Congratulations if you have hit your weight loss target and are enjoying your new body. here’s the bad news though, 80% of people who lose weight end up gaining it back. Only about 20% of dieters who start off overweight end up successfully losing weight and keeping it off in the long term.
Why do 80% of people put the weight back on? The most common reasons in my opinion 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.
Don’t let this discourage you. There are a number of ways you can make sure you stay this sexy forever.
Regular exercise plays an important role in weight maintenance.
It may help you burn off some extra calories and increase your metabolism, which are two factors needed to achieve energy balance.
When you are in energy balance, it means you burn the same number of calories that you consume. As a result, your weight is more likely to stay the same.
– Watch Your Carb Intake
Weight maintenance may be easier to accomplish if you pay attention to the types and amounts of carbs that you eat.
Eating too many refined carbs, such as white bread, white pasta and fruit juices, can be detrimental to your weight maintenance goals.
These foods have been stripped of their natural fiber, which is necessary to promote fullness. Diets that are low in fiber are associated with weight gain and obesity.
Limiting your carb intake overall may also help you maintain your weight loss. Several studies have found that, in some cases, those who follow low-carb diets after weight loss are more likely to keep the weight off in the long term
– Lift Weights
Reduced muscle mass is a common side effect of weight loss.
It can limit your ability to keep weight off, as losing muscle reduces your metabolism, meaning you burn fewer calories throughout the day.
Doing some type of resistance training, such as lifting weights, may help prevent this loss of muscle and, in turn, preserve or even improve your metabolic rate.
– Eat Protein
Eating a lot of protein may help you maintain your weight, since protein can help reduce appetite and promote fullness.
Protein increases levels of certain hormones in the body that induce satiety and are important for weight regulation. Protein has also been shown to reduce levels of hormones that increase hunger.
Protein’s effect on your hormones and fullness may automatically reduce the number of calories you consume per day, which is an important factor in weight maintenance .
Furthermore, protein requires a significant amount of energy for your body to break down. Therefore, eating it regularly may increase the number of calories you burn during the day.
– Weigh Yourself Regularly
Monitoring your weight by stepping on the scale on a regular basis may be a helpful tool for weight maintenance. This is because it can make you aware of your progress and encourage weight control behaviors.
Those who weigh themselves may also eat fewer calories throughout the day, which is helpful for maintaining weight loss.
– Have A Contingency Plan
Setbacks are inevitable on your weight maintenance journey. There may be times when you give in to an unhealthy craving or skip a workout.
However, the occasional slip up doesn’t mean you should throw your goals out the window. Simply move on and follow through with better choices.
It can also help to plan ahead for situations that you know will make healthy eating challenging, such as an upcoming holiday.
-7 Day Plan
One habit that often leads to weight regain is eating healthy on weekdays and “cheating” on weekends.
This mentality often leads people to binge on junk food, which can offset weight maintenance efforts.
If it becomes a regular habit, you could gain back more weight than you lost in the first place.
Alternatively, research shows that those who follow a consistent eating pattern all throughout the week are more likely to sustain weight loss in the long term.
– Find a Support System
It can be difficult to maintain your weight goals alone.
One strategy to overcome this is to find a support system that will hold you accountable and possibly partner up with you in your healthy lifestyle.
A few studies have shown that having a buddy to pursue your goals with may be helpful for weight control, especially if that person is a partner or spouse with similar healthy habits
– Track Your Food Intake
Those who log their food intake in a journal, online food tracker or app may be more likely to maintain their weight loss.
Food trackers are helpful because they enhance your awareness of how much you are really eating, since they often provide specific information about how many calories and nutrients you consume.
Additionally, many food-tracking tools allow you to log exercise, so you can ensure you’re getting the amount you need to maintain your weight. We recommend myfitnesspal to our clients as it links into our online app.
Consistency is key to keeping weight off.
Instead of on-and-off dieting that ends with going back to old habits, it is best to stick with your new healthy diet and lifestyle for good.
While adopting a new “way of life” may seem overwhelming at first, making healthy choices will become second nature when you get used to them.
Your healthier lifestyle will be effortless, so you’ll be able to maintain your weight much more easily.
The Bottom Line
Diets can be restrictive and unrealistic, which often leads to weight regain.
However, there are plenty of simple changes you can make to your habits that are easy to stick with and will help you maintain your weight loss in the long term.
Through your journey, you will realise that controlling your weight involves much more than what you eat. Exercise, sleep and mental health also play a role.
If you need help with weight maintenance then get in touch with one of our expert personal trainers to arrange a free consultation. Online support and training also available.