Congratulations if you have finally reached your goal weight and are enjoying a new and healthier lifestyle! But be careful—you might be tempted to skip a workout or have another cookie, and before long, old habits can come creeping back. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen, so here are 10 rules for maintaining a healthy weight & lifestyle.

1) Have A Consistent Exercise Routine
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day, but it’s important to make exercise part of your daily routine. Set a realistic weekly goal for how many times and minutes you will workout. Once you have the number, add the workouts to your calendar and stick to your plan.

2) Section Your Plate
Make sure at least half your plate is filled with vegetables. Then divide the remaining space between lean protein and whole grains. Need seconds? Go for another serving of vegetables.

3) “Break The Fast” With Breakfast
Breakfast sets the tone for the whole day, so make sure you start off with a nutritious, filling meal. To keep hunger away opt for hearty healthy options like oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, low-fat yogurt with berries and granola, or an omelet loaded with veggies and some whole wheat toast.

4) Build More Lean Muscle
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. That means you can maintain (and maybe even increase) your metabolism by building more lean muscle. If you haven’t already been weight training, add it your workout. If you are already lifting, continue to challenge yourself.

5) Follow The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 principle says 80% of the time you eat nutritious, whole foods and 20% of the time you allow yourself to enjoy treats. This gives you the flexibility to occasionally appreciate things like wine, desserts and fried foods without guilt.

6) Eat Filling Foods
If you feel full, you are less likely to snack on sugary foods. Make sure your meals and snacks include plenty of high fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Be sure to include protein too for lasting energy and satiety.

7) Use The Scale
Although you shouldn’t be focused on a number, it is a good idea to weigh yourself once a week, so you can see when adjustments might need to be made. If you see yourself up a few pounds, adjust portions and food choices.

8) Hit The Hay
A lack quality sleep will throw your hormones out of whack, stimulating your hunger and decreasing the production of Leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Also, when you are tired, you tend to gravitate to highly processed and sugary foods. Getting plenty of sleep will help keep your body in balance.

10) Plan Your Meals In Advance
Planning ahead helps alleviate stress at meal times and ensures well-balanced meals. Take a few minutes to choose at least 4 lunches and dinners for the coming week and then make your shopping list. If you know what you need at the store, you are less likely to buy extra unnecessary items.

We want you to be free from “dieting,” but we know accountability is key for continued success. By switching to the Rise Maintenance plan after you reach your goal, you can access your journal and continue to post pictures so you can easily review your food choices if things get off track. Coach Line is also available to Maintenance Plan members. Rise is here to help you get healthy and stay that way!

joanneperez Joanne Perez, MS, LDN, RD has over twenty years of experience. She has also worked as an RD in the US Army where she was an officer for 5 years. Joanne believes that nobody & no body is perfect, but everybody & every body is unique—and eating in the real world is all about moderation, variety, balance & fun! Learn more about Joanne and how to work with her here.