We all know that quickly losing weight isn’t difficult, but maintaining the loss is a whole different story. After all, weight loss is not just about looking good; it’s also about being healthy. Carrying around extra weight increases your risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So how do you keep the pounds off for good?
In this guide, we’ll look at why it happens to begin with and then how to keep those pounds away once you’ve lost them.
Why Do We Put the Pounds Back On?
There are several reasons why people regain weight after losing it. One of the most common is simply that they return to their old eating habits. If you’ve been eating unhealthy foods and not exercising regularly, it’s going to be very difficult to maintain your new weight.
Another reason people regain weight is that they lose muscle mass along with fat when they diet. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down, making it harder to keep the weight off. This is why it’s so important to focus on healthy eating and exercise even after you’ve reached your goal weight.
Even if you opt for weight loss surgery, it will be incredibly important for you to develop new habits to achieve your goals. Do expect your surgeon and their team to really stress the importance of this before the procedure takes place.
Our Top Tips
Here are a few ideas to help you maintain a healthy weight:
- Watch Your Portions
One of the quickest ways to gain weight is by eating more than you need. To avoid this, be mindful of your portion sizes. When dining out, ask for a to-go box right away and put half of your meal in it before even starting to eat. At home, use smaller plates so that your portions appear larger. And avoid eating straight from the package—you’re more likely to overeat if you do.
- Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals may seem like an easy way to cut calories, but it can actually backfire. When you skip meals, you’re more likely to make up for the lost calories by overeating later in the day. And when you’re trying to lose weight, you want to ensure that the calories you are consuming are from nutrient-rich foods, not empty calories. So instead of skipping meals, focus on eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- Make Time for Exercise
Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off. And even if you’re not trying to lose weight, physical exertion is still essential for maintaining your health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
Ideas for fitting in exercise to your busy day include:
- Taking a brisk walk during your lunch break
- Doing an at-home workout video
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking to work or part of the way
- Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, all of which can lead to weight gain. To avoid these foods, focus on eating more whole foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, etc. Not only are these foods healthier for you, but they’re also more filling, so you’re less likely to overeat later in the day.
If time is of the essence, batch cook every few weeks. It takes very little extra preparation time to cook twice as much, and you’ll have a freezer full of tasty home-cooked meals ready to defrost and heat.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential for keeping your body hydrated and functioning properly. It can also help you lose weight. Drinking water before meals can help you eat less, and drinking it throughout the day will keep you from snacking on unhealthy foods. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
We recommend measuring out your water each day so that you can keep tabs on how much you’ve had and what’s left to go!
- Avoid Drinking Your Calories
In addition to water, there are other beverages that can help you maintain a healthy weight. But avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice, as well as alcoholic beverages, which are high in calories. Instead, choose calorie-free drinks like coffee, tea, or sparkling water.
- Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for your overall health, but it can also impact your weight. When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to make poor food choices, and you’re also more likely to be too tired to exercise. So aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
- Avoid Stress
Stress can lead to a number of unhealthy habits, such as overeating, smoking, and drinking alcohol. And all of these habits can lead to weight gain. To avoid stress, find healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life. Exercise, meditation, and spending time with friends and family are all great ways to reduce stress.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall health. By following these tips, you can help ensure that you’ll be at a healthy weight for years to come.