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Table of Contents
Introduction: How Badly Do You Want to Stay Thin?
What’s Going On in Your Body Right Now?
How Does Your Mind Influence Your Body’s Ability to Stay
8 Hottest Tips for Staying Slim
Eating Right for Weight Maintenance
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Introduction: How Badly Do You Want to Stay Thin?
If you are reading this now, having successfully lost weight by following our diet guidelines,
then congratulations! This is a major achievement and the first step towards a healthier and
satisfying life.
However, the real battle starts now and will last for life. Maintenance can be one of the most
difficult aspects of weight loss for many people. If you think that getting started and losing
the weight is hard, then know that keeping off the weight can be just as challenging.
Now you have to dig deep every single day and make sure you keep the fat off and stay slim.
We all know just how many temptations there are in front of us every single day,no matter
whether you’re in the kitchen looking in the fridge, glancing at the menu in a restaurant or
visiting a stadium or cinema to see a movie. There’s no harm in indulging yourself
occasionally, but if you do it too often, it’s a slippery slope back to weight gain. It’s when you
allow a slight splurge to turn into a downward spiral that the weight comes back on and all
willpower is lost.
What you need to ask yourself is this: how are you going to avoid eating food that is going to
compromise your target of staying thin? If you’ve done all the hard work, then how are you
going to keep that momentum going? How will you avoid falling back into old bad habits and
limiting your progress significantly?
Here is a harsh truth you should know right from the start:
A few weeks of dieting won’t change years of poor eating habits.
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A few weeks of dieting won’t change years of poor eating habits.
Here are three facts that you need to think about before reading through the
rest of this book:
Keeping your weight off can be much more difficult then losing weight.
You are probably nodding your head right now if you have ever lost weight in the past and
then put it right back on again afterwards! Out of every 100 people that lose weight, a full
95 of them will gain it back again – often gaining even more in the process. So they
actually end up heavier than they were to begin with! Think about it – what do you do
when you reach your target weight? You go back to your old eating habits. This is a
perfect example of how you should never get too comfortable with your weight loss and
should never ever abandon the proper lessons that you have learned for effective weight
loss and maintenance.
Most of the diets fail to help you maintain a healthy body weight for life.
Rather than helping you achieve a gradual change in your eating habits, they expect you
to go all out for a big change right from the start. They also ban certain basic foods, and
are notoriously hard to stick to for a long period of time. Are you nodding your head
again? We know you are. Some of them even give you unrealistic targets by totally
ignoring your body type and personal preferences. Following these diets will make you
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fatter! There’s a reason that there are so many diet trends and fads out on the market –
and an even bigger reason as to why they don’t work. If it sounds too good to be true,
then it is. If you have to completely deprive yourself or change everything in your life in a
way that makes you unhappy, then it’s not the best program or plan for you. You want
balance, and though you may need a lifestyle change, you need a program that you can
stick with for the long-term.
Temptations can be found everywhere you look – but you know that already, don’t you?
Most diets simply don’t allow for real life to happen. Periods of mental pressure such as
exams, divorce, job loss, and so on all make it harder to stick to a rigid diet. Pregnancy is
also notorious for changing your eating habits and desires for weird foods on weird
occasions. Even celebrations create an out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere. So the bottom
line is that any program that you take on and stick with should always allow for the fact
that life happens and you need to keep up with it.
But don’t worry. We’re here to guide you and explain exactly how you can keep your weight
off after a successful period of dieting. We’ll help you triumph over the statistics and become
one of those 5% of people who remained slim long after they have reached their target
Here’s what you’ll learn as you read through this book:
You’ll discover exactly what went on in your body while you were dieting. We believe
that if you understand this process, you are far more likely to succeed in keeping that
weight off by controlling your eating in the future.
You’ll find out what will happen in your body in the months to come, and learn all about
hormones that affect your eating and weight. Knowing what to expect can help you to
prepare for what is to come and stick with the right program for the long haul.
We’ll provide you with a list of tips to help you make the best decisions on what to eat –
regardless of whether you are at home or dining out. We’re right there with you every
step of the way! Sometimes just having a companion can make all the difference in the
You’ll also get a Menu Planner, which will help you create satisfying meals based on the
foods YOU like – rather than the foods we say you should eat! We’ll show you how your
personal likes and dislikes hold the key to a slimmer future. If you can plan out your meals
and include healthy options that you actually like, then you are far more likely to stick
with it over time.
Finally, you’ll discover a great exercise program designed to increase your lean-to-fat
body mass ratio, spare your muscles, and shape your physique. No weight loss or
maintenance program can exist without proper nutrition and sufficient exercise. The
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exercises we’ve included can be performed everywhere, so you’ll find it super easy to fit
them in and around your lifestyle.
So, if you want to keep the figure you’ve worked so hard to attain, let’s get started and see
how you can do just that!
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What’s Going On in Your Body Right Now?
So you’ve lost all that weight, and that’s fantastic. But to keep it off, it helps tremendously to
understand what your body has been through, and what it is going through right now. We
don’t often think about what’s going on inside our bodies during and after a diet. Our
attention is always on what we see in the mirror and on the scales. Too few of us focus on
what happens next, as we’re so focused on what we did to actually lose the weight in the first
place. Sure it’s important to stay on the journey toward weight loss, but you must also pay
attention to what happens once you’ve achieved your goal.
Your body has plenty to tell you, and if you can take in the points mentioned in this chapter,
you will see that it isn’t just a case of losing a few pounds. You can actually help yourself a
great deal simply by reading what we are about to tell you.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Your body composition has changed. Obviously we’re talking about the changes in fat
here. Your body is made up of fat mass and fat-free (“lean”) mass – if you simply eat less
food, that may actually have a more negative an effect on your fat-free mass than it does
on your fat mass. What it means is that although you will lose weight, your body
composition will actually change towards being fatter, because the percentages will
change. You need to change how your body processes food components and incorporates
them into body tissues and chemicals to have a real long-term effect, and that is
accomplished by a combination of good nutrition and sound exercise. Think about that for
a moment – in meeting your weight loss goal, you have changed the very way that your
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body is composed. That’s huge, and it’s something that you want to keep in mind as you
work on maintenance as well.
• Your blood lipid profile will change. What does it mean? Well, your bad cholesterol
(otherwise known as low density lipoprotein, or LDL) will go down, and your good
cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, or HDL) will go up. Your triglycerides will decrease
as well. This is great news, as you will be at a lower risk of heart and artery disease. Be
aware that some enzymes may increase, like CPK, because of an increased rate of protein
breakdown. Because of this, you should let your physician know you are physically active,
as this same increase in inactive people can indicate a heart problem. Ideally, you should
have a blood test every six months just to make sure your levels are still good. These are
all great results for your overall health, but you do need to be aware that you have
changed the very landscape within which your body exists.
Simply weighing yourself isn’t enough to determine how much actual fat you have lost.
It’s about more than just the number on the scale! You need something more specific to
work that out. Any good clinic or health club will be able to measure your fat percentage
for you. You can also get a good idea of the amount of fat you are losing at any point by
measuring your waist and thighs. You’ll soon see noticeable fat loss in those areas. The
bottom line is that you should really be more focused on losing fat rather than losing
weight. It’s a much more accurate indicator of what’s going on, especially if you are
physically active and swapping fat mass for muscle mass – which is heavier. Weight loss is
only one portion of a much bigger picture!
Exercise is fantastic as far as both losing fat and toning muscles are concerned. Pick
something you like and stick with it! Find the motivation within you to get started and to
stay the course. If you choose activities that interest you, build up the time and intensity
gradually, and focus on the positive aspects of exercise, then this will become an inherent
part of your lifestyle. Your muscles will increase and burn more calories every minute of
the day. Sustained activity for at least 20 minutes will also feed on fat supplies instead of
just carbohydrates, so go for it and know that your fat is actually helping you out for once!
In short, regular exercise will help you look good, feel good, and stay slimmer long into
the future. Regular exercise also helps you to maintain the health of your vital organs and
blood vessels, leading to a stronger, healthier body all round.
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You may have heard it said that obese people have real trouble staying slim once they finally
achieve that goal. Some people think that obesity is determined by a genetic factor that you
can’t change, no matter how hard you might try.
This theory is known as the obesity set point. Basically, it theorizes that even if you lose the
excess weight you are carrying, your body will strive to regain the set point that it knows and
which is programmed into you genetically.
Luckily, newer scientific evidence suggests that certain behaviors can modify the
programming. Despite the fact that some people are more prone to obesity than others,
there is no reason why they cannot lose weight and maintain a healthy weight if they are
given the right strategy to follow and the right guidance to succeed in the long run. If you
were ever obese, have a family history of it, or are prone to it, then be aware of the triggers in
your life. Not only will this help you to avoid them, but it will also ensure that you avoid the
problem areas that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
Remember: EVERYONE can become slim and stay slim if they put their minds into it
and get the best help in the process.
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Why is it so difficult to stay slim once you’ve lost that weight?
Here is a fact for you – any diet should focus on decreasing fat mass and restoring muscles.
That’s the bottom line. The trouble is that the body reacts to receiving limited calories by
disintegrating some of its muscle mass to provide the extra calories it needs for vital
functions. This is an ancient life-preserving mechanism that may confuse you if you don’t
know how to avoid or combat it.
So herein lies the problem with so many other diet programs out there. You focus on
drastically cutting calories or feeding yourself only limited types or amounts of food, so the
body starts to react in what ends up being a very negative manner. Rather than you losing fat,
you are simply losing weight – mostly water and muscle – which will inevitably come back
later as fat as you get back to normal. So who loses out? You – because your body isn’t going
to do what you want it to when you deprive yourself or severely limit your calories. However,
if you lost fat by right-sizing your food amounts – eating enough to support your body’s
muscle content and basic functions – your metabolism has been maintained, and this means
good news for the future of your new figure.
The key to maintaining your weight loss is to focus on what helped you to reach your goals.
To what sort of habits did you adapt? What sort of routine or regimen did you create? If you
found that working out five times a week was effective in helping you to lose weight, then
continue with this. If you found that trying new healthy recipes was a great way to remain
interested in eating well, then keep up with this. If you happen to love yogurt or found that
eating fruits such as kiwi kept you feeling full of energy, then by all means continue with this.
If it worked, then there’s no reason that you can’t keep it up!
If you lose weight quickly, it is almost certainly a result of your body using the protein from its
muscles as an energy source. Muscle tissue contains large amounts of water, which are lost
when your muscles disintegrate. Reduced muscle mass will compromise your fat loss. For
example, think about what happens when someone goes on a crash diet (not something we
would recommend). They lose a lot of weight to begin with, and then the loss slows right
down. But nearly all the weight they have celebrated over is just water and muscle! They’re
not losing the fat they really want to get rid of, and the loss is not sustainable.
This is upon what many of the fad diets or trends out there are based. Are you really going to
eat nothing but grapefruit or cabbage soup for the rest of your life? Is it realistic to go without
carbs forever? No way, and this is how these diets work, in that they get you to lose the
weight initially, but then as soon as you go back to normalcy and a reasonable amount of
food, you start to gain it all back. Then onto the next diet and the next disappointment. Even
worse, these ups and downs – nicknamed “yo-yo dieting” – cause real health risks all by
themselves. Not a good situation!
Are you starting to see how important it is to go about things the right way? Slow weight loss
is the key to losing that weight in the first place.
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Now then, here is a question for you: what is the most expensive
asset you own?
Here is the answer: it’s YOU! You need to treat this incredible asset with respect, and if you
want to keep your weight off long-term, then you need to think about how you are eating.
You shouldn’t deprive yourself of food, eat things you don’t like because they’re “healthy,” or
refuse to eat things you would enjoy.
Eating well is a reward and not a punishment. Eating too little food, or eating foods you don’t
like or enjoy, is an extreme punishment you don’t deserve. The reality is that you should
allow yourself the foods you love – and if some are not healthy, then those you can enjoy in
small and controlled amounts every once in a while. If you tell yourself you are never going to
eat chocolate again, then it’s always a temptation, and making it off limits can cause you to
crave it. Whereas if you allow yourself a small amount of chocolate every once in a while,
then you can savor the taste of it and not go off the deep end and binge when faced with it.
Since you cannot punish yourself with deprivation for a very long period, at some point you
will probably go right back to your old eating habits – the ones that got you into trouble in the
first place. If you always feel hungry while you are dieting, then you are doing something
wrong! And that something will cause your old cravings to rise to the surface and threaten
your willpower. You need to be realistic with your eating and ensure that you feed yourself
when you’re hungry throughout the day. Deprivation should never be part of any diet plan,
and that’s why we will never propose anything of the kind.
Point to Remember
A diet should avoid hunger and incorporate the foods you like,
with some modifications, of course.
Understanding the trigger for eating
Hunger and satiety are both controlled by hormone levels in the brain. For example, if your
serotonin levels are low, you’ll feel hungry; if they’re high, you’ll feel sated. Many diets don’t
even touch on hormones, which is such a shame, as they some are the “levers” that control
your hunger in the first place, and then how your body stores fat. Without focusing on
“satiety” hormones such as serotonin, and the foods and food combinations that can help to
control them, you are skipping over a big part of the puzzle.
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Eat a small amount when you feel hungry – instead of eating as much as you can. You’ll give
yourself time for those satiety hormone levels to rise to the point where you won’t feel
hungry any more. For this to work, you need to bear in mind that it takes 20 minutes to feel
full. This is the amount of time it takes your body to get the hormonal feedback from eating
the food. Eating slowly will ensure you eat the right amount that you need. Try it!
Most of us rush through our meals and often eat foods that we’re not really that fond of in
the first place. Avoid this bad habit and instead load your plate up with healthy and delicious
foods that you enjoy and take your time to eat them. Savor the flavor and see how much
more enjoyable the eating experience really is – and how much you won’t be feeling intense
cravings. You will be amazed!
To begin with, you must make a conscious effort to eat smaller portions of food than you
would normally be eating – whether you get there by adopting healthy portions right away, or
you ease into them with small reductions over time. Focus on those 20 minutes, and you will
see that this technique really does work. If you allow the 20 minutes to pass without putting
anything else in your mouth, you will feel what full really is. You will also avoid the temptation
of dessert, a snack, a second helping, or mindless eating. This rule of thumb will never
disappoint, and will always ensure that you eat the right way.
By eating slowly and giving yourself 20 minutes to feel full, you will allow your hormone
levels to reach a proper balance at which you won’t feel hungry any more.
The idea is to get used to paying attention to how you feel, in order to sense your satiety
hormone levels. Eventually, you will get used to their activity, and at what level they are
likely to be at stages of hunger or fullness. You should now have a much better idea of how
your body reacts to food – both during a diet and after it, once you have reached your target
weight. When you are in tune with your body, it’s a beautiful thing. You start to feel what
satiety hormone levels do for you, and control over eating becomes almost automatic.
Understanding these concepts is inherent to not only losing weight but also to keeping it off.
Maintenance is just as important as weight loss, and so many people either take it for granted
or don’t give it much thought. If you can start to really listen to your body and stay in tune
with it, then you are going to avoid common mistakes that most people make. If you can
figure out what your body really needs rather than giving into all of the wants, then you will
control your eating and not the other way around.
Next up, we’ll take a look at the other extremely important part of succeeding long-term
when it comes to dieting, and that’s the psychological part.
Ready? Let’s find out more!
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How Does Your Mind Influence Your Body’s Ability to
Stay Slim?
Okay – instead of the seven deadly sins, we’re going to look at the seven ways in which you can
supercharge your efforts to stay slim. These apply not only to losing the weight, but also to
keeping it off. Think about how you can apply these in the long run rather than just short-term.
Adapting to this forward-thinking mindset and integrating these helpful tips and habits will
have a real influence on reaching and maintaining your goal weight.
Here they are:
Motivate yourself in as many ways as possible to help you overcome difficulties, bad
experiences, and times when you might slip in your eating habits. It will help you reach
your long-term goals. For example, instead of thinking “I ate that piece of cake, I’ve
blown my diet completely now,” think something like this instead: “I slipped, but I can get
back on track and I will, starting from now.” You will rely upon motivation early on to get
started and all along the way, instead of giving up and continuing down the slippery slope.
Even after you lose the weight, you will need to keep in touch with motivation to help you
continue to exercise and to eat right. If you don’t, then you will end up in another cycle of
gaining back all the weight you lost. Never works!
Regular habits breed success. Make a conscious effort every day to do the things you
know will lead to success. Stick with good nutritional habits and regular exercise. When
you don’t feel like it, say to yourself, “I will still make the effort to work out today.” For
example, if you are tired or pressed for time, instead of trying to do your usual workout,
think of doing a shorter one instead. You are still reinforcing your good habits. Any time
that you can get into a routine or stick to a program, you are going to be more dedicated
to it. Make your meals throughout the course of the day more consistent, and adopt a
very regular exercise program that you just get used to.
Manage stress levels
Modern life is very demanding. Your family needs you, that new job consumes your
energy, the mortgage is biting into your budget, and on it goes. Stress can put your
achievements in danger, and the temptation is there to reach for that comfort food.
Think about what you have achieved, and let that help you combat the temptation. For
example, you could say to yourself, “I got rid of the excess weight I was carrying, so I will
get rid of the stress too.” If you feel you need help, then see a professional to protect your
overall health and wellbeing. Stress can overtake you not only mentally, but physically
too. When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones that can put on belly fat. Not
only that, but when you are stressed you are likely to eat whatever you want and not stick
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to a program. Stress isn’t good for anything, and getting rid of it is part of a truly healthy
Positive thinking
Hey, you achieved your target weight! Well done! And you can STAY there as well.
Positive thinking and self-belief that you can do what you want is a fantastic tool on the
road to maintaining your new healthy weight. Use positive language when you speak to
yourself. For example, look in the mirror every day and say to yourself, “Hey, I look really
good. I am going to stay that way by eating healthy and working out today.” You can
really do it! You worked hard to get to your goal weight, and so you must pat yourself on
the back for hard work. It doesn’t end there, and the positive thinking and affirmations
must continue on. You must always be your biggest supporter and remember what is so
great about you. If you don’t see it, then nobody else will, and eventually negative
thinking leads back into bad habits.
Take control of your life
Of course there will always be external influences that can affect your life in many
different ways, but you have the ultimate power over what you do with your life and how
you live it. YOU can control how your body looks! Get this mindset firmly established.
For example, say to yourself, “Okay, I had a bad day today. I can either make it worse by
eating those cookies I’ve got my eye on, or I can turn the day around by eating healthy
and working out to feel better. I can do it!” You are in control, and nothing else is. You
control your weight loss and maintenance. You control your eating and not the other way
around. No matter what other influences you have in your life, you must embrace control
to keep yourself on track and move forward, never back.
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Emotional stability
This applies to any area of your life. The more stable you are emotionally, the more
successful you’ll be. Mental stress is disturbing in any form, and it can make you go off
track. For example, let’s say you are worried about taking an exam of some kind. Your
mind will be focused on doing what you can to conquer that fear, and so less energy will
be available to make the right decisions foodwise. Try and adopt a balanced view towards
events that occur in your life. You can also apply this to the odd deviation from your
healthy diet. A good and realistic perspective is the best way forward. There will always
be areas of stress and potential for pulling your attention away from doing the right thing.
You must find your center where you feel grounded, and focus on it. This can be what
exercise helps you to do, or it can be something for which you turn to yoga or meditation,
or even a hobby. It may just be as easy as finding a way of relaxing each day and regaining
control over your mind and your emotions.
Surround yourself with people who can support and help you, by offering good advice or
consolation (if or when you need it). We all need to be loved and supported, right? So
spend more time with the people who naturally do that for you! You want people in your
corner to reaffirm how great you are doing and help you when you have a bad day. This
sort of love helps you through even the toughest of situations, and can make the
difference between maintenance or going through the cycle again.
Many have found that joining our online diet community offers them such support. You can talk
to others just like you, who are going through the same thing, and who can offer good sound
advice and support for the issues that you deal with. You will learn about the methods they
employed in this program to help them lose weight, and how they got and stayed motivated.
You can learn from their experience and avoid making the same mistakes that they did. You can
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also acquire “hands-on” information you can’t get by surfing through websites. In these forums,
you can ask questions from real people who have searched for the same answers that you
want. It is direct, engaging, and honest – it’s just truthful answers from people who have been
there and done that. Since a registered dietitian also participates in these forums, you have
So there we are – the seven ways in which you can mentally supercharge your slimming efforts.
They all have one essential thing in common: positivity.
Motivate yourself to see the positive side in everything along your weight loss journey!
You will achieve more and find it easier to stay the course toward your target weight.
Exploring uncontrolled eating
Is uncontrolled eating really an addiction, just as too much alcohol or drugs are also an
addiction? Yes!
There are certain foods that offer absolutely no nutritional value and yet we crave them. Items
like junk foods that are either deep-fried or have more sugar than vitamins can be addictive
since they taste so good and do a number on your hormones, but they are never good choices.
You may feel an initial gratification and even full, but then you crash from the sugar or start to
feel bloated from all the salt and fat. This is an addictive cycle, as they
offer not only a bloated waistline, but also terrible cravings for mores.
If you recognize this in yourself, you’ll know the pattern. Some people call it comfort eating,
but it can happen because you have low self-esteem, you want to punish yourself for
something, or you are disconnected from your body in some way.
So many of us eat when we’re unhappy, upset, sad, frustrated, or anxious, and it’s a terrible
cycle and a hard habit to break. We turn to mindless eating to give us comfort from whatever is
bothering us. This is where the problem sets in and why you would see that the weight packs
on – eating without control anytime you feel something never results in good things!
You need to think of food as a pleasant activity, with the main purpose of supporting your
health. If you think of it as something to do when you are bored, sad, or lonely, or any one of a
hundred other reasons, then you will always be prone to eating uncontrollably when that
feeling arises in you.
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Think positive! Try and change the attitude you have towards your food. Get professional help
if you need it – it could change your life and the relationship you have had with food up until
Food is ultimately what we use for fuel and not to provide us an escape from current or past
problems, or even comfort. Turning to food may give us that instant gratification, but it will
never result in long-term happiness or even in true comfort from the problem area. It may even
make it worse, as you risk adding poor health to the equation.
If you are prone to comfort eating like this, you will always be prone to it. Fight it by becoming
more aware of the content of your meals. Think about what you are actually eating and learn
to limit the portions you eat. Make more effort to be physically active as well, since this can
help combat those times when you might slip back into your old ways, and might even help you
shake off stress or give your mood the boost it needs.
Learning to what you are prone in terms of eating patterns, particularly comfort eating, can
really help you to gain control over the situation that plagues you. This can be a key to
maintenance as well, because if you can learn to manage your food cravings and eating habits,
then you won’t give into these and instead can focus on good habits to maintain your weight
Weight management for life is the only positive way forward for you if you recognize these
symptoms in yourself. Be strong and start learning healthier habits in both eating and working
out. Find the healthy foods you love and enjoy them! Similarly, find an exercise you love and
keep at it. You can have the odd day off, of course.
Gradual changes in your lifestyle are another key to long-term success. For example, if you are
used to an inactive lifestyle, don’t try and work out seven days a week right from the start. Use
the stairs instead of the elevator; walk to work each day instead of taking the car; jog in place
when you watch a TV show; go for a short swim once or twice a week. Anything that you enjoy
which shakes up your lifestyle is a healthy step in the right direction!
If you take baby steps to ease into it, this may help you stick with it long-term. You can always
build up, but it’s not good to have to ease off. You want to enjoy the exercise and healthy
eating. They are, after all, the vehicle that will get you to a healthy weight and keep you there,
so you should learn to embrace them.
You can do the same with your food too. Make small adjustments on a regular basis, and you’ll
hardly notice that you’re adopting new and healthier long-term habits for a brand new YOU.
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“But so and so says I should…”
This is something we hear a lot! People often go through the experience of having other people
telling them they’re losing weight too quickly, or not quickly enough, or they should be eating
this and not eating that... It can get quite tiring listening to it all!
The key to your long-term success is to do what works for you. Our program ensures that you
will have your own personal pace and targets to stick to – and no one else’s. Your targets must
be reasonable and the pace must be gradual. You are at the center of the whole process, and
no one knows better than you what you like, what you don’t like, and of what you are capable.
We put you first and so should you. Try to filter out all of the outside distractions that others
may put forth. Though they mean well, not everything works for everyone, and so advice may
throw you off track. Do what your body tells you and what feels good to you. This is what will
help to deliver results and ultimately help you to keep them – not necessarily other people!
We spoke about the importance of satiety hormone levels earlier on, but this is worth
mentioning again because it is key to staying on target with your weight maintenance program.
The better you understand how your hormone levels affect the way you feel and how hungry
you actually are, the easier it will be for you able to press forward and choose better eating
strategies and exercise times. You want to really listen to your own body. On our program, you
should never feel hungry, but rather full of energy and focused on all the right steps to get you
to your goal.
What about planning meals?
Relax! That’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. Our Menu Planner has been designed
to help you at every step of your journey. It will help you plan your meals, regardless of which
stage of the journey you are in.
Still losing weight? That’s fine. Already at your target weight and entering the maintenance
period? That’s great too. We help you with tools that guide you and make things easier and
ultimately second-nature. So rather than fearing a trip to the grocery store or having anxiety
over a vacation, you learn how to plan for them and still make healthy choices.
Know your own mind and keep it positive! Understand what your motivations are to eat
and make sure that you stay focused on what works for you.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 19
8 Hottest Tips for Staying Slim
Need some more advice on keeping that great new flat stomach?
Here it is – all packed into one chapter!
If you can master all of these tips, then you’ve got a super chance of keeping that hot new flat
stomach – so let’s get started!
We’re talking mentally as well as physically here. If you know where you tend to accumulate
fat, you’ll know from where you’ll most likely lose it first. Similarly, if you know how you react
mentally to being in situations where a lot of food is freely available for example, then you’ll
know how to stay on track by coming up with strategies to do so beforehand.
This is where the mirror is your friend. Sometimes the scales will have you believe you haven’t
lost any weight, but the mirror can tell a different story. The better you know yourself, the
sooner you will be able to tell you’re getting results – long before the scales reveal the same
You have to feel good about the whole picture. It’s about more than just the number on the
scale, though that is one measure. It’s about how your clothes fit, how you look, and more
importantly, how you feel!
You should also know which foods you like – even the naughty ones! There are ways to have
the whole cake and eat it too. For example, if you want some chocolate, eat one square and
then drink a large glass of water. After three bites and a glass of water, you won’t be able to
eat any more chocolate. Why? Simply because the boost of insulin in your blood and full
feeling in your belly will prevent you from wanting more. It will feel like you already ate half a
Knowing what you weigh is another part of knowing your body. Hop on the scales once a week
at the same time of day, but don’t get disheartened if you haven’t lost anything. You need to
consider that the changeover takes three to four weeks. But a weekly weigh-in helps to keep
your weight at the forefront of your mind, and you’ll know what needs to be done.
Know yourself, including your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, and your
abilities and areas for improvement. Knowing these and being in tune with them can really help
you in your life, including in your ability to lose the weight and to keep it off.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 20
Remember we spoke about the need to know your own mind as well as body? Well now is the
time to realize of just how much you are capable. Think about this – you are about to change
the course of your whole life. You may have been overweight for years and now you have hit
your target weight. Won’t it feel fantastic to stay there? The ability to change all those bad
habits will make you feel superb, so relish the experience!
Be aware of how you look and how you feel. It is the best way to stay on track when it
comes to maintaining your new figure.
This also includes figuring out what your eating habits are like. This alone will help keep you
slim. For example, you might have been prone to selecting and preparing fast food dishes in
the past that weren’t healthy for you, purely to save time. But there are plenty of ways to plan
and prepare healthy dishes that are just as quick to do as well. Don’t suffer and feel hungry –
eat and have fun! Just be sure you do it in the right way.
Having fun also extends to being conscious while you eat. For example, have you ever eaten a
meal while watching TV? How much of that meal do you remember afterward? You are almost
guaranteed to eat too much if you are doing something else while eating, so pay more
attention and treat your mealtimes as separate things to be enjoyed. Lay the table and make a
big deal out of it! Make that one place, the place you will always eat at. You’ll soon notice you
start eating less because you will be aware of when you are full.
Be aware of how and where you eat.
Devote proper time to eating, and don’t do anything else at the same time.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 21
The worst part about dieting is feeling hungry. So how do you combat that feeling? Simple –
you eat more meals! All you need to do is make them smaller. Six meals a day is ideal, and our
Menu Planner will help you create the content for them.
You want to eat more often and you need to eat more often. You need to be able to find
balance, and if you don’t feel hungry then you won’t feel deprived. The good news is that if you
can learn to adapt to eating smaller meals more frequently, then you are well on your way to
losing weight and keeping it off once and for all.
You’ll get the best benefit if you slow down your eating as well. Chew everything thoroughly to
allow that feeling of fullness to hit you before it’s too late. It also releases more of the
nutrients in what you’re eating. Vary your foods as well to prevent getting bored. We’ve all got
our favorite dishes, but if you eat them all the time, you’re more likely to slip off the diet.
Our Menu Planner will work even better if you can enter in more foods that you like, because
you’ll be giving it more to work with. Make the effort to do something different each day!
But does it matter how much you eat and when? Well yes, it does. As a rough
guide try and follow this plan:
Breakfast should contain about 15% of your daily needs.
Lunch should contain about 25%
Dinner should contain about 25%
The remaining 35% is divided between the other three, smaller meals. Something like a piece
of fruit and a single-serving carton of yogurt, or a cookie with a glass of milk, for example. It
need not be big, but just something packed with the right types of nutrients and filler. Fiber-rich
complex carbohydrates will keep you feeling full longer help to flush your system in the right
way. Combining food groups such as protein and whole grains really works well for your longterm goals – the higher-quality the protein, the greater the satiety value. Simple changes can
make this possible: for example, try eating brown rice pasta instead of ordinary white pasta, or
adding an omega-3 egg to your breakfast. You will feel the difference!
Vary what you eat and eat six meals a day to make sure you don’t feel hungry or bored.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 22
This is a quick and simple rule! But WHEN and WHAT you drink are just as important as HOW
MUCH you drink. Make sure you drink water before and during meals – it helps your
metabolism and prevents overeating, which after all is what we’re trying to do. When you slow
down and enjoy your food and combine it with plenty of water to flush out your system, then
you create a truly winning combination.
Water is always better than sweet juices and fizzy drinks, so get your body accustomed to it
starting now. If you don’t like plain water enough to drink 6-8 glasses a day, try flavoring it with
a few squeezes from fresh fruit – you’d be surprised how much this dresses things up AND adds
the health benefits of fruit antioxidants.
One of the biggest enemies of weight management is losing control on a special occasion. The
trick here is to get straight back on your healthy eating regime as soon as you return home.
Some people panic that they’ve put on weight again after going out to a restaurant or an
occasion of some kind. But you WILL regain your lean body after a week or so – perhaps even
less. The key is to focus on getting back to your healthy habits once more. Realistically, nobody
can be perfect all the time when it comes to healthy eating. Accept that you will slip off it from
time to time, and that’s just a normal part of life.
HOWEVER… there are some tricks and tips that will help you minimize the damage you do at
such occasions. For example, instead of arriving at the buffet hungry, eat a small snack before
you get there. You’ll make better choices as a result – lean dishes, less food overall, and less
naughty stuff like cake!
It also pays to keep an eye on those small but deadly dishes that arrive before the main event –
hors d’oeuvres types of things like mixed nuts, crackers and cheese, “canapés,” even cocktails –
and extras with the meal itself such as bread rolls and sauces. These are loaded with things you
don’t want to be eating.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 23
And if nothing else, remember that special occasions are usually about more than just food – so
focus on the rest instead and enjoy!
There is absolutely no occasion or event to fear. Again, we understand that life happens and
you need to keep up with it. You never have to avoid special occasions, but rather just learn
how to control yourself and your cravings to make this all work for you now and in the long run.
You will be tempted from time to time during special occasions. But there are ways to
limit that damage. Use them all to eat less but still have a good time!
This might sound odd, but it’s true. Since both targets require an awareness of what you are
eating – as well as a good balance of physical activity – you can use the same tools to help you
stay slim once you reach your target.
Learn all you can about good nutrition while dieting, and keep that knowledge with you while
maintaining your weight. The same tips apply here as they did when you were losing weight –
six small meals a day, good meal composition as indicated by the Menu Planner, and physical
activity to help keep your body feeling and looking good.
The whole notion here is that weight loss is about much more than just losing the weight, it’s
about keeping it off too. You must adapt habits that you can carry on in the long term. You
must learn to recognize what makes sense for you and what you can carry with you beyond just
the initial weight loss. We pick up where other programs leave off, as we understand that you
must change your lifestyle and not just change one element to lose weight in the here and now.
It’s also important to recognize that there is still work to be done when you reach your target
weight. The journey doesn’t stop here! Praise yourself regularly for being able to maintain
your weight, as well as for getting slim in the first place.
If you managed to increase your muscle–to-fat mass ratio when you were losing weight, the
good news is that you’ll find it easier to lose some extra pounds if they creep on from time to
How to maintain your weight balanced | 24
time. You’ll be able to manage those fluctuations in your weight that may happen during your
It’s also good to continue the good habits you’ve picked up – less alcohol and coffee, more
water, choosing good dishes and utilizing the doggy bag system at restaurants, healthier food
shopping. They all have a pronounced effect on your ability to maintain your new healthy
weight, so keep going with them! You’ve done well so far, and now is the time to use those
new-found skills to keep up the effort.
The work doesn’t stop when you have reached your goal weight.
Use those same skills to maintain it.
Stress can cause overeating, so it makes sense to keep an eye on how stressed you are feeling.
Some solutions you can provide yourself, but if you cannot cope, make sure you seek
professional advice before it gets out of hand.
Stress can also cause the body to release certain hormones that can contribute to making you
fat. These hormones are a big reason behind accumulated belly fat, and therefore they must be
stopped before they take over. During stress, the body prepares for attack by producing the
hormone cortisol in particular. The hormone causes excess fat to be stored in the abdominal
area for energy in an emergency, which accumulates over time with chronic stress. Evaluate the
stress levels in your life to understand why you may be having difficulty losing weight – when
you find that your diet is sensible and your activity level is adequate, but you are still gaining
weight in the stomach area, stress may be the cause. Many people don’t realize the connection
between stress and these hormones making you fat, but it’s an important one to be in tune
Pay attention to how you are feeling, and make sure you don’t tackle your stress by eating
more. If something is constantly bothering you, then you are stressed by it. For example, do
you constantly worry about work? If it is starting to crowd your personal life as well, then that
How to maintain your weight balanced | 25
points to stress. Try and talk it through with a loved one, and if you cannot solve the problem,
then seek professional guidance as well.
Stress can add belly fat and it can also cause you to eat mindlessly. Stress can take control over
your life both mentally and physically. Stress never does anything good for the body and it most
certainly won’t help you in your weight loss journey. Learn how to manage it, the weight will
come off and stay off, and you will be a much happier person.
Combat stress by dealing with it. It will prevent overeating.
No matter how determined you are, you’ll always go through tempting and fragile times on
your diet. Find people to support you and let them know how you are doing. It helps to
cement new eating and exercise habits into your brain. The Trim Down Club forum is a great
place to get the kind of support you need from people just like you. Most people on a diet have
similar experiences, and those who make it through can inspire others.
Support groups can be good, as everyone is going through a similar experience. Not only can
you seek out solutions from other people who have already gone through what you are going
through now, you may also be able to help others. This is fantastic for your self-esteem! Again,
our online community can offer a tremendous resource for support. These are all people just
like you who are dealing with many of the same issues and can therefore give you the sound
advice, support, and tips to help you deal with any situation.
Nobody wants to do it alone! So whether it’s a workout buddy or just a friend or family member
that can talk you through the rough days, this is a great way of maintaining long term weight
loss. If you have support, then you feel like you can take anything on and that’s why this works
every time.
The mental side of dieting can be difficult. Joining a group like this will help to strengthen your
mental resolve and you’ll be able to see your way through difficulties more easily. For example,
you might struggle if you know you have put on a couple of pounds, but by talking with other
How to maintain your weight balanced | 26
people who have been through that same experience and coped with it, you will be able to do
the same yourself. Think about talking to a professional as well, if it’s something with which
you continually find yourself struggling.
You don’t have to do this alone!
Make every effort to connect with other people in order to succeed long-term.
Exercise is a key factor in weight loss and management, not to mention general good health.
An active lifestyle should also include hobby-type activities such as dancing, gardening,
swimming and so on, depending on what you enjoy the most.
Use the following plan to help you succeed:
Which exercises best suit your targets?
Build them into your daily routines on a regular basis
Adjust your exercise according to on the amount of time you have
Focus on short intensive sessions of exercise if you have no health-related
Regular exercise based on activities you enjoy
will help you maintain your new-found ideal weight.
These eight tips should form the basis of your diet and maintenance plan, so put them to good
use and refer back to them often!
How to maintain your weight balanced | 27
Eating Right For Weight Maintenance
Food may have been our worst enemy in the past, but it is now our best friend. Through weight
loss we learn the most effective ways to eat. We learn the healthiest foods to eat, and of
course, the foods that we must avoid. Food plays such a vital role in our weight loss efforts, and
this holds particularly true for maintaining our weight loss as well.
Maintenance still takes work
You may think that your efforts are over once you reach your weight loss goals, but this is not
the case. We have a long road ahead of us, and one to which we must pay special attention if
we wish to maintain our achievement. The quest for healthy eating is not over once we reach
our ideal weight – not by a long shot!
You probably had to change your lifestyle and get rid of bad habits when it came to weight loss.
You probably stopped eating junk food and started concentrating on the healthy alternatives.
You probably started cooking more and learning how to enjoy good food and still stay on track.
The efforts shouldn’t stop when you reach your goal weight, and this presents a challenge for
many people.
We pick up where other diet programs leave off because we are with you for the long haul.
Even when you start your weight loss journey, you should be concentrated on the long-term,
and that includes maintenance.
Make this time different than the rest
So rather than going off-track as soon as you reach your weight loss goals as you did last time,
you need to really concentrate on continuing on with your efforts. Don’t make the same
mistake that you did last time when you gave up on your system once the weight was off. This
is where the cycle comes in, and how the weight slowly creeps back onto the body.
It’s worth noting that you must revisit the habits that you adapted to and continuing on with
them. It’s imperative to your success with maintenance that you continue on with healthy
eating habits, and therefore it bears emphasizing each of these points.
We want to reiterate what you should be doing in order to enjoy your maintenance. If you
follow these tips – which you probably already followed for weight loss – then it will be smooth
sailing from here on out.
The very best foods to eat
You probably read that title and think to yourself “I’ve got this!”. You already know how to eat
well and how to focus on the right foods, since you’ve been doing it for so long, right? Well if
How to maintain your weight balanced | 28
you think that you can take it all for granted, then you’re wrong.
Why did past attempts fail for you? More than likely it’s because they were short-sighted and
focused only on your weight loss in the here and now. It was probably a situation where you
were so focused on losing weight that once you got there, you sat back and relaxed a bit. Sound
about right? Well that’s what makes this program and this time different – you are going to
work beyond the weight loss and continuing eating properly for maintenance.
If you had a ritual or regimen that worked well for you to lose the weight, then you want to stay
with it. You may be able to increase your intake slightly, but be modest about it. The more
liberal you are with the increases, the harder you are going to have to work if the weight starts
to come back on. Sure cutting back a little extra is crucial for weight loss, but you must be
mindful of the intake even after the weight is off.
So what does this mean? How can you still be sure to focus on the right foods for weight loss
maintenance? Much of it is the same as what you would do for weight loss, but it’s a longer
term approach. No, you are not going to eat grilled chicken and broccoli every night for dinner.
You do want to stick with healthy options, but you want to get creative and make it interesting.
Here we look at a rundown of the very healthiest foods within each food group and category.
Some bear repeating and some may just get you more in tune with long-term healthy eating
habits. Either way, it’s all about longevity, ingenuity, creativity, and keeping your eating healthy
and interesting.
Fruits and vegetables
You probably already know that fruits and vegetables are good and healthy for you. If you need
reminding, then there are a variety of reasons why this food group is a top choice in terms of
weight maintenance. First and foremost, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and
plenty of nutrients. They also happen to be very easy to digest, with virtually no fat per serving.
This is where you want to focus and fill up, because these foods are just fantastic for weight
maintenance. Chances are that you lost the weight because you ate more of these gems, but
you can get sick of them just like anything else.
It also may be important to note that some fruits and vegetables have more proven beneficial
properties than others. The rule of thumb goes that the deeper and more vibrant the hue of the
skin or fruit or vegetable itself, the better it is, though there are a few exceptions (onions,
turnips, cauliflower). This is where the nutrients and the antioxidants are found, and why they
offer such great advantages.
If you want to focus in on the very best fruits and vegetables possible to give you
the greatest value, then these are some of them:
How to maintain your weight balanced | 29
Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
Brussels sprouts
Greens, including kale, collard, beet, mustard and turnip
Honeydew melon
Peppers, particularly red and orange
Red cabbage
Squash, particularly butternut and acorn
Sweet potatoes
This doesn’t mean that other fruits and vegetables aren’t good for you. It’s just that these are
the best of the best. They offer great nutrition, plenty of nutrients including vitamins, minerals,
and fiber. They will keep you feeling full longer, and yet not load you down with sugars.
When it comes to maintaining your weight loss, you really want to try and get creative. You will
get bored really quickly if you don’t find a way of mixing things up. Try a new fruit or vegetable
every week, something that you have never enjoyed before such as mango or lychee. Keep it
interesting by making a big fruit salad each week or mix fruit or vegetables into a creative new
Always be on the lookout for effective ways of incorporating these foods into your daily mix. If
you can do this, then you can enjoy the very best foods and never get into a rut. This is a key to
maintenance that many don’t focus on, and why so many of us tire of and turn away from fruits
and vegetables in the first place. Keep it interesting, keep experimenting, and see how versatile
this food group can really be.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 30
Lean proteins
Creativity may be the key to lean proteins as well. This is a food group more so than any other
where you may get into a rut quickly. So many of us are used to or comfortable with cooking a
few main dishes, and we don’t have experience or ideas beyond that. So if you are after longterm weight maintenance, it’s all about keeping it interesting.
Sure you may be very into grilled fillets, but there is life beyond just that. While you might want
to keep that as a main staple, try mixing it up a bit. Not only can you get creative by adding in a
fresh tomato salsa or throwing it in with brown rice and tons of vegetables, but you can also
experiment with different types of proteins, too.
Some of the best lean proteins may be ones that you are familiar with, while some
may be completely new to you. Here are some top choices that offer a ton of
innovative options:
Turkey: preferably white meat
Chicken: besides boneless skinless chicken breasts, try thighs or drumsticks without the
Lean beef: trim any visible fat; try grass-fed, as it tends to be leaner, and the fat is of
better quality
Lean Pork: trim any visible fat
Soybeans: green (edamame) or fermented
Seitan or fu
Fish and seafood: some of the best options include:
- Crab
- Grouper
- Mackerel
- Salmon
- Tilapia
- Trout
- Tuna
- Whitefish
- Sardines
Nuts and seeds: some of the best choices include
- Almonds
- Hazelnuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Walnuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- All-natural natural nut and seed butters
Beans and legumes are a major source of carbohydrates and fiber, but they are also rich
in protein; great choices include:
How to maintain your weight balanced | 31
Black beans
Cannellini beans
Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
Kidney beans
TRUE whole grains
The problem with many diet plans is that they push the idea that you can’t eat carbohydrates
(“carbs”) in any capacity. This simply isn’t true, and the evidence in fact shows that if you focus
on the right type of carbs, then you will be benefitting your weight loss and maintenance
efforts. After all, fat need carbohydrates for it to be properly “burned”. So it’s time to make
some simple modifications and replace the “bad” types of carbs with the “good” ones.
Yes, there are some carbs that are actually good for you. This is where you must become an
avid label reader, as it’s in line with your success. If you can look for carbs that are TRUE
(“100%”) whole grains, then you are going to get some real value here. You want to be sure
that the product doesn’t contained just enriched grains, and that it has a healthy serving of
natural fiber in each serving. You may also wish to seek “sprouted” grains, which are easier to
digest and enable your body to absorb more of their nutrients.
If you aren’t sure what this means, then think about the substitutions or
modifications that you can make in your diet to really make an impact. Here are
some simple ways to change things up and adapt to true whole grains for your
long-term weight maintenance:
Brown rice, instead of white rice
Brown rice, whole wheat, or spelt pasta, instead of white pasta
Quinoa, kamut, spelt, and millet, for variety
Sprouted and/or 100% whole grain bread, instead of white bread or other options that
appear to be whole grain, but really are based on white flour
Whole grain products, with sprouted and/or 100% whole grain flour as the base
It’s easy enough to make these changes, and they will give you what you need. They offer fiber,
are low in fat and calories, and will not start the cycle over again whereby you eat something
and then feel hungry an hour later. There is no insulin spike and drop in this cycle, and
therefore true whole grains are a must, as they are an excellent energy source.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 32
Low-fat dairy products
Dairy products offer a great serving of calcium and often protein. Some of them may also offer
vitamin D. You don’t want to overdo it with higher-fat dairy products, but low-fat dairy can be a
part of most meals that you eat each day. Some research even suggests that the calcium from
low-fat dairy may aid in weight loss and maintenance.
To help you maintain your weight loss, it’s often important to focus on the low-fat options. In
addition to being lower in fat than the whole fat alternatives, these are also higher in protein,
and their calcium is better absorbed.
However, it is important to avoid non-fat dairy products to which milk solids have been added.
Milk solids are often used to enhance color and texture lost with the fat that has been
removed. These solids are highly processed in a manner suggested to have negative effects on
the body.
If you are wondering what could be beneficial to include, focus on the following
low-fat dairy products:
Cottage cheese 2% fat
Ricotta cheese 2% fat
Organic milk
Low-fat yogurt with active cultures
String cheese or low-fat cheese
Goat cheese
They offer a nice blend with the other food groups and are tasty. Yes, you can enjoy something
like cheese if you focus on the low-fat varieties and pay particular attention to serving sizes.
Selecting grass-fed or free-range types mean the fat content includes “good” types (see more
about these below). Just a little bit can go a long way, and the protein can really help to curb
your cravings.
The good fats
It’s true that there really are good fats and bad fats. We’ll get into the bad fats in the worst
foods to avoid, as they can really zap you of your energy and your willpower. The good types of
fats offer some great nutritional value, may help with your weight loss and maintenance
efforts, and can also work well for your long-term health.
Among good fats are omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These natural fats support healthy
blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels and may lessen inflammation, and thus may help
tone down dysfunctional fat accumulation and support heart health and cancer prevention.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 33
Adequate levels in the diet are important not only by themselves, but also in relation to omega6 fatty acids. While we need omega-6s for good health, the modern western diet is known to
have too much, and the imbalance with omega-3s may be a contributory factor to chronic
diseases, including those associated with overweight.
Some of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids include the following:
Hemp seeds/hearts
Flax seed or flax seed oil
Olive oil
Chia seed oil
Hemp oil
Canola/low-erucic rapeseed oil
Camelina oil
In addition, it has been observed that organic dairy products have significantly more omega-3
compared to omega-6 fatty acids than the conventional types.
Another type of good dietary fat is the family of omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids. These
have been shown to have a positive effect on blood fats, and to contribute to a diet considered
cancer-preventive, particularly oleic acid.
Some of the richest sources of omega-9 fatty acids include the following:
Olive oil
High-oleic sunflower and safflower oils
Almond oil
Hazelnut oil
Macadamia nut oil
Avocado oil
Most nuts and seeds
Canola oil
In addition to omega-9s, some of these oils have additional beneficial compounds. The best
known example is extra-virgin olive oil, which contains powerful antioxidants.
How to maintain your weight balanced | 34
Though canola/low-erucic rapeseed oil is on both lists for being a rich source of both omega-3
and omega-9 fatty acids, it is nearly always refined, as are high-oleic sunflower and safflower
oils. Therefore, these should be considered secondary choices if you find you can’t get used to
the taste of olive or some of the other oils, though they still remain preferable to most
“vegetable” and seed oils.
More common oils, such as “vegetable,” soy, corn, and regular safflower and sunflower, are
high in regular omega-6 linoleic acid, and therefore not recommended. Some linoleic acid is
required daily, but it is far too common in the typical western diet, which may contribute to
some chronic “lifestyle” diseases.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid steadily gaining credit for health
benefits as part of a balanced diet. CLA has been suggested in studies to reduce body fat and
risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, lessen inflammatory responses, and support normal
bone mass. The richest known source is beef from grass-fed cows. Grass-feed organic beef is
already something recommended in this program, as it tends to be leaner than most
supermarket beef and, of course, does not have all the hormone and antibiotic additives. CLA is
scarce in non-animal products, but has been found in small amounts in safflower oil, smaller
amounts in coconut oil, and notable amounts in some mushrooms.
Some of the riches sources of CLA include the following:
Grass-fed/free-range beef
Grass-fed/free-range mutton (lamb)
Grass-fed/free-range eggs
Grass-fed/free-range dairy
Common mushrooms (“white,” “button,” “cremini,” “Italian,” “champignon,” “brown”)
Even among sources of saturated fats – considered to be significant contributors to risk factors
for heart disease – there are a few good options. Coconut fat is currently garnering attention
for its higher medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) content, which may raise HDL (“good”)
cholesterol levels, as well as benefit certain digestive and neurological conditions. Benefits have
also been linked to red palm oil, though this is mainly due to its content of oleic acid – also
available in lower-risk olive oil – and antioxidants, rather than the fat itself. It is considered
particularly advantageous in providing a flavorless solid fat alternative to shortening, without
the trans-fats – and so is present in many “smart” butter alternatives. Though it is still
important for most people to consume such fats in smaller amounts than unsaturated fats, they
can still be good choices.
Do try to incorporate good fats into your food preparation each week. Learning to cook with
olive oil and incorporate foods such as salmon, almonds, and mushrooms, for example, can
keep you feeling healthy while supporting weight loss.
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The worst foods: to be avoided
Just as there are certain foods that most certainly contributed to your success, there are also
some that have been limited. The reason it’s worth mentioning these foods now in the context
of weight maintenance is that people have the natural tendency to allow themselves more of
these once the weight comes off. This is what leads to weight returning and the cycle starting
over again.
Some foods were limited when you were trying to lose the weight, and they are still limited.
Can you let yourself cheat with one small serving once in a while? Of course. After all, you still
need to enjoy life. However, there are some foods that not as recommended as other treats
and splurges, as there is no real nutritional value in these foods, and they in fact work against
your goals more than others. Though they may seem harmless in some cases, they can lead to
diet sabotage.
Just a few bites of these foods can really impact your efforts. If you give into temptation and let
yourself go, your body goes through all sorts of chemical reactions that damage your health and
are ultimately reflected in an increase on the number on the scale. Sad but true that even the
smallest amount of these foods can have an immediate negative effect. So think it through and
keep your willpower intact! That will ensure that you don’t go through the up-and-down cycle,
and that you enjoy long-term success. Let’s take a look at what some of these notoriously bad
foods are and why they are so negative to your diet efforts.
Fried foods
If the food is deep-fried, it is immediately bad for you, beyond just weight-wise. The problem is
that you can take an innocent enough food that may be nutritious, such as cauliflower, and just
ruin it. When you add a layer of coating or breading and then deep-fry it, this turns even the
best food into one that is off-limits.
Often the breading isn’t good for you, as it is often loaded with the wrong types of carbs –
especially the type at a restaurant or concession stand. Then deep-frying anything makes it turn
into an immediate sabotage to any diet, weight maintenance, or health plan. If it’s fried, just
stay away from it – really it’s that simple! You may love these foods, but your maintenance
program doesn’t and your waistline will react unfavourably – and your general health will
REALLY take a hit.
Processed foods or high-sodium foods
So many times when a food is processed, it contains a very high level of additives and sodium to
give it taste and shelf life. Though these foods may taste good, it’s often because of the fact
How to maintain your weight balanced | 36
that they are loaded with sodium and other additives to make them that way. Even a “diet
food” often compensates for the lower fat and change in taste and texture with an
overabundance of additives, which often include sodium or simple sugars.
Sure a bit of salt doesn’t hurt, but these processed foods take it way over the limit. They often
triple your sodium consumption levels – not exactly setting you up for success! Read the labels,
and if the ingredient list features a lot of additives, or if the sodium levels are sky high (more
than 400 mg per serving), then it’s not a good choice.
Not only can these foods cause you to retain water – making you bloated and heavier – but
they can really have a negative impact on your health in the long-run – ironically, related to the
very conditions you were trying to improve by losing weight. Most of the time, if the
ingredients are ones that you don’t understand or can’t pronounce, then stay away from them.
They usually offer nothing good, as the ingredients should be natural and easy to understand.
So drop these options and opt instead for healthier versions that you make yourself. If you
must enjoy something like a can of soup, then go for low sodium, high fiber, and natural choices
– they do exist and they will help you to work toward long-term success in your maintenance
“Diet” foods and beverages
We enjoy foods that appear to be “diet foods” because in our mind it just makes sense. Sure
they may not offer much in the way of nutrition, but they most certainly can help with our diet
plan, right? Wrong! These foods are not only low on nutrition, but they can even add up in the
long run. The rationalization is often that they are diet foods and therefore must be good for
us, but again you must read the label. Sometimes they are made to be “light” fat-wise, but
extra sugar is then added to make up for it. In the case of diet sodas, recent studies show that
they may make you feel hungry, cause you to crave sugar, and may even make you fat in the
long run.
Just as bad, may “diet” foods are highly processed, through addition of artificial ingredients
and/or removal of calories in ways that make the food at best harmful to weight loss efforts
and at worst, harmful to health in general.
“Empty calorie” foods and beverages
If you enjoy foods that taste good but offer no nutritional value, then it’s time to get rid of them
– or at least dial them down to “a little bit, once in a while”. Diet foods, sodas, alcohol, and
processed sweets and snack foods are among those that you should try to avoid. They will
never help you, but only hurt you.
If you don’t get anything out of these foods and beverages, then forget it. Make sound
nutritional choices so that the calories you consume actually count for something in the big
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Fast or convenience foods
If you find yourself at a fast food restaurant, run away! Though in an absolute emergency there
are healthier options at such places that you can opt for – like a grilled chicken sandwich or a
salad – these are few and far between. Even the most innocent-looking items can be loaded
with unsuspected fat, so only exercise these options if you are stuck where nothing else is
available, and take advantage of any “nutritional information” posted about the foods to make
the soundest choice.
Many of the foods that you eat in a fast food restaurant or a convenience store are loaded with
saturated fat, sodium, undesirable additives, and sugar. Everything from the “special sauce” to
the buns that are not whole grain to the meat that was raised with chemicals and processed
with ammonia are bad for you. These foods taste good from the very fat, sodium, and refined
carbohydrates that harm you – and make them addictive so the cycle is hard to break.
Whenever possible, avoid food from a fast food restaurant, gas station, convenience store, or
any other related establishment. They are, simply put, sabotage to your maintenance, and
though they taste good, they will leave you reeling from the terrible impact on your weight and
The very best ways to eat
It’s not just about what you eat, but HOW you eat. If you lost the weight initially, then you
probably already know that. The biggest thing to know when it comes to maintaining the
weight loss is that you must still keep up with these healthy habits. They more than likely
contributed to your weight loss, and if you keep up with them, they will be a big reason for you
keeping the weight off.
So many of us had to change our mindset and really adapt to new and innovative ways of eating
to get the weight off. We never felt hungry, and yet kept our energy levels up all day long.
It’s sort of like the old adage “if it’s not broken don’t fix it,” and so if these habits worked well
for you to take the weight off, then keep up with them. They provide good healthy eating and
ensure that it always stays with you, even on-the-go. If you need a bit of reminding as to what
the right way is to eat, then here are some of the healthiest habits to keep at the forefront of
your mind always.
Eating smaller meals more frequently
This right here is the single most important thing to learn in terms of HOW to eat. Rather than
starving yourself between meals, this keeps you feeling full and energized. This may seem like
How to maintain your weight balanced | 38
you are eating more, but it’s just a matter of spreading out your previous meals. For many
people, it means avoiding the old traps of only one or two heavy meals each day – which led to
hunger, binging, weight gain, and abnormal blood levels that risk health.
Rather than focusing on the three square meals that you were told to eat every day growing up,
it’s time to change things up. As you probably know, you should be aiming for eating six smaller
meals spread out throughout the course of a day. This means that you break down your meals
into smaller meals that are packed with nutrition and the things you need to keep you going.
If you use this type of eating during the maintenance portion of the program, then you will
continue to not feel hungry, and levels of fat-controlling hormones will continue to be
balanced. You will ensure that when you focus on the right types of foods, you are getting all
the nutrients that you need. You will find that this is just such a better way to eat, and one that
you must keep up with to keep the weight off.
Always being prepared with food on hand
The key to healthy eating as you well know is to always be prepared. The very preparation and
effort that you put forth will only benefit your weight loss and maintenance efforts. So though
it may seem like a big investment of your time, preparation will only help you along the course
of a day.
This means taking the time to prepare a grocery list, to grocery shop in the most effective way,
and to prepare the foods mindfully when you get home. Chopping all of the vegetables,
washing the fruit, and packing the snacks and meals that you need to take with you when you
are away are all part of it.
You should leave the house with everything you need to eat well. No matter how busy your day
gets or where you may be, you should have a nice blend of healthy foods to keep you going. A
cooler full of fresh vegetables and foods such as yogurt and hummus works well. Small
packages that you put together of trail mix, nuts, and even dried fruit can help to offer nice
servings of fiber and a small amount of calories. The more preparation that you put into the
process at home, the more well-prepared you are to make it through your day with the right
foods to keep the weight off for good!
Continuing to prepare healthy foods
Chances are that if you lost the weight, you had to really put an emphasis on good, healthy
cooking. While you may enjoy going out to eat and still can sometimes, the majority of your
meals should come from your kitchen.
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When you cook at home, then you are in control of the ingredients that you use. You control
the cooking method, the way in which you prepare it, what goes into it, and especially the
overall fat that is included in its makeup. You made these changes to lose the weight, and now
it’s time to keep the weight off by keeping up with it.
Too many of us lose the weight and then give up or get lax with cooking. Sure we all have busy
schedules, and cooking can take up some time. You have to decide how badly you want to keep
the weight off, though. If you decide that you absolutely want to maintain weight loss longterm, and all of us do, then cooking needs to be part of your plan.
Controlling what you cook, how you cook, and what ingredients are used makes you the master
of what you are eating. You will find that trying out new recipes or methods keeps it interesting,
and with practice, may even cut down the preparation time. Set a goal like trying a new recipe
every week or making and freezing healthy foods to use in a pinch. The more you cook, the
more well-versed you will become with this facet of healthy eating.
Combination eating
Just as you want to focus on all of the food groups and making the right choices, you want to try
to combine them whenever possible. This is an aspect of healthy eating that few of us consider,
but it can really make the difference. If you want to ensure that you get in all of your nutrients
in a day AND balance your hormones for healthy body composition, then this is the path.
What this means is getting the most value out of your food choices. You want to try to combine
different food groups for each of your mini-meals as often as possible, to make sure more than
one food group is represented, and that carbs don’t send sugar straight into your blood without
buffering. This means you get carbs for an immediate burst of energy, plus protein or good fats,
which carry your further to the next meal and prevent the glucose and insulin spikes. So
perhaps you combine an apple with peanut butter for a fruit and protein combination. Maybe
vegetables or whole grain crackers with hummus sounds good for lunch, or maybe you want a
nice green salad with grilled chicken.
It’s all about making a well-rounded meal, and when you can combine food groups, you are
more apt to do so, even on-the-run. While sit-down meals are easier in this regard – we’re all
familiar with the protein+carb+vegetable combination – snacks can be more challenging. In a
crunch for time? Then just enjoy some whole grain crackers with a small serving of low-fat
cheese. Need breakfast on the run? How about some cottage cheese with blueberries?
Sometimes you can drink those smaller meals – make shakes and smoothies from fruits,
vegetables, and proteins, or hearty soups from vegetables, grains, and proteins – and take them
with you in a thermos. You see that combination eating need not be difficult, but it should offer
you a nice value from each meal that you enjoy in the course of a day.
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This does take some practice, but it really does work for long-term success. You will come to get
used to this and wonder how you ever ate any other way. Get creative, make it interesting, and
by all means, learn to enjoy this type of combination eating. It can offer great nutritional value
and a nice way of spreading out what you need throughout the day to prevent hunger and get
all the daily nutrients you need in the right amounts, and keep your body in the right balance it
needs to maintain a healthy weight.
Eating in any situation
Many people struggle with maintenance when it comes to eating in certain situations. This
program teaches you that you can maintain your willpower and eat in any situation, but it does
take practice. You may very well be focused on this when it comes to weight loss, but the
willpower tends to disappear a bit when it comes to maintenance.
We all rationalize to ourselves and tell the voice inside that a little splurge won’t hurt. We see
that enjoying a special treat or special occasion food won’t hurt us. This can quickly spiral out of
control and lead to the weight creeping back on and our efforts going bust. This is where many
diet programs leave off, and another way in which they are not focused on your long-term
So no matter what type of situation comes up, there is always a way to be prepared for it. This
may mean sacrifice, and it most certainly will mean that you maintain your willpower. However,
this is what will make the difference this time and ensure that your long-term success is intact.
If you have had issues with this in the past, then think back what it means to eat outside of your
routine. These few tips are full of great value and will help you to be prepared for whatever
comes your way. A little splurge may not hurt, but it can cause you to quickly lose control.
Use these tips to maintain control over your eating and to ensure that the weight stays off for
good. No matter what the situation, how tempting the foods, or how much you struggle, if you
can rely on these tips then you will be successful in the long term and keep that weight off this
time around.
How to go out to eat
This is where many people simply lose control and it can be frustrating. It’s unrealistic to think
that you won’t go out to eat, as it’s just part of our lives. Even during the weight loss stage, you
were probably enjoying a meal out at a restaurant one in a while. This is, however, when your
willpower will be tested, and must prevail!
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So how can you ensure that you make the right choices? How can you stay on
track even at your favorite restaurant? A few simple tips will really help you to
stay strong and make the right choices:
Leave out the bread basket or usual starters
Try to start out with a green salad or healthy cup of soup to fill you up
Eat something small before you go to the restaurant
Do your research and see what healthy options are available before you get to the
Don’t be afraid to order your food customized to how you like it
When looking at the menu, make your choices around the following elements:
- Always opt for grilled, baked, or broiled as the cooking methods
- Ask them not to use butter or excessive oil in cooking
- Ask for the sauce and salad dressing on the side, and use half of what they serve
- Order a side of vegetables instead of other sides like potatoes or rice
- Opt for tomato sauces whenever possible
- Opt for fresh lemon instead of salad dressing whenever possible – if that is too dry, a
little olive oil, which makes for a good, healthy mix
- Always avoid fried foods, cheese on top or within, cream sauces, or a combination of
sauces that are likely loaded with fat
- Ask for brown rice or whole wheat pasta whenever possible
- Ask for the doggy bag for half of your food before it gets to the table, so you are not
tempted to finish what are usually larger-than-necessary portions
- Split your meal (or at least the main course) with a friend or family member
- Avoid appetizers, unless it is a salad
- Don’t waste energy on sugary or alcoholic beverages – go for water as much as
possible; if you want a glass of wine or cocktail as a treat, keep it right-sized and as
pure (unsweetened) as possible
All of these tips will ensure that you eat the right things and that you never overeat. It’s all
about maximizing your food choices and also ensuring that you don’t overdo. The choices at
restaurants may be daunting, but go in with self-control and a plan.
Preparing yourself for potential pitfalls
There are always going to be situations that are challenging for you. There are always going to
be potential pitfalls where you may have even fallen in the past. The key to succeeding in these
is to be prepared. As with any other aspect of weight loss and maintenance, you need to keep
your eye on the prize and focus on the long-term.
If you know that you had a problem area in the past, then work hard to overcome it. Perhaps
the holidays were an issue, or maybe special celebrations always equalled dietary disaster. So
be prepared for these and ready to push through to success. This means doing your research as
How to maintain your weight balanced | 42
to what options are going to be available to you. It also means eating a small nutrition-packed
meal before you leave the house.
Enjoy a glass of red wine, but then stop at that. Allow yourself the tiny sliver of chocolate cake if
that’s your thing, but then leave it at that. Get your plate of food and then walk away from the
food table. If you can learn the ways of eating intelligently, then you are going to be able to
overcome even the most challenging situation.
Where there’s a will there’s a way, and it’s important to get in touch with your inner willpower.
You may meet challenges, but just as you overcame them in your weight loss, you can do the
same for the maintenance phase of things too. Don’t give yourself license to go off-track or to
justify to yourself why it’s okay to cheat this time. Make this time different and make it work for
Getting back on track after falling off
You are going to have a bad day. You may slip up over the holidays and fall victim to the many
yummy treats. You may have a bad meal and wonder what you were thinking. Slip-ups happen
to the best of us, and often when we are trying to maintain – we are, after all, only human.
However, it’s important not to give into these slip-ups and to power through them, forgive
yourself, and get back on track – and to learn from mistakes.
Get in touch with what forced you to get off track in the first place. Did you allow yourself a
slip-up, or was it truly just a bad day? Did you find some food so irresistible that you couldn’t
stay away? Was it more a matter of not having any other options? It’s important to understand
what happened and why, and then remember so that it doesn’t happen again.
If you need assistance in getting back on track, you can always share your thoughts and
challenges in the Trim Down Club forum and get motivation and support from other members
just like you.
Maintaining and keeping a positive attitude
Remember, if you need help in getting back on track, you can always share your thoughts and
challenges in the Trim Down Club forum and get motivation and support from other members
just like you. Share your successes and tips, too! You will probably motivate others, and like a
smile, that is contagious.
No matter what your successes or failures may have been or are on a diet plan, it’s always
about maintaining a good, positive attitude. That’s what will make the difference this time and
why it’s so important to help you through. You are going to have challenges, particularly within
the maintenance phase but it’s often about your attitude.
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You may find that it’s much easier to just give up and give in, but what will that accomplish? A
good attitude can help you through the bad days and give you something to rely on. It’s easy to
get down or to be hard on yourself or to feel like giving up, but that may have been what went
wrong last time.
No matter how hard things may get or how challenged you may feel, you need to keep a good
mindset. You must know in your heart that you can do this and rely on that for strength and
perseverance. You must find it within yourself to get that inner motivation and dedication to
this plan and a lot of that comes from your attitude.
It’s true when they say that attitude is everything, and therefore you need to remember this:
the maintenance phase may be easy for you or it may be very challenging, but your mindset can
really make the difference. Even when things get tough, you must find a way of overcoming by
maintaining positive attitude throughout. This can be the most challenging element for many
people who find that it’s much easier to just give up.
Remember that there are many like you with similar experiences, who met challenges and
came through. You can always seek motivation and support in a place like the Trim Down Club
forum, which connects you with like-minded, health-conscious people on the same journey.
If you truly want to keep the weight off once and for all, then get in tune with what your
mental attitude must be. This is what will make the difference, and with the right
attitude and mindset you can keep that weight off and never look back!
We’re with you every step of the way, and that’s what makes this different than other
programs – and will make this time different.
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