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So you have been on the gain train or you are just really comfortable with where you are at in terms of your current weight...Great! Unfortunately, many people who lose weight or gain lean muscle end up gaining unwanted weight back or losing their hard-fought gains!!!
Don't let any type of fluctuation in terms of good weight gain or good weight loss discourage you! There are a number of ways that are scientifically proven to help you keep the weight off, ranging from exercising to controlling stress.
Below we are going to outline 16 proven strategies you need to tip the statistics in your favor and maintain your hard-won weight loss.
But First...Let's Look At Why People Regain Weight
There are a few common and glaringly obvious reasons why people gain back the weight they have worked so hard to lose. They are mostly related to unrealistic expectations and feelings of deprivation!
- Restrictive Diets: Extreme calorie restriction may (almost all the time) slow your metabolism and shift your appetite-regulating hormones, which are both factors that contribute to weight regain.
- Incorrect Mindset: When you think of a diet as a quick fix, rather than a long-term solution to achieve a healthier lifestyle, 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 honestly focus on ridiculous rules rather than lifestyle changes, which may discourage you and prevent weight maintenance in the long run.
The god's honest truth is many diets are too restrictive with requirements that are difficult to keep up with. In addition, many people don't have the right mindset before starting a diet, which often leads to weight regain.
Let's Get Into The Meat And Potatoes...
- Exercise Often: Regular exercise plays an important role in weight maintenance. It may help burn off some extra calories and increase 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 and as a result, your weight is more likely to stay consistent. It is important to note that exercise is the most helpful for weight maintenance when it's combined with other lifestyle changes, including sticking to a healthy diet.
- Try Eating Breakfast Every Day: Eating breakfast will assist you with your weight maintenance goals. Those who eat breakfast tend to have healthier habits overall, such as exercising more and consuming more fiber and micronutrients. Eating breakfast is however one of those areas that has mixed reviews because intermittent fasting is shown to be extremely effective when it comes to losing and maintaining weight. At the end of the day, it is not a one size fits all model.
- Eat Lots Of 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'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. Lastly, protein requires a significant amount of energy for your body to break down so eating it regularly may increase the number of calories you burn during the day.
- Be Mindful Of Your Carb Intake: No one is saying you can't eat carbs, in fact, carbs are a great source of energy. It is the type or amount of carbs you are eating in which you need to pay attention too. Carbs propose a threat because you can in reality pack on a ton of empty calories.
- 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. Resistance training, such as lifting weights will help prevent this loss of muscle and, in turn, preserve or even improve your metabolic rate.
- Be Prepared For Setbacks: You are bound to encounter setbacks on your journey of maintaining your ideal weight. The occasional slip up doesn't mean you should throw your goals out the window and call it a day. Simply move on and follow through with better choices.
- Stick To Your Plan All Week Long (Even On Weekends): One habit that often leads to weight regain is eating healthy on weekdays and cheating on weekends. While this isn't true for everyone, it is something we see a lot! This mentality often leads people to binge on junk food, which can offset weight maintenance efforts.
- Stay Hydrated: Good ole' H20 is your best friend when it comes to weight maintenance among other things. It promotes fullness and may help you keep your calorie intake in check and it slightly increases the number of calories you burn throughout the day.
- Catch Enough ZZZZ's: Getting enough sleep significantly affects weight control. Sleep deprivation appears to be a major risk factor for weight gain in adults and may interfere with weight maintenance. If you're not sleeping enough, find a way to adjust your sleep habits. Sleeping for at least seven hours a night is optimal for weight control and overall health.
- Control Stress Levels: Managing stress is soooooo important when trying to control your weight. At the time of writing this, we are in the middle of a pandemic and I know it must be hard. That being said a positive outlook can help you tremendously. High-stress levels contribute to weight regain by increasing levels of cortisol, which is a hormone released in response to stress. Higher cortisol levels are linked to belly fat as well as increase appetite and food intake.
- Find A Support System: It is a tough going when you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle by yourself. A great strategy is to find a support system that will hold you accountable and possibly partner up with you in your healthy lifestyle choice.
- Track Your Food Intake: I don't mean obsess over everything you eat and every little calorie you take in. That being said, those who log their food intake in a journal, food track, or app are more likely to maintain their weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain goals.
- Eat Plenty Of Vegetables: High vegetable intake is linked to better weight control...and you can take that to the bank!
- Be Consistent: Consistency is absolutely key to keep weight off or doing anything for that matter! 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. Trust us on this one, yo-yo dieting is nothing you want to joke around with!
- Practice Mindful Eating: Mindful eating is the practice of listening to internal appetite cues and paying full attention during the eating process. In other words, listen to your body, don't get distracted, and hold yourself accountable even when that last donut in the box is looking you right in the eyes. RESIST!
- Make Sustainable Changes To Your Lifestyle: The #1 reason why many people fail at maintaining their weight is because they aren't realistic with the changes they make and they aren't feasible in the the long run.
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