It’s undoubtedly exciting to reach your weight-loss goals and embark on the next leg of your journey: weight maintenance. As you likely know, your weight management journey doesn’t end when you’ve finished losing weight; it’s an ongoing process.
The Trials and Challenges of Weight Maintenance
Many of us, however, seem to think that weight maintenance is the easiest part of the journey. We’ve already done all the hard work, right? Isn’t it time to sit back, coast along and even celebrate your successes?
The truth is that for most of us, weight maintenance takes every ounce of effort we poured into losing weight in the first place. It requires a physical, psychological and emotional game plan.
In fact, the majority of people who lose a significant amount of weight will gain at least some of it back. But why is this? It’s about biology. Here’s an inside look at the science behind elusive weight maintenance and what happens to your body:
- Energy stores (fat deposits) decrease
- Hormones signal to your brain that fat stores have fallen below a critical level
- Areas of the brain involved in food reward become more active
- Areas of the brain involved in the ability to resist food become less active
- You burn fewer calories
So, How Do I Maintain My Weight-loss
This is certainly the question of the hour! However, there are a number of scientifically proven ways you can keep weight off. Consider these tips and tricks below:
- Weigh Yourself Regularly – This will keep you aware of your progress and encourage weight control behaviors.
- Get Enough Sleep – Aim for at least seven to eight hours per night. Discover more on the sleep/weight connection by CLICKING HERE.
- Manage Stress – Stress management reduces the level of cortisol in your body, which contributes to the building of fat stores and an increased appetite.
- Exercise Regularly – Aim for at least 150 minutes of activity per week, including aerobic, anaerobic and resistance training.
- Log Your Food Intake – Keep an accurate journal about what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat.
- Make it a Lifestyle – Once you lose the weight, don’t quit your weight control behaviors. Make them a lifestyle that you can follow for the long-term.
- Be Prepared for Setbacks – They happen. Don’t let a slip-up derail you completely. Jump back on the bandwagon and try again.
Remember – weight management is a lifelong process that requires you to make permanent, healthy changes to your lifestyle. It’s not as easy as one, two, three. Be prepared for setbacks, but know that your hard work will not be in vain. Find a support system and keep up the effort; you’ve come a long way!