October 02, 2018
Losing weight is hard but maintaining your physique can be even harder. In fact, most people who lose weight gain some, if not all, of it back over time. While many dieters might fall back to old habits after they hit their goal weight, re-gaining lost weight is primarily a matter of biology.
When you start shedding pounds, your energy supply, or fat deposits, become depleted. Hormones like leptin, a chemical responsible for regulating energy levels and body weight, send signals to your brain indicating that your fat stores have fallen below a critical level. Your brain responds by setting off a chain reaction aimed at packing the pounds back on, triggering large increases in appetite and food cravings.
The good news? Regardless of your body chemistry, there are steps you can take to win the battle of the bulge and maintain a healthy weight.
Old habits die hard, but it is important to stick with new routines once you’ve hit your goal weight. Whether you cut out sweets or alcohol, or started exercising four times a week, stay committed to your wellness regimen and resist the urge to return to your old way of life.
A few years ago, the Harvard School of Public Health found that participants who lifted weights for 20 minutes a day gained less belly fat than those who did cardio for 20 minutes each day. Resistance training methods, like weight lifting, not only burn calories, but they also increase muscle mass. This increase in lean muscle will keep your metabolism performing at its peak, helping you to prevent re-gaining lost weight.
Dieticians, nutritional counselors, and doctors alike have long advocated for healthy, well-balanced breakfasts, and for good reason. A large-scale study conducted by the National Weight Control Registry found that 78 percent of participants who lost 30 pounds and kept the weight off ate breakfast every day.
The key to any successful weight loss program is moderation. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can be tedious at times, and there’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favorite dessert or snack every once in a while. Just make sure that your “cheat meal” doesn’t turn into a whole day or week of over-indulging!
Snacking can work for you, or against you. Grazing on snacks throughout the day can boost your energy levels and keep your blood sugar where it needs to be. Mindless munching, however, will wreak havoc on your waistline, so be sure to stock up on healthy snacks that are rich in nutrients like fiber and protein, and that are low in refined sugars and carbohydrates.
When it comes to losing weight, going it alone can be difficult. Buddy up with a fellow health enthusiast so you have someone to share your trials and tribulations with. You can work together to keep each other in check. If you don’t want to enlist a friend or family member, join a healthy eating Facebook group to get the support and tips you need to succeed in your weight-maintenance journey.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires more than just focusing on your diet alone. Regular exercise is necessary if you want to keep the pounds from coming back, so it’s important to find a workout regimen that works for you. If you prefer the outdoors, ditch your local gym in favor of a jog around your neighborhood. Or if you like exercising with a group, many fitness centers offer a range of different classes, making it easy to pick a fun workout you can commit to.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider on any matters relating to your health.