As we always say, losing weight is only half the battle, the other is keeping it off. But how can you maintain weight loss in a healthy way? Here we bring you 10 tips that will help you avoid the dreaded rebound effect and show the results of your effort.
How to maintain weight loss
Maintaining weight loss is a great challenge for most of us. There are many guides and books on how to lose weight, but there is not much talk about what to do once you reach your ideal weight. That is why many of us end up recovering part (or all) of the weight we had lost. To prevent this from happening to us, we are going to review 10 tips that will help us maintain weight loss:
- ✔️ Do not crash diets
- ✔️ Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality
- ✔️ Plan meals (and cook more!)
- ✔️ Eat more fiber
- ✔️ Fill up on protein
- ✔️ Do not eliminate food completely
- ✔️ Eat the correct portion sizes
- ✔️ Keep temptations out of reach
- ✔️ Exercise regularly
- ✔️ Drink more water
Don’t crash diet if you want to maintain weight loss
It’s always tempting to want to drop the pounds as quickly as possible, but in general, all low-calorie diets that promise drastic weight loss in a short time should be avoided like the plague. It’s not so much that the promise of losing pounds isn’t feasible, but because these diets are neither healthy nor is the weight loss sustainable in the long term.
When you lose weight quickly, in most cases you are losing only water weight, not fat. Water weight makes up 50-60% of an adult’s total body weight, and water levels can cause a person’s weight to fluctuate 1-2kg in a single day. In addition, crash diets also end up taking their toll on our health:
- ✔️ Lack of energy
- ✔️ Hair thinning
- ✔️ Constipation
- ✔️ Weakened immune system
- ✔️ Malnutrition
These restrictive diets are often around 800 calories or less , causing slow metabolism and many people falling into the yo-yo dieting trap. Once you eat “normally” again, the weight accumulates again. Losing between 0.5kg to 1kg a week is considered a healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality
Taking an “all or nothing” approach to eating can be very damaging and lead to habits that are hard to break. If you start to see food as “good” or “bad” it can not only lead to frustration and stress, but it can also lead to binge eating, make you feel more depressed, and can generally end up wreaking havoc on your health.
Taking the “everything in moderation” approach is a much healthier and happier way to live. Remember that you don’t have to be “on a diet” all the time to maintain weight loss.
Plan meals (and cook more!)
Every day can be stressful and with the hectic lifestyle we often lead, it’s very easy to fall into the urge to order food instead of stopping to cook. That’s why preparing meals ahead of time can be a good way to make sure your diet stays healthy. Especially if you’re out and about at mealtimes, it’s tempting to look for the quick and convenient options, which are generally higher in calories and fat. Try to cook your dishes for the week in advance and bring them already prepared. This will save you time cooking and give you more control over what you eat.
The key to maintaining weight loss is building healthy habits, and this can be a great way to do it. Make it as easy as possible to eat a nutritious and balanced diet.
Eat more fiber
Maintaining weight loss is all about eating right and making sure you’re fueling your body with the right nutrients. Soluble fiber slows down how quickly the stomach releases digested food into the intestine, helping you stay full longer and reducing your appetite.
Soluble fiber can be found in foods like :
- ✔️ Black beans (beans)
- ✔️ Brussels sprouts
- ✔️ Potatoes
- ✔️ Broccoli
- ✔️ Apples
- ✔️ Avocados
Add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet, as this is a key part of long-term healthy eating, beyond maintaining weight loss.
Fill up on protein
Eating a high-protein diet is not only beneficial for weight loss, but it is also an essential macronutrient for building muscle mass and can help keep you satiated. Opt for lean proteins as much as possible and make them a staple of your daily diet:
- ✔️ Tofu
- ✔️ Lentils
- ✔️ Beans
- ✔️ Hemp seeds
- ✔️ Green peas
- ✔️ Spirulina
Do not completely eliminate food
Completely eliminating or “banning” certain food groups is not recommended. It’s likely just making you want more solely because you can’t eat them. In addition, all food groups contain essential nutrients that are necessary for a balanced diet.
Don’t eat less, eat better. Always think long term, could you stick to a diet that eliminates key food groups? For most of us, the answer is no. Everything in moderation is welcome to maintain weight loss.
Eat the right portion sizes to maintain weight loss
While you don’t have to “diet” forever, it’s still important to have control over the portions you eat. This will help you avoid eating more food than your body needs, and ensure your weight stays down.
Remember that you don’t need to count calories or measure everything forever, but you do need to be aware of what a “serving” is. For example, two handfuls of dry pasta or rice count as one serving, while a grilled chicken breast should be about the size of your hand. Read food labels carefully: many times a single product includes 2 servings!
Keep Temptations out of reach
Out of sight = out of mind, right? Stock your cupboards and fridge with healthy options, instead of foods that are high in sugar or fat. Of course, everything is in moderation, but make it easier for yourself to eat healthy. If you don’t want to be tempted, don’t buy it.
Drink More Water
Water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and has numerous benefits :
- ✔️ Helps you feel satiated
- ✔️ Helps keep skin healthy
- ✔️ Regulates body temperature
- ✔️ Maintains blood pressure
Avoid drinking sugary liquids or fizzy drinks and drink more water. Also, reduce alcohol intake.
Whether you like to swim, run or work out at home, getting regular exercise is extremely important for physical and mental health. Moving will help you maintain your weight loss by increasing the number of calories you burn each day.
Exercise isn’t just about losing weight—adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week to keep their bodies functioning properly.
And remember that it is not a matter of gym or sport. Always try to increase the amount of general activity you do on a daily basis: whether it’s walking to places, taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or spending more time standing than sitting.
Maintain weight loss through healthy habits
As you can see, there are no tricks to maintain weight loss. It’s about building healthy habits that make it easier and faster for you to maintain a healthy weight. It’s a lifestyle change, not a series of quick fixes. Eat healthy, fuel your body with the right foods, and make sure you stay active.
It may take months to develop healthy habits, but you’ll reap more benefits in the end!