It’s estimated that only 20 percent of overweight and obese Americans have successfully lost weight and kept it off. And while this statistic varies from country to country amongst similar populations, the outcome of sustained weight loss is less than impressive.
Studies on sustained weight loss reveal the major issue is that “losing weight is not a natural event.” Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity research at Columbia, explains “You are, in a sense, more metabolically normal when you are at a higher body weight.”
Hormones like ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and peptide YY make it difficult for people to sustain weight loss. And yet, many do. In this article, we’re outlining 10 tips you can use to maintain your weight loss long after it’s gone.
- Weigh Yourself Regularly
Regular weigh-ins every few days (or as frequently as you choose) are essential to ensure you aren’t slowly gaining weight you don’t realise. In fact, the scale is your best partner in remaining accountable to the goal you’ve reached.
However, because the scale isn’t always the most accurate (you could be gaining muscle and therefore gaining weight), it’s beneficial to take your measurements as well. If the scale suggests you’re gaining weight, take your measurements to see if it’s fat or muscle.
- Create Ongoing Goals for Yourself
If you aren’t working toward achieving a goal, it’s simple to slip up and make choices that pack on pounds.
Set ongoing goals for yourself not in pounds lost, but in positive habits that reinforce your weight loss. For example, “I won’t snack on treats at work” or “I will train for a half-marathon taking place on this day.” Doing so will keep you motivated in everyday situations and for long-term goals.
- Write Down Your Food Intake
After you reach your goal weight, it’s all too easy to get more flexible with your diet. Stop bad habits from returning by maintaining a food journal. Doing so gives you a simple way to analyse what you’re consuming (and how this may compromise your efforts to sustain weight loss).
- Identify Which Habits Have Caused Issues in the Past
Does grocery shopping at certain times of the day make you more likely to choose unhealthy treats? Or does trying to go to the gym at night versus in the morning give you the wiggle room to say you don’t want to go?
It’s important to critically consider which of your habits have derailed your weight maintenance in the past. By writing them down and keeping them someplace visible, you can ensure the same habits don’t ruin your current goals.
- Get More Sleep
Poor sleep is directly connected to hunger-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you might begin to gain weight.
In fact, a 2011 study from the American Heart Association revealed that after sleeping only four hours, women consumed 329 more calories than they did on a day where they slept nine hours.
- Be Mindful as You Eat
With busy schedules, it’s all too easy to lack a sense of mindfulness as you eat. However, it’s the simplest way to transform how you think and feel about food.
Rachel Stahl, a New York City-based registered dietitian, says “It’s important to pay careful attention to the two ‘Ws’, the what and the why. What you’re eating and why you’re eating.” Doing so prevents overeating while allowing you to enjoy your food more in the process.
- Find a Support Group
Your support group can be your spouse, best friend, family, or any other individual you find important. All that matters is you have social support to remain accountable to your efforts.
This keeps your eating, exercise, and other healthy habits in check and removes the pressure of managing your success alone.
- Stay Active
It’s easy to achieve your weight loss goals and take a step back from the level of care you put into your diet and exercise. However,staying active is one of the greatest predictors of sustained weight loss.
Stay active most days of the week to protect the weight loss you’ve achieved.
- Stay Committed to a Healthy Diet
Once the weight is off it’s all too simple to indulge in a treat more often than you should. However, eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need is essential to keeping the weight off.
If you’re having a difficult time fighting cravings, supplements like PhenQ can help by decreasing your appetite. The best part is that it also increases your energy levels and burns stored fat, helping you stay active and shed any remaining weight you’ve yet to lose.
- Stay Positive About Your Weight Loss, Goals, and Body
A positive attitude is vital when it comes to keeping weight off and diminishing the fear of gaining weight once again. Those who are successful in keeping weight off focus on the benefits of doing so rather than their dislike for physical activity or feelings of deprivation.
With a positive outlook, you can maintain the positive changes you’ve made. Doing so will only get easier over time.
With the Right Attitude and Positive Habits, Weight Management Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
Weight management is viewed by many as the real challenge after initial weight loss, but it doesn’t have to be.
Use the 10 tips above to take a proactive approach to your weight management. This is the simplest way to remain successful and maintain your healthy habits for life.