You’ve just lost weight and you don’t want to see that number rise again on your weight. While it might feel inevitable to regain weight again, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, an analysis by the National Weight Control Registry found that it is possible to maintain your weight over the long term – if you adhere to the following key behaviors. Here are Steps to Manage Your Body Weight.
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Find out how and what to eat
Steps to Manage Your Body Weight: As a rule of thumb, half of your plate should be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, a quarter with starches or whole grains, and a quarter with lean protein, such as chicken (not fried!) or fish. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for individualized recommendations for the best food choices.
Find simple ways to be more physically active
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, get off the bus or subway a stop earlier, or join or start a walking group at your place of work. To begin with, 10 minutes at a time is just fine.
Stick with it
Managing your weight is a long-term commitment, so many people get help with support groups and structured weight-loss programs. It is important to know that even a modest reduction in weight can yield tremendous health benefits. Losing ten percent of your weight can reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease dramatically. Making small changes that you can stick to and being realistic about your goals and your progress will ensure that you feel successful along the way.
The University of Pittsburgh study also found that women who best controlled their weight were good at resisting the temptation to binge on forbidden treats. This doesn’t mean indulging in a gooey dessert again, but rather picking — and limiting — your moments. There are many ways to avoid daily temptations, including planning ahead when eating out, eating out less, and banning your worst weaknesses from the house.
Another hallmark of successful weight maintenance, according to the University of Pittsburgh study, is regularly counting calories. Use a journal such as My Calorie Counter to keep a running total throughout the day if that helps you keeps track of calorie consumption. In the weight-control survey, the women who were most successful at less than 1,800 calories a day and limited fat intake.
Measure your portions
According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) study of more than 4,000 U.S. adults, the biggest factors in success were measuring portions and fats, the most caloric foods, in particular. This doesn’t mean you have to carry a food scale everywhere you go, but using it as often as possible at home will teach you how to eyeball portion sizes at restaurants and immediately know how much to eat, and how much to take home in a doggie bag.
Weigh yourself daily
The same CDC study reported that people who weigh themselves once a day are twice as successful at keeping off lost weight as those who don’t step on the scale as often. Daily weigh-ins, which can be discouraging when you’re on a diet, can be a boon during maintenance; they let you see, and stop, any slow creep upward as soon as it happens.
Regular exercise plays an important role in weight maintenance. It may help you burn off some extra calories and increase your metabolism, which are two factors needed to achieve energy balance.
When you are in energy balance, it means you burn the same number of calories that you consume. As a result, your weight is more likely to stay the same.
Several studies have found that people who do at least 200 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (30 minutes a day) after losing weight are more likely to maintain their weight.
In some instances, even higher levels of physical activity may be necessary for successful weight maintenance. One review concluded that one hour of exercise a day is optimal for those attempting to maintain weight loss.
It’s important to note that exercise is the most helpful for weight maintenance when it’s combined with other lifestyle changes, including sticking to a healthy diet.
Keep a scale in your bathroom and use it once a week. Studies show that checking your weight on a regular basis is a practice shared by people who successfully keep their weight off.