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How can you maintain that weight you lost after dieting? Usually, weight loss is at the forefront of most people’s minds at the beginning of each year. If this was your resolution last year, the odds are you probably went through more than just a few challenges. The reason is that sticking to strict diets controlling calories in modern environments is not an easy task.
Many classify obesity as a lifelong “eating disorder” very similar to an addiction. Alcohol addiction is best controlled when all exposure to alcohol is avoided. One might argue that obesity should theoretically be managed by avoiding all exposure to food, except that this will be incompatible with life!
Therefore we have the difficulty that the obese person is always exposed to the stimulus that caused the problem in the first place. This means that successful weight maintenance can only be achieved if it is accepted that a lifelong problem exists and that there must be a commitment to overcome the primary cause of the problem.
Weight maintenance therefore does not begin when the desired weight is reached but must be part of the initial considerations when the person first seeks help.
In fact, some therapists only provide weight loss assistance when it becomes part of a lifestyle change agreement. Whether such a strict approach is justified is still a matter of debate, but the principle behind it seems appropriate.
The difficulty lies in ensuring that the patient follows the instructions in a free environment. All of the principles for improving control of human behavior are used to help people follow a healthy lifestyle pattern and to maintain good conditions for the rest of their lives.
If this is combined with a good understanding of nutrition and a commitment to a higher level of physical activity, it is possible to achieve long-term healthy weight maintenance.
There are readily available, attractive-looking high energy food everywhere you look today, it seems. The rapid response of the body to dieting makes it particularly hard to decreasing food intake.
In many countries, the main course meal at a full-service restaurant most likely contains more than half the required calories for one day.
This experience is familiar to many people who have gone through immediate hunger increases after starting a diet. They may also have experienced first hand how easy it is to start overeating during occasions and holiday periods.
The Body Does Not Detect Overeating
It benefits you to know that the human body does not detect overeating. In human bodies, overeating is not as clearly identified as undereating. Even with the increase in energy intake, it provides excesses of over a thousand calories daily.
The human body does not make adjustments to account for the extra calories you ate. From a perspective of evolution, this makes complete sense.
The reason is that in circumstances in which food access is limited, there would be more chances of survival when the ancestors increased their calorie intake. The idea is that overeating kept their bodies with reserve calories until there was once again, available food.
Being aware of the intake of calories is something notable since short periods of overeating accidentally can impair weight loss and be sufficient enough to cause a person to gain weight.
Indeed, body weight increases during a period of festivity are sometimes maintained throughout the remainder of the year. It can also be the reason why most people increase their body weight in increments throughout the year.
In the same way, when you overeat during a weekend, this could very easily cancel out a strict diet you are maintaining.
The Necessity Of Flexibility
No matter what approach you decide on, a certain degree of being flexible help. The reason is that some diets do require compromising. For example, if you are attending a meeting or a special occasion at a restaurant, there may be additional eating you won’t be able to resist.
Knowing that your body does not provide a response to overeating as much as it responds to undereating means that you can do a behavior adjustment to avoid compensating overeating.
For instance, being more aware of the choices of food on your plate after the occasion or days before, or increasing the levels of your exercise to counter all the extra calories you ate but which your body does not detect.
Ultimately, what this reveals is that when it comes to the body, it is not in your best interest to rely on the signals it gives you if you are serious about weight maintenance.
Preferably, monitor your lifestyle and diet consciously. When you do, this is usually sufficient to counteract that natural bias your body has to gain weight for survival purposes.
Conscious monitoring helps you achieve every goal of weight loss you have in any of the coming years.
Despite the bias of the human body for gaining weight, the right lifestyle and diet produce and maintains the loss in weight if this is the aim desired. Often, exercise is overlooked as people look for the best weight loss diet. However, it is still important to get active particularly for weight loss maintenance over prolonged periods.
Exercise can complement changes in your diet and help in minimizing hunger increases that you get from a diet. The reason is that exercise doesn’t cause hunger to increase the same way dieting does, even if exercise creates a deficit in energy for losing weight.
Hunger is lessened with intense exercise. This helps stave off pangs of hunger as an energy deficit is increased.
Weight loss can be maintained easily with exercise. People who remain physically active will be able to maintain the weight goal they have reached better than if you stick to dieting alone.
Of course, exercising is not a weight-loss shortcut. When you increase the level of your activity, the level of your hunger increases. In a single sitting, it is easy to eat calories by the hundreds than it is to burn off calories in a single session of the gym.
Any kind of regular movement is a primary component of healthful lifestyles. This is important especially if you are trying to keep off the weight for the long haul and to slim down.
Folks that normally commute to work might want to try taking public transportation, biking or walking. Hit the stairs instead of the elevator. Make a regular session in the gym part of your daily habit. Remember that this could cause an increase in appetite.
Keep A Self-Monitoring Journal
Writing down how much you exercise and eat helps you track your changes and become more aware of your behavior as you reach certain goals. Keep tabs on exercise and eating.
You can go high techs, such as keeping an online journal or low tech, using an actual pen and paper. The idea is self-awareness, seeing which areas need improvement and if your day matches the idea you have in your mind of what your days consist of.
To lose weight and keep it off, keeping a journal has surprising benefits. Writing down each and every sip of soda, snack or gram of carbs you eat makes you accountable for every meal.
Reveal unhealthy habits that are getting in the way of your losing weight. Do you religiously get a midnight snack that involves Oreos and milk.? DO you reach for the extra side of ranch each time you order a salad at the office?
When you actually see what you are eating in a food diary, this will help you say no to extra calories in the long run. You can also monitor whether or not you have specific reactions to any food.
Some times, reactions can occur hours after you eat. Do you feel nauseous and bloated after eating dairy, eggs or gluten? You might not be able to tolerate these food groups.
Jotting down your moods each day, the time of day, location and stress level in your food journal will help you identify your triggers. Check to see how people, work and stress affect your choices of food.
For instance, every time you get a coffee at the office, do you reach for a snack as well? Do you crave sugary food each time your in-laws come to visit?
You may not realize it but certain events may trigger specific unhealthy food behavior that prevents you from keeping off the weight. Only a food journal is going to tell you what your food triggers are, exactly.
Play Frisbee, swim laps or go biking, Find a type of exercise you love. This makes it easier to stick to a routine of exercise later on. Trying out new stuff keeps you challenged and energized, with less of a likelihood of getting bored.
A Support Network Helps
If you are an extrovert or like the thought of having a fitness coach or buddy, finding someone such as a colleague, relative, friend or spouse to help hold you accountable and motivate you can serve the purpose of coaching you into maintaining your fitness. An online support group is another alternative if this is something you prefer.
Weight loss that lasts demands that you transform your exercise habits and your relating. The thing is, many daily choices you make, such as how much time you spend on Facebook or sleeping also makes a difference. To transform your exercise and eating habits, set realistic, specific and small goals in the beginning.
Do you want to be the same size you were when you first got married or when you were in high school? If that means losing over thirty pounds, don’t think about the number for now. Set smaller, more realistic goals of getting rid of just five percent or ten percent of your excess weight. This gives you a lot of flexibility and time to reach this goal.
Less Screen Time
People frequently complain there just isn’t enough time in the day to shop for healthy food or to exercise. The fact is that a lot of people watch hour after hour of a series on television or spend it on social networks.
Limiting your screen time and trading that for paying more attention to the actual world, mindful eating, regular exercise in the actual outdoors helps.
Scale back the number of hours you spend virtually, and your actual physical body will benefit from it tremendously. Mindfully exercising and scheduling meals or grazing throughout the day are ways you can become more aware of the physical world and that you live in it.
Sip tea, coffee, and water mindfully. Put down your eating utensils once in a while. Sleep better and find out how many hours of sleep works best for you. Arrange your schedule around this. The result will be a lifestyle with a high level of health and mindfulness.
It’s Just Not All About Food Anymore
To maintain your weight, you need to do it for yourself. In other words, the desire to stay at the weight goal you have achieved needs to be consistent and in line with your own values internally.
Something more profound than just because you want your boyfriend to be proud of you. Take some time and really reflect on what is important to you and how maintaining your weight ties into the big picture.
If you find that you are handling emotions with food, it is a good idea to learn how to manage your emotions using something other than food. If you can’t think of how else you can keep your emotions stable, you can do experiments to find out what works. You can connect with friends, chill out, do yoga, go for a walk, get into gardening, calligraphy, hiking, etc.
Stick With The Plan
Situations in life that are stressful happen, and so do holidays and vacations. All their life, no human eats according to plan each and every time. This is okay.
The trick is to try and get back to the plan immediately. Learn from what happened that caused you to get off the wagon, then get right back on it.
Changing the environment of your home also helps. When you keep veggies and fresh fruits within your reach, you will keep your hunger in check healthfully. If you still buy junk food, make sure you buy these in smaller portions until they disappear altogether.
Keep exercise equipment in plain view. Post reminders and quotes about health keep a gym bag with clothes near the door. Remember to minimize stress. When you are stressed, this could trigger overeating or snack on junk.
Because of stress, you could end up backsliding into your previous behaviors. Find ways of dealing with stressful situations that don’t involve ditching your newly developed healthy habits.
There really is no one-size-fits all strategy when it comes to maintaining weight. Paying attention to what doesn’t and what does work for you and creating your own tailor-made plan to fit your lifestyle will work in helping you to keep the weight you’ve lost for the long term.