weight off measuring tape fork
Keeping the weight off after a diet requires adjustments to your food intake. (Photo: Pixabay)

Feel Your Food
This is the top tip from mind coach Kylie Ryan. “Relearn how to pay attention to hunger and fullness signals and act on those appropriately. But also before you decide anything ask yourself, ‘What will this food feel like in my body?’ Imagine how it will make your body and mind feel afterwards. If the answer is tired, full, sluggish, guilty, or any other negative feeling, don’t eat it. If every food you consume gives you energy and nourishment and makes you feel positive, you’ll find maintaining weight easier.”

Go Back On Your Diet Once A Week
This is a tip from the super-successful weight-loss plan The Fast Diet. On this diet, you reduce your calorie intake to about 500 calories for two days a week, eating sensibly on other days. Once you’ve achieved your weight-loss goal, the plan’s author Dr Michael Mosley suggests you don’t give up the idea completely but stick with it once a week.

Not only does this help reduce calories over the week, helping maintain weight loss, he says it helps you accept that control is something you need to do long-term to sustain things. You don’t need to be fasting to use this tip though. Going back on any healthy eating plan once a week will help you break bad habits that are slipping in and remind you of how far you have come and what it takes to stay there.

Always Have Some Protein
Research from New Zealand’s Massey University has found that we eat more food and calories overall if our daily protein needs aren’t met. “We know that after you lose weight your body tries to take you back to the weight you were before,” says dietitian Katrina Purcell. “It increases levels of the hormone that makes us feel hungry and decreases those like leptin that makes us feel full.” Protein is satiating and therefore can help counteract some of this appetite increase. Have a palm-sized portion of meat, fish, eggs, dairy or plant proteins like beans, lentils or tofu at each meal.

Related: 10 Foods To Help You Lose Weight

Move As Quickly As You Can, As Often As You Can
Once you’ve lost weight your body subconsciously reduces the amount of fidgeting and incidental exercise you do so you burn fewer calories, says Katrina. Counteract that by getting a pedometer, or a step-measuring app, and making a conscious effort to reach at least 10,000 steps daily. But do them briskly. University of Utah researchers investigating the correlation between how much people moved and how well they controlled their weight, found that every extra minute a day of higher intensity exercise someone did reduced their chance of being obese by five per cent. Higher intensity exercise includes things like brisk walking or going up and down stairs.

Make Your Life More Interesting
If you’re eating out of boredom, not hunger, you will overeat. Dr Timothy Sharpe from The Happiness Institute suggests trying to create a full, enriched life. “A fulfilled mind focuses less on the negative and it sees solutions, not problems,” he says. That means next time you’re faced with something that might sabotage your weight-loss maintenance efforts you’ll find it easier to find a way out.

Related: 10 Diet Tips That Really Work

Text: Good Health, Bauer Syndication. Additional Reporting: Zarelda Marie Goh