Many people lose weight only to regain it all back within a few months. Nearly 80-90% dieters are known to fall off the weight loss bandwagon simply because they do not know the secrets to maintaining healthy body weight. Of course, apart from lifestyle choices and dietary factors, our genes and complex biochemical makeup also play a role in weight management. But there are certain guidelines one can follow for maintaining weight loss for a lifetime. Following are the easy ways to maintain body weight:
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1. Weigh yourself weekly
This is an important way of maintaining weight loss whether or not you are exercising. Choose the same time of the day once a week and wear the same clothes (though it is best to weigh yourself with minimal clothing on). Keep a log of your weekly weight measurement. This will help you track your progress over time.
2. Set an upper limit
Once you have achieved your weight loss goal, set an upper limit for weight gain. For example, you can allow yourself to gain back 2-3 pounds. If you cross 3 pounds, take it as a signal to watch your diet closely and also take up some exercise. You will need to go back to the strategies you used to lose weight. This is the key to maintain healthy weight.
3. Weight management journals
Invest in a good weight management journal like this one. Keeping a log of what you eat and how much you exercise can help keep you accountable and allow you to maintain weight loss for a lifetime.
4. Eat breakfast everyday
Research has shown that people who skip breakfast tend to put on weight as they indulge in snacking and unhealthy food cravings. A good breakfast consisting of whole grains, lean meat and fruits and vegetables will keep you full longer and allow you to eat smaller meals through the day. Skipping breakfast can lead to extreme hunger, poor food choices and overeating.
5. Eat small though frequent meals
- Instead of eating huge meals 3 times a day, eat 4-6 small meals. Practice portion control in main meals.
- Include protein and fruits and vegetables in each meal. Snack on healthy foods like nuts, seeds and vegetables with low fat dips.
- Eat at the same time everyday and plan your meals ahead so you do not end up eating junk. Do not stock tempting, calorie-rich foods in the house.
- Avoid eating before the TV as it leads to binge eating.
- Chew slowly and stop eating once you are full.
6. Get family and friends on board
When you announce your intentions of maintaining weight loss for a lifetime, you have better chances of success. It is most important, first and foremost, to bring your immediate family on board. Shop for healthy foods and limit stocking up your pantry with ready-to-eat meals or frozen dinners. When the entire family works towards a common goal, the chances of maintaining weight for a lifetime increase. Do tell your friends about your plans so they can also motivate you. Get them on board to eat healthy and exercise with you.
7. Drink more water
You need at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. This is necessary to prevent dehydration which is often confused for hunger. Go for calorie-free and caffeine free beverages where possible.
8. Get 8 hours of sleep daily
Sleep is also very important to avoid weight gain. If stress is interfering with your sleep, try some deep breathing, meditation and other relaxation techniques to calm your mind. This is an easy way to maintain weight without exercise.
9. Be more active
Even if you hate exercising and are following a low car, low calorie diet, there is no getting around the fact that the best way to maintain weight and prevent weight gain is to burn calories. You can choose an activity you love such as dancing, swimming or brisk walking. Simple activities like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the grocery store etc can also add up. Playing with kids and walking pets are some other ways of maintaining weight after weight loss. Gardening, house cleaning and other chores are great ways to burn calories.
10. Treat underlying health issues
Many health conditions can prevent you from losing weight and also maintaining it post weight loss. These include diabetes, hormonal imbalance, thyroid, menopause etc. They can all cause weight gain or interfere with one’s ability to maintain weight. Talk to an endocrinologist to counter these issues. This is very important for maintaining weight loss for a lifetime.
These 10 easy ways can help you maintain weight loss after a low calorie diet.