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The Best Ways to Maintain Weight Loss

Unfortunately, many people who lose weight regain it.

In fact, only around 20% of dieters who start out overweight succeed in reducing weight and keeping it off in the long run.

Don't let this deter you, though. There are a variety of scientifically established methods for maintaining weight loss, ranging from exercise to stress management.

These 17 weight-loss tactics may be precisely what you need to tilt the scales in your favor and keep your hard-won weight loss.

Why People Regain Weight

There are a few common reasons why people gain back the weight they lose. They are mostly related to unrealistic expectations and feelings of deprivation.

  • Restrictive diets: Extreme calorie restriction may slow your metabolism and shift your appetite-regulating hormones, which are both factors that contribute to weight regain.

  • Wrong mindset: When you think of a diet as a quick fix, rather than a long-term solution to better your health, you will be more likely to give up and gain back the weight you lost.

  • Lack of sustainable habits: Many diets are based on willpower rather than habits you can incorporate into your daily life. They focus on rules rather than lifestyle changes, which may discourage you and prevent weight maintenance.

1. Exercise Often

Regular exercise is essential for weight maintenance.

It may assist you in burning off some additional calories and increasing your metabolism, both of which are required to achieve energy balance.

When you are in energy balance, you are burning the same number of calories as you are consuming. As a result, your weight is more likely to remain constant.

Several studies have shown that those who engage in at least 200 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week (30 minutes per day) after losing weight are more likely to keep it off.

Higher levels of physical activity may be required in some cases for optimal weight maintenance. According to one study, one hour of exercise every day is ideal for those aiming to maintain weight loss.

It is crucial to note that exercise is most effective for weight maintenance when accompanied with other lifestyle modifications, such as eating a nutritious diet.

2. Try Eating Breakfast Every Day

Eating breakfast may help you achieve your weight-loss objectives.

Breakfast eaters had healthier behaviors in general, such as more exercise and ingesting more fiber and minerals.

Furthermore, eating breakfast is one of the most frequently mentioned activities by those who are successful at sustaining their weight loss.

According to one study, 78 percent of 2,959 adults who sustained a 30-pound (14 kg) weight decrease for at least one year ate breakfast every day.

However, while people who eat breakfast appear to be more effective at maintaining their weight loss, the research is conflicting.

According to research, skipping breakfast does not automatically result in weight gain or poor eating habits.

In fact, for some people, skipping breakfast may help them reach their weight loss and weight maintenance objectives.

This could be one of the things that is left up to the individual.

If you believe that eating breakfast would help you achieve your goals, then you should eat it. However, if you dislike having breakfast or are not hungry in the morning, skipping it is not harmful.

3. Eat Lots of Protein

Protein can help lower hunger and induce fullness, so eating a lot of it may help you maintain your weight.

Protein raises the levels of hormones in the body that cause satiety and are vital for weight regulation. Protein has also been proven to lower levels of hunger-inducing hormones.

Protein's effect on your hormones and fullness may cause you to consume less calories each day, which is an important element in weight maintenance.

Furthermore, protein necessitates a large quantity of energy for your body to digest. As a result, eating it on a daily basis may increase the number of calories you burn during the day.

According to various studies, protein's effects on metabolism and appetite are most pronounced when roughly 30% of calories are ingested as protein. On a 2,000 calorie diet, this equates to 150 grams of protein.

4. Weigh Yourself Regularly

Monitoring your weight by stepping on the scale on a regular basis may be a useful tool for weight maintenance. This is because it might make you aware of your progress and encourage weight-controlling activities.

Those who weigh themselves may also eat less calories throughout the day, which is beneficial for maintaining weight loss.

In one study, those who weighed themselves six days a week consumed 300 fewer calories per day than those who monitored their weight less regularly.

It is up to you how frequently you weigh yourself. Some people feel that weighing themselves everyday is beneficial, while others find that checking their weight once or twice a week is sufficient.

5. Be Mindful of Your Carb Intake

Weight management may be easier to achieve if you pay attention to the types and amounts of carbs you consume.

Excessive use of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white spaghetti, and fruit juices, might be damaging to your weight-maintenance goals.

These foods have been depleted of natural fiber, which is required to produce satiety. Diets deficient in fiber have been linked to weight gain and obesity.

Limiting your carbohydrate consumption in general may also assist you in maintaining your weight loss. Several studies have found that those who maintain low-carb diets after losing weight are more likely to keep the weight off in the long run.

Furthermore, those on low-carb diets are less likely to consume more calories than they burn, which is required for weight management.

How to Keep Weight Off

  1. Stay physically active. Successful dieters in the NWCR study exercise for about 60 minutes, typically walking.

  2. Keep a food log. ...

  3. Eat breakfast every day. ...

  4. Eat more fiber and less unhealthy fat than the typical American diet.

  5. Regularly check the scale. ...

  6. Watch less television.

Weight Loss Guide

  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. ...

  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. ...

  3. Drink water before meals. ...

  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. ...

  5. Eat soluble fiber. ...

  6. Drink coffee or tea. ...

  7. Base your diet on whole foods. ...

  8. Eat slowly.

How to Maintain Weight

  1. Limit portion size to control calorie intake.

  2. Add healthy snacks during the day if you want to gain weight.

  3. Be as physically active as you can be.

  4. Talk to your doctor about your weight if you think that you weigh too much or too little.

Keys to Losing Weight

Eat varied, colorful, nutritionally dense foods

Everyone's diet should start with healthy meals and snacks. A simple way to develop a meal plan is to ensure that each meal has 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% whole grains, and 25% protein. The daily fiber recommendation is 25–30 grams (g).

Remove trans fats from your diet and limit your intake of saturated fats, which has been linked to an increase in the prevalence of coronary heart disease.

People can instead take monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), both of which are kinds of unsaturated fat.

The following foods are healthful and often rich in nutrients:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables

  • fish

  • legumes

  • nuts

  • seeds

  • whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal

Foods to avoid eating include:

  • foods with added oils, butter, and sugar

  • fatty red or processed meats

  • baked goods

  • bagels

  • white bread

  • processed foods

In some cases, removing certain foods from the diet might cause a person to become deficient in some necessary vitamins and minerals. A nutritionist, dietitian, or another healthcare professional can advise a person how to get enough nutrients while they are following a weight loss program.

Keep a food and weight diary

Self-monitoring is essential for successful weight loss. Every item of food consumed each day can be recorded using a paper diary, a mobile app, or a dedicated website. They can also track their progress by keeping a weekly weight log.

Those who can track their progress in modest steps and recognize physical changes are significantly more likely to stick to a weight loss plan. A BMI calculator can also be used to maintain track of a person's body mass index (BMI).

Engage in regular physical activity and exercise

Exercise is essential for both physical and mental wellness. Increasing the frequency of physical activity in a disciplined and deliberate manner is frequently critical for weight loss success.

A one-hour daily moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, is ideal. If one hour per day is not attainable, the Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for a minimum of 150 minutes each week.

People who are not normally physically active should gradually increase the volume and intensity of their exercise. This is the greatest long-term technique to ensure that regular exercise becomes a part of their lives.

People may benefit from keeping track of their physical activity in the same way that tracking meals might help them lose weight mentally. There are numerous free mobile apps that track a person's calorie balance once they log their food consumption and exercise.

If the thought of a full workout seems intimidating to someone who is new to exercise, they can begin by doing the following activities to increase their exercise levels:

  • taking the stairs

  • raking leaves

  • walking a dog

  • gardening

  • dancing

  • playing outdoor games

  • parking farther away from a building entrance

Individuals who have a low risk of coronary heart disease are unlikely to require medical assessment ahead of starting an exercise regimen.

However, prior medical evaluation may be advisable for some people, including those with diabetes. Anyone who is unsure about safe levels of exercise should speak to a healthcare professional.

Eliminate liquid calories

Drinking sugar-sweetened soda, tea, juice, or wine can add up to hundreds of calories every day. These are referred to as "empty calories" since they supply more energy without providing any nutritional advantages.

Unless a smoothie is being consumed to substitute a meal, a person should stick to water or unsweetened tea and coffee. A dash of fresh lemon or orange juice can add taste to water.

Avoid confusing dehydration with appetite. A drink of water can typically satisfy sensations of hunger between scheduled meal times.

Measure servings and control portions

Eating too much of anything, including low-calorie veggies, can lead to weight gain.

As a result, people should avoid estimating serving sizes or consuming food straight from the package. It is preferable to use measuring cups and serving size charts. Overestimation results from guessing, as does consuming a larger-than-necessary portion.

The following size comparisons can be useful for monitoring food intake when dining out:

  • three-fourths of a cup is a golf ball

  • one-half of a cup is a tennis ball

  • 1 cup is a baseball

  • 1 ounce (oz) of nuts is a loose handful

  • 1 teaspoon is 1 playing dice

  • 1 tablespoon is a thumb tip

  • 3 oz of meat is a deck of cards

  • 1 slice is a DVD

These sizes are not exact, but they can help a person moderate their food intake when the correct tools are not available.

Eat mindfully

Many people benefit from mindful eating, which entails paying close attention to why, how, when, where, and what they eat.

Making healthier eating choices is a direct result of becoming more in tune with one's body.

People who practice mindful eating eat more slowly and savor their food, focusing on the flavor. Making a meal last 20 minutes helps the body to register all of the satiety signals.

It is critical to focus on feeling satisfied rather than full after a meal, and to keep in mind that many “all natural” or low-fat items are not necessarily a healthy choice.

People can also consider the following questions regarding their meal choice:

  • Is it good “value” for the calorie cost?

  • Will it provide satiety?

  • Are the ingredients healthful?

  • If it has a label, how much fat and sodium does it contain?

The Bottomline

Diets can be rigid and unrealistic, resulting in weight gain. However, there are numerous small modifications you can make to your routines that can help you maintain your weight loss in the long run.

Throughout your journey, you will understand that losing weight is about much more than what you eat. Exercise, sleep, and mental wellness are all important factors.

Weight maintenance might be easy if you simply embrace a new lifestyle rather than jumping on and off weight loss regimens.