Its one thing to lose weight and quite another to keep the weight off for good.....
Have you asked yourself this question? Why can't I maintain my weight loss while others seem to maintain weight loss with ease?
Anyone who has been successful with weight loss maintenance will tell you it was not always easy. Matter of fact, there were probably many failures and adjustments along the way.
So, what are the hidden secrets of "weight loss maintainers?"
Its the things you practice on most days that helps you burn fat, lose weight, change your body and keep the weight off.
Consistency rules when it comes to transforming your body and maintaining your weight loss.
Practicing weight management can be a simple process---if you do it on most days. When you reach fat loss and weight loss goals, you have to manage your new body to remain successful. Keep working to maintain and improve your new body.
Christopher Sciamanna, M.D., discovered how to do weight managment the hard way: After losing 30 pounds, he described his new, lower weight as "shockingly challenging" to maintain.
He and his colleagues at Penn State University's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center decided to study weight loss maintenance.
Part of their study was to examine results found at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). For the past two decades, NWCR has focused on a single group of people. To qualify, they have to lose at least 30 pounds and keep the weight off for at least a year. The findings aren’t surprising.
The participants were successful primarily because of the following habits:
--Exercise at least an hour a day, almost every day
--Follow a low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie diet
--Eat, more or less, the same foods all the time
--Minimize TV watching
So, here are 7 things you can do on most days to practice weight management:
1. Healthy lifestyle habits produce a healthier body. This is a no-brainer. If you get adequate nightly sleep, limit excessive stress, don't smoke, limit excessive alcohol consumption, exercise regularly and eat healthy you will have a healthier body. Practice these type of healthy habits on most days.
2. Drink enough water every day. Your body is about two-thirds water. Drink water and unsweetened drinks (like green tea) most of the time. It will help you eat less and help your body function better.
Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water each day.
3. Here's some eating habits that will help you manage your weight:
--Plan and pack your meals with whole, natural foods that you enjoy.
--Don't skip breakfast. It gets your metabolism revved up and helps you eat less the rest of the day.
--Eat every 3-4 hours to maintain your energy and keep your metabolism active.
--Eat your food on a plate, not in a bag or jar. It helps you eat less.
--Eat with a purpose, don't just graze.
--Eat protein with every meal. It helps you stay full for longer and helps keep carbs from spiking your blood sugar.
--Eat at least 2 servings of a fruit or veggie at every meal.
--Don't assume that LOW-FAT means LOW-CAL, read the label.
--Eat heart-healthy fats. They are important for satiety and bodily functions.
--Don't eat fried foods.
--Limit alcohol consumption.
--If you eat at a restaurant, order healthy foods and skip the meal appetizers.
--Limit sugary and processed foods/drinks.
--Eat one serving at each meal.
--Eat healthy snacks, like raw nuts or low-fat yogurt, between main meals.
--If you stray from your meal plan, get back on it as soon as possible.
Good or bad nutritional habits don't just happen. Make an effort. You are what you eat.
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4. Keep doing full-body strength training 3 days a week. Among other things, it builds/maintains muscle mass, speeds up your metabolism (the body has to work harder to maintain muscle) and helps improve your bone density.
Short interval cardio sessions of about 20 minutes each will help you maintain your lean body. Aim for 2-3 sessions a week. Too many long, slow cardio sessions will waste away your valuable muscle mass.
5. Walk as much as possible every day to help you maintain an active lifestyle. All movement burn calories.
6. Keep your workout partner. It always helps to have someone hold you accountable and challenge you to do better.
Similarly, use group exercise classes and bootcamps for the challenge and to break the monotony of doing the same type workouts.
7. Keep setting and reaching goals to improve your body's composition, health and fitness. Always look to make progress, even if only by small steps. Otherwise, you will slowly digress.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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