Maintaining your weight loss efforts
You lost 10 pounds six months ago only to gain it back a few months later. Some people seem to lose the same 10 or 15 pounds over and over again. If you gained weight back, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that about two-thirds of dieters gain the weight they lost and then some within five years.
So what gives? Why is keeping the weight off sometimes harder than losing it in the first place? Although it can be frustrating to work hard to lose weight only to have it creep back on, you are not destined always to gain the weight back.
You may have chosen the wrong weight loss plan. If you were on a very restricted diet, you might not have taken in enough calories. Sure you lost weight, but your body assumed you were in a famine and needed to survive. The result was a slowed metabolism. When you start eating more calories, you may gradually put the weight back on.
If you’re trying to lose weight, only restrict calories to allow for a one to two-pound weight loss a week. Any more than that may prevent weight loss.
It’s also important to ask yourself if you’re doing the same things you did when you were trying to lose weight. For example, are you still physically active most days of the week?
When you were on a weight loss mission, you may have exercised regularly and tried to incorporate more physical activity into your day. But if you stopped working out once you met your goals, you’re burning fewer calories. In some cases, fewer calories burned may mean the numbers on the scale start to go up.
Make exercise a part of your life for the rest of your life. You don’t have to be a slave to the gym, but getting regular exercise can help you maintain your weight loss, combat stress and improve your overall well-being.
It’s also essential to pay attention to portion size. When you were trying to lose weight, you may have measured and weighed your food. Eventually, you probably were able to eyeball what a correct portion size was for your body and goals. But once you lost the weight, you might have been tempted to add a few more spoonful’s here and there, which can add up.
Stick to eating healthy portions sizes most of the time. If you have a little extra at one meal, cut back the next to prevent eating too many calories.
There is a saying that old habits die hard, and it can be true. If before your weight loss you had bad habits, such as skipping breakfast or guzzling soda, you may be doing the same things again.
It’s pretty common for people to return to old patterns after they meet their weight loss goals. If you felt deprived while trying to lose weight, you may be inclined to treat yourself once you have lost the weight. After all, you worked hard and now you may feel you deserve a reward. That’s why a lot of diets fail because they are too restrictive or difficult to maintain for the long-term.
Instead of thinking diet, consider making lifestyle changes you can live with in the future. For example, don’t just eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies while you’re trying to lose weight, make them a regular part of your diet.
Author: MaryAnn DePietro
Author Bio: A health and fitness writer with 13 years’ experience, MaryAnn has been extensively published in magazines, newspapers and websites. Her work has appeared on websites, such as Healthline, Symptom Find, Livestrong and Modern Moms. MaryAnn earned degrees in both respiratory therapy at American River College in Sacramento and rehabilitation education at Penn State University. MaryAnn lives in northern California where she trains for 10K marathons, plays golf and hangs out with her husband and son.