Successful Weight Maintenance
You committed yourself to eating healthy and exercising regularly, and with time and dedication, you have achieved your weight loss goals. Congratulations! Now it's time to shift your focus to weight management.
But that doesn't mean you can just give up the dietary and lifestyle changes that helped you to take it off in the first place. Reverting to old, unhealthy habits can bring all those lost pounds back, plus a few more. So while you'll need to adjust your diet and fitness regimen to maintain your current weight as opposed to creating a calorie deficit, it is important that you stick with the healthy habits you've developed.
According to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of over 5,000 individuals who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained their weight loss for a minimum of one year, there are many common factors among people who are successful at keeping the weight off. We've shared some of these common behaviors here to help you maintain your weight.
The most prevalent pattern among people who have successfully maintained their weight is that most of them continued to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and continued engaging in high levels of activity.
The key to maintaining these behaviors is consistency. Stick to a healthy eating plan, and plan ahead for holidays to stay on course with your eating. And don't skip breakfast. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and NWCR participants agree - 78% report eating breakfast every day. It's also important to remain consistent with your exercise regimen. 90% of the participants in the NWCR exercise an average of one hour every day. You don't need to exercise for a full hour at one time; you can break your activity up into 20 to 30 minute blocks.
Another common characteristic among people who have successfully maintained a healthy weight is that they weigh themselves regularly. Consistently monitoring your weight can serve as an early warning system to alert you when you've gained a few pounds so that you can implement strategies to prevent further weight gain.
You may want to consider keeping a journal logging your food intake, exercise and weight, another technique used by those who have successfully maintained their weight. This will help you to identify any patterns that may be leading you off course and create a plan to avoid falling into these patterns in the future.
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