportation? Buy new clothes and check the mirror to develop a truer picture of what you look like now.
2. Deal with feedback. You may like how others treat you with more respect, or you may resent their shallowness in accepting you only because you’re thin. Remember, their attitude says more about them than you.
3. Resolve other issues. Overeating can cover up other concerns, and some dieters feel let down when weight loss doesn’t automatically make them happy. Manage your expectations. Plus, now that you’re thin, you can shift your resources to tackling other challenges.
4. Enjoy life. There are so many wonderful things you can do now that may have been difficult when you were larger. You can spend more time playing with your kids and sleep sounder at night.
Things to Do for Your Relationships
In an ideal world, your significant other would be cheering you on. In reality, things are more complicated.
1. Offer reassurance. Your partner may feel threatened by your appearance, and friends may wish they were in your shoes. Let others know that you still appreciate them.
2. Find the middle ground. There may be some compromising in the store if you used to socialize by eating pizza, and now you want to play tennis. Avoid nagging your loved ones. When they’re willing, encourage them to join you in being more active.
3. Move on. On the other hand, you may have outgrown some relationships. If you feel that someone is trying to undermine you, it could be time to wish them well and keep your distance.
Dropping excess pounds has more pros than cons. Weight loss gives you more energy and lowers your risk for serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Keep these benefits in mind while you’re managing the trickier consequences so you can lead a longer and more fulfilling life.