About 90% of people who lose excess pounds, tend to regain almost all of them back. But, there are still individuals who manage to slim down and keep the weight off. The million-dollar question is, how can you do that yourself?
According to experts, people can lose weight through a range of different modalities. But, keeping that weight off in the long-run, can prove quite taxing. Based on a meta-analysis in a 47-year-old patient, who lost 85 pounds, over half of the lost weight was regained in just 2 years. In 5 years, over 80% of the lost weight came back.
It’s true that staying healthy is no easy feat. However, when you take a look at the habits of people who managed to achieve substantial results, then you too can reap the benefits. Here are the best ways to make sure you keep the extra pounds off after losing them.
1. Completely Revamp Your Eating Patterns
Food plays a predominant role in the weight reduction process. We decided to dig a little deeper and see which eating tactics work best. The National Weight Control Registry has been evaluating 3,000 weight loss volunteers dubbed “successful losers”.
They’ve managed to shed 66 pounds on average and keep them off for over 5 and a half years. So, what’s their secret? Fewer than 1% of successful losers consumed low-carb meal plans to manage their weight.
Their primary focus was a high-carb and low-fat tactic to keep the extra pounds off. They also paired that with high fiber carbs like vegetables, fruit, beans, and grains. Overall, these volunteers consumed:
- 25% of their calories from fat
- 56% from carbs
- 19% from protein
All those evaluated opted for healthier fat sources, like canola oil, olive oil, and fish packed with omega-3 fats. One of the key features of well-maintained weight loss is never skipping breakfast. Results indicate that skipping breakfast increases the risk of overeating. In other words, people are more susceptible to eating bigger portions later during the day.
2. Find a Physical Activity That Suits You Best
If you really want to make a change, then address your physical inactivity. The problem is, 60% to 80% of people around the globe lead sedentary lifestyles. You can’t expect to stay slim or healthy without putting in the effort.
When managing weight, regular exercise amplifies the number of calories the body burns. When you pair that with decreasing the number of calories you eat, the body achieves a calorie deficit. This is how it sheds the extra pounds.
Once you’ve achieved the desired result, work your way up to 150min of moderate aerobic exercise, explains the CDC. If you want to ramp it up a bit, feel free to dedicate 75 min to intense activities or a mix of both every week. There is enough data that shows regular exercising is vital for managing weight.
You get to lose pounds and keep them off. Moderate exercises are relatively easy to keep up with. They include a regular walk, biking sessions, light yard work, etc. Whereas intense workouts warrant a lot more effort and dedication. They include running, jogging, skating, doing competitive sports, etc.
To achieve the desired result, find an activity that you love and you can do it all the time. It doesn’t have to be super intense. But, just practical enough so that you can use it as a long-term habit.
3. Don’t Sacrifice Sleep
Sleep is the most undervalued and overlooked weight loss tool. But, 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough shut-eye. Experts claim the connection between lack of sleep and weight gain has a lot to do with appetite. When the system doesn’t get enough rest, it interferes with leptin and ghrelin production.
The dysregulation of these neurotransmitters is diminishing fullness and increasing appetite. Making it difficult for people to control their eating habits. Plus, those who are sleep-deprived tend to eat foods packed with calories.
The reason for that is relatively simple. Because the body lacks energy, it needs carbs to act as a source of fuel. Research shows that sleep deprivation, whether due to sleep apnea, insomnia, or self-induction, can cause metabolic dysregulation.
Also, the longer you stay awake, the bigger your chances are to grab a bite. To give the body the control it needs, it is crucial that you establish a proper sleeping routine. Readjust your busy schedule and try to get enough sleep.
4. Monitor Your Progress Once a Week
A lot of people want to track their weight reduction process. And for a notable reason. But, they are tempted to hop on a scale every single day. This is not a good idea. The body goes through a series of changes on a daily basis.
It experiences regular weight fluctuations. They could be the result of water or food intake, water retention, menstruation, alcohol intake, illnesses, etc. To get a better perspective of where you are at, weigh yourself once a week at the exact same time.
Most prefer to do it in the morning before breakfast. According to experts, this is a worthwhile tactic for gaining accurate results. Since the body had enough time to process the food during the night, you can see the weight management results you’ve obtained.
Don’t forget to track your progress. The number on the scale can go up and down. It’s in your best interest to keep a tab on things. Just so that you know you are on the right track.
5. Make Reading Food Labels a Top Priority
Reading the food labels at the store is another practical strategy. Knowing what you are buying can tell you exactly how many calories you’ve consumed. The thing is, people tend to underestimate their favorite treats and snacks. They may come in small packaging but can pack a hefty punch.
With efficient food selections, you can consume correct portions and calorie counts every day. Take a look at the label. The first thing you see is the serving size of that package. This number is not the amount you should eat, but the amount a typical eater would take in a single sitting.
Use the serving size to assess how many calories that food has in a typical serving. Then, count the calories. Regardless of the eating plan you have, calories will matter. To manage the weight effectively, you will need to get calories from foods that are highly nutritious.
For adult women, the suggested calorie intake is 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day. For men, it ranges from 2,000 to 3,200 a day. When looking at the nutrition facts panel, feel free to compare brands to find the option you like.
6. Be Mindful of the Products You Consume
One of the most common contributors to weight regain are external, emotional, and binge eating habits. When a person has cravings, they tend to give in relatively easily.
Chronic stress often has a major role to play. According to research, developing mindful eating habits can help turn the tide. When combined with effective stress reduction techniques, people can achieve substantial results.
By altering the way you think about food, you can establish better self-control, emotions, awareness, and stability. The moment you start addressing your unhealthy eating behaviors, you can form long-term weight management strategies.
The reason why many experts suggest mindful eating is that it alters eating behaviors. It also eases stress linked with eating.
One 6-week intervention of obese women studied the impact of mindful meditation for binge eating disorders. Based on the results, women who did meditation training managed to achieve a great sense of control. The severity of their episodes subsided, allowing them to curb their eating disorder.
Practicing mindful eating begins with simple tactics. You can start eating slowly. Take your time to enjoy your food without distractions. That means set the phone aside, turn off the TV, and bring all your senses to the table.
Evaluate the texture, aroma, and color of every item on the plate. Being attentive can bring out all those seasonings. Eat and chew the meal thoroughly. By taking smaller bites, the mouth will have an easier time chewing the food.
The moment you feel full, stop eating. The idea is to eat in silence and focus on how the meals make you feel. Instead of rushing through breakfast, lunch, or dinner, like you normally would. It may take time to develop these habits. But, once you do, they will come to you more naturally.
7. Fill Up Those Water Bottles
Water can benefit the body in more ways than one. But, it can also keep the extra pounds off. The reason scientists recommend drinking a lot of water is that it can:
- Suppress appetite
- Speed up the metabolism
- Make physical activity more efficient and easier to perform
They are all detrimental factors in staying fit. To start using water as a weight control strategy, you can use it as an appetite suppressant. Whenever you have unexpected cravings, your first impulse will drive you to find the nearest comfort food.
But, water will work just as well for keeping these needs at bay. Also, thirst is often caused by mild dehydration. People tend to mistake it for hunger. Since it stretches the stomach, water is here to stimulate satiation. It signals fullness just like a snack would. Except this one doesn’t cause weight gain.
A 2016 study supports these results. Volunteers who drank 2 glasses of water right before a meal ate around 22% less compared to those who didn’t drink any. Around 2 cups should suffice when trying to get the brain to register fullness.
Then, there is the quickened metabolism. An 8-week trial showed 50 female volunteers who lost weight by managing their water intake. The people evaluated had excess weight and consumed roughly 2 cups of water 30 min before breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They didn’t incorporate extra dietary changes. But still managed to lose the extra pounds. They also noticed a beneficial impact on body composition and body mass index scores.
Of course, water is not a miracle remedy. It is here to keep the body in great shape and allow the organs to function properly. Although it provides a small boost in weight loss, these effects can create hefty results.
8. Start Planning Ahead
Sometimes keeping up with a busy schedule and remaining proactive can be a real challenge. To help yourself establish control, it’s a good idea to invest time and effort into a proper organization. Meal planning can really come in handy.
When done properly, you won’t have to worry about finding the time to cook, sleep, or exercise. Planning ahead gives a sense of security, achievement, and convenience. It is here to save you a lot of effort and help you achieve the desired result. This will become another key aspect of your weight management process.
The first step is to select a planning method that fits your routine. For example, cook meals in batches over the weekend. Or if you like fresh meals, then prep the ingredients ahead of time. Shopping in batches can help you stock up on options and nutrient-rich meals.
To add another layer of comfort and practicality, people like to use apps. They can use them to pick recipes, customize their grocery list, or decrease food waste. Another important tactic when planning is to leave space for snacks.
If you completely eliminate snacks from your daily schedule, you may have a hard time finding motivation. Healthy snacking, like roasted chickpeas, hummus, and nuts are solid choices in managing weight gain.
Adding a variety of foods to your meal plans is also instrumental. Whenever you cook in batches or prep meals, make sure you don’t cook the same thing over and over again. Choose recipes you are comfortable with and are filled with nutrients and vitamins.
When you organize the workflow, you can get rid of the pressure and feel inclined to keep up with your weight goals. Lastly, store the cooked meals safely to preserve their flavor and reduce the risk of bacteria growth.
Cook every ingredient thoroughly, particularly meats. To kill the bacteria, most meats must reach an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F). Wait for the cooked meals to properly cool before you put them in sealed containers.
After you refrigerate the meal, eat it in the next 3 to 4 days. Frozen food can be eaten in the next 3 to 6 months. When the food becomes too old or spoiled, throw it away. You don’t want to expose your body to potential food poisoning.
People believe that after burning the fat, they can munch on as many snacks and chocolate treats as they want. After all, they did manage to get fit. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Losing weight can be a challenge. However, keeping the extra pounds off is another matter.
It all boils down to how well you are taking care of your body. The food you eat, the physical activity you practice, and other habitual routines that promote healthy weight management. Now that you know the right methods to stay fit, you can avoid gaining that lost weight back.
Did you find this guide helpful? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would love to know what you think!