Proven Ways to Maintain Weight Loss
You have finally hit your goal weight. After implementing a strict weight loss regimen, you are finally ready to enjoy the benefits of slimming down. However, this is not the time to return to old habits. Weight loss maintenance requires as much if not more vigilance as the weight loss process.
Will it be hard? Yes. Worth it? Most definitely.
A study called the National Weight Control Registry is a voluntary study that monitors people after initial weight loss. According to this study, the people who maintained their weight loss were those that exercised for at least an hour almost every day, ate a low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie diet, minimized TV watching, ate breakfast, and ate a regulated diet.
This might sound a bit daunting, so let’s break down these results into manageable steps.
First, recognize that you have a new normal. A return to old habits will only result in weight regain. To maintain your new normal, weigh yourself regularly. Self-monitored weighing will help you catch any new pounds before they decide to stay for good on your hips. Plan out your meals. Create a meal plan for the week and make sure that each meal is balanced, including lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Control your portions. Too much of a good thing can end up being a bad thing. Make a list before heading to the grocery store. This will help you stick to your plan and help you avoid impulse buys. Before putting something in your shopping basket, make sure you read the nutrition label. Make reading the ingredients list a habit. Take responsibility for what you put inside your body.
Second, focus on the process of weight maintenance. Drink lots of water. Feeling hungry? You make actually just be thirsty. Instead of immediately grabbing a snack when you stomach gets a little grumbly, trying drinking a glass of water first. Eat the same number of meals each day. If you find yourself to be a three-meal-a-day kind of person, then eat three balanced meals per day. If you find that you like eating five smaller meals throughout the day, then make this your consistent practice. Also, work on implementing a consistent exercise routine into your life.
The Center for Disease Controls recommends that to maintain weight loss, you should work up to 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise. Moderate-intensity aerobic activities include brisk walking, light yard work or snow shoveling, biking at a casual place, or actively playing with children. Head to the park instead of flopping down onto the couch. Vigorous-intensity exercises include running or jogging, swimming laps, rollerblading at a brisk pace, cross-country skiing, competitive sports like basketball, soccer, or football, and jumping rope. Find a friend to help keep you motivated and accountable.
Finally, remind yourself of why you want to maintain your weight loss. And don’t be afraid to reward yourself. An occasional treat will not throw off your entire weight management regimen.
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- Wing, Rena R. and Suzanne Phelan. “Long-term weight loss maintenance.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82.1 (2005). Web.
- Buryn M.L., S. Phelan, J.O. Hill, and R.R. Wing. “Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance.” Obesity (Silver Spring) 15.12 (2007): 3091-6. Web.
- Berkeley Wellness. “Maintaining Weight Loss: The Hard Part.” Berkeley Wellness. Remedy Health Media, LLC. Web.
- “Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 15 May 2015. Web.