A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine explains why maintaining weight loss is harder than losing weight. Acoording to Penn State researchers, once you reach your goal weight, you need to shift gears and reinforce lifestyle changes with new goals and rewards. Doing this helps you break away from old habits.
Techniques for Keeping the Weight Off
Losing weight is tough, but keeping it off proves to be even more difficult. Here are some tips on how to keep the weight off and maintain your healthy lifestyle.
Weigh in regularly.
Though some experts advise against weighing yourself frequently, those who weight themselves consistently have better luck keeping the weight off. Mainintaining weight loss requires a certain lvel of self-monitoring and if you notice the number on the scale gradually going up, its a sign to change your diet and exercise to get it back into your maintenance weight range.
Gain control over binge eating.
Binge eating usually occurs when dieters go to extremes and cut too many calories. Doing so makes them feel deprived and they end up eating even more food to make up for the bad feelings. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help you manage binge eating.
Feeling depressed encourages people to make bad choices as far as diet and exercise. Eating smart and making positive lifestyle changes can help elieviate feelings of depression, but get help if the problem persists as it can effect your long term goals.
Control calorie intake.
Whether you choose a low carb or low fat diet, its the overall calories consumed that matters most. Sometimes, even during the maintainance phase, its necessary to track your calories to be sure you are staying within your desired calorie range. Anything less and your body will hang onto your body fat for energy and anything more more leads to weight gain.
Learn to love exercise.
People who have lost weight and kept it off tend to enjoy exercise. Though it may seem like a chore when you are just starting out, its important to find physical activities that you have fun doing to stay motivated. If you see exercise as a chore, you are more likely to come up with excuses to skip it.
Be consistent in your diet.
Those who’ve had success at losing weight and maintaining their weight loss are consistent in their healthy diet, even on weekends and speical occasions, according to the National Weight Control Registry.
As you enter the maintenance phase, remeber that you have to find balance in your new healthy lifestyle. Include variety in your diet and exercise program to avoid boredom and avoid going back to your old, unhealthy habits.
- Brownstein, Joseph. “keeping Weight Off Involves Fresh Techniques, Study Finds,” Yahoo News. July 5, 2011.
- “Long-term Weight Loss Maintenance,” PubMD. July 2005.
- Nazamo, Branilda. “Keeping the Weight Off,” WebMD. Feb 9, 2011.