Simple Secrets for Keeping the Weight Off
You’ve done the hard work to lose weight but now you’re struggling to keep it off. You’re not alone; It’s a very common problem. In fact, only 20% of people who lose a significant amount of weight are able to keep it off for a year or more. Statistics show that people gain around 25% back within the first year and 75% after 5 years.
These trends are a reminder that the work isn’t over when you’ve reached your target weight. It may seem like the odds are stacked against you but don’t lose hope. We have a few ideas to help keep you where you want to be.
To look different, you have to be different - track your calories
Once you’ve achieved the weight loss you fought so hard for, it can feel like you can go back to life as usual. But remember, the habits that kept you at your higher weight won’t work for your new body—you have to maintain the habits of the new, slimmer you.
For example, while losing weight, you likely tracked your food to have a clear picture of your daily calorie intake. Tracking is also an excellent strategy for weight maintenance: You don’t need to achieve a deficit of calories, but you don’t want to go back to consuming too many, either.
Writing down your food each day will help you get in the habit of eating the right amount of calories to maintain your new weight. After a while, you’ll get the hang of it and won’t need to write everything down. Maintaining weight is a new skill, so think of calorie tracking like training wheels. You’ll use it for a while until you’ve mastered your balance, and then you won’t need it any more.
Healthy eating is here to stay - load up on the lean protein
The heavier you may have been able to eat fast food a couple of times a week, but the slimmer you will keep making the foundational food choices that helped you lose the weight: load up on veggies and fruits, eat lean meat and fish, limit processed foods and refined carbs, skip sugary drinks, and get plenty of fiber and water.
Lean protein is important in your new lifestyle because it will help you feel full longer. Researchers have found that having about 30% of your calories from protein is the right amount, in part because it increases your body’s sensitivity to leptin—the hormone that signals the brain that you’re full.
One low-calorie way to get sufficient protein is through a reputable protein supplement. A protein powder[e] can easily be mixed into a yogurt smoothie, added to whole-grain muffins or pancakes, or even mixed in a creamy soup.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint - habits are key
Consistency is more important than perfection. You’re a new person now and your lifestyle changes show it. Go ahead and eat Thanksgiving dinner or enjoy a fun meal out on your birthday and then go back to your calorie mindfulness the next meal. Weekend binges that offset your weekday diligence are a thing of the past. If you overeat at breakfast, you haven’t ruined the whole day. Eat regularly at lunch and dinner, then try again tomorrow.
Maintaining incremental, positive changes in your health habits over the long term will be much more effective than extreme dieting or excessive exercise.
Make it easier to be the new you - support resources
Here are some support resources as you keep the weight off:
Connect with a friend or a community who has similar goals. Check in with and encourage each other. Studies show that people who work with a partner are far more likely to succeed in their weight-loss and maintenance goals.
Sleep! Prioritizing adequate sleep each night will regulate your hunger hormones and increase the rate at which your body burns calories.
Weigh yourself every day to make sure you’re staying on track.
Make exercise enjoyable: Plan energetic activities with a friend or save your favorite show to watch during a session on a cardio machine. Exercise burns calories but also lowers your stress level, which is an important factor in staying trim.
Don’t give up. You can do this. Treat your body with love and care and keep working on your goals each day.
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
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