Losing weight is always tricky, and one of the hardest parts about this for individuals is actually keeping the pounds off once they lose them. The sad reality is many individuals can do a great job of dieting and exercising, but once they reach their goal weight, they get off track and start gaining weight again. This tends to happen because countless individuals get tired of following a restrictive diet and fall back into old, unhealthy patterns. A constant cycle of losing and gaining weight puts a lot of strain on the body, so it is important to avoid this whenever possible. If individuals want to actually maintain their weight loss, here a few strategies proven to work.
Keep Exercising Regularly
One of the biggest keys to maintaining weight loss is staying active. Individuals need to keep exercising regularly because it helps build muscle, and the body burns more calories even at rest when it is trying to maintain muscle tissue, so having an overall higher amount of muscle means the individual's metabolism is actually higher. In addition to building calorie-burning muscle, exercise also helps burn calories whenever individuals do it. This means they can technically eat more calories without gaining weight if they are exercising regularly. Taking the time to exercise often means individuals can have a cookie or soda every now and then without ruining their weight loss. However, they should keep in mind there is a big danger to overestimating how many calories the body burns through exercise. Exercise stimulates the appetite, so many individuals undo all their hard work by overeating after a workout. The average calories burned during a typical half-hour gym session are usually just somewhere between ninety to 350 calories.
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Eat Breakfast Daily
In general, it is best to stick to having some sort of healthy and nourishing meal at the beginning of the day. When individual eat breakfast daily, they get the energy they need to make smart decisions and power through workouts, and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. For some individuals, this may take the form of a hearty bowl of oatmeal and fruit, while others might just have a smoothie once they get into work. Time and type of breakfast do not matter much when it comes to weight loss. The main thing is for individuals to select a breakfast with a calorie count or portion size that fits into the rest of their plans for the day. They should look for a breakfast filled with fiber, lean protein, and healthy unsaturated fats. This will help them stay full for a while, so they are less likely to suffer an energy crash and end up grabbing candy from a vending machine at 11 am.
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Don't Be Discouraged By Setbacks
A common theme among individuals who started to lose weight and then gained it all back is they got discouraged by a sudden spike in weight, decided there was no point to weight loss, and went back to old, unhealthy habits. Consistency is key to weight loss, so don't be discouraged by setbacks. It is normal for everyone's body weight to fluctuate regularly. Things like hormonal shifts and sodium intake can make individuals gain up to ten pounds in water weight, or they may gain a pound or two due to a few weeks of holiday eating. The important thing to remember is a small setback should not keep individuals from following through with their lifestyle changes. Individuals need to try to find a healthy plan and stick to it even when they experience setbacks. Though it can be discouraging to feel like they are eating healthy and exercising even when they experience random weight gain or stubborn weight loss plateaus, sticking with the plan will help individuals lose weight and keep it off in the long run.
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Make A Balanced Meal Plan
When individuals do not have any plans for what they will be eating, they are more likely to do spur of the moment things like order takeout or have a bag of potato chips. Studies have found individuals who follow a consistent meal plan tend to have more success with their weight loss goals. This happens because they are more likely to stay on track when they actually make a balanced meal plan. Instead of being tempted by random unhealthy meals, individuals will remember they planned a healthy option and already bought the groceries for it, so it is easier to follow through with plans to eat healthy. The idea of what works as a balanced meal plan can vary from person to person, so individuals should try to adjust it for their lifestyle. Some like to cook everything in advance and weigh out pre-proportioned freezer meals while others just come up with a general idea of seven healthy dinner options for each week.
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Get Enough Sleep At Night
Maintaining healthy weight loss can be about more than just eating right and exercising. Researchers have found one of the most common risk factors for failing to maintain weight is sleep deprivation. Being tired keeps individuals from maintaining weight loss because it causes boosted levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, and reduced levels of leptin, a hormone used to control appetite. This means tired individuals are more likely to eat big meals and snack as an attempt to get the energy they are missing. To avoid interfering with weight maintenance, individuals should aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Of course, it can be easier said than done to get enough sleep at night, but there are some tricks that can help with insomnia. To have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep, individuals should avoid caffeine six hours before bed, avoid screen time an hour before bed, and make their bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.