It seems that everyone is concerned with losing weight
and fewer people are worried about keeping it off. While weight loss is the
natural first goal, knowing how to maintain
a healthy weight beforehand will help ensure that you keep it off once that
goal is achieved.
For many, weight maintenance is a learned behavior.
After struggling with your weight, you learn how better to manage your
waistline. Through proper diet and regular exercise, you can keep a consistent
weight and eliminate the negative effects of yo-yo dieting.
According to the American
Academy of Family Physicians,
almost half of the adult population in the United States is trying to lose
weight at any given time. This isn’t a bad thing, although it would be nice if
all of those attempts were successful. The vast majority of dieters, even those
who lose weight, will not keep the weight off.
In order to ensure your weight-loss
successes are not fleeting, you must be prepared to continue healthy habits
throughout your life, not just until you reach your goal weight. The true
benefits of a healthy weight can only be reaped through lasting changes. These benefits include higher confidence, lower
stress, and lower risk of numerous diseases.
Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is the
largest prospective investigation of long-term, successful weight-loss
maintenance. Established in 1994, the NWCR tracks more than 5,000 individuals
who have not only lost significant amounts of weight, but also kept it off for
long periods of time. Here are the common-sense strategies they’ve used to
maintain their weight losses:
Eat Breakfast Every
Seventy-eight percent of NWCR members never skip the
most important meal of the day. Eating in the morning can keep you from
indulging in less-than-healthy snacks later in the day. Breakfast eaters, on
average, weigh less than people who skip breakfast. Also, eating in the morning
gives your body the energy needed to start the day with a good attitude and
Weigh Yourself at Least
Once a Week
Seventy-five percent of NWCR members engage in this
healthy habit, which keeps them in tune with their progress. Your weight
fluctuates throughout the week depending on hormone levels, food intake,
exercise, and water retention, just to name a few. By weighing yourself at the
same time every week you can keep a close eye on how your habits affect your
weight, reining in your eating, or boost your workouts when you begin to see
the scale tipping in the wrong direction.
Turn Off the TV
Sixty-two percent of NWCR members watch less than 10
hours of TV per week. It sounds simple, but watching television truly makes you
fat. This is thought to be due to the combination of reduced activity levels
and mindless eating. Whatever the reason, the solution is to minimize the time
spent glued to the tube.
Ninety percent of NWCR members exercise one hour per day
on average. Exercise should be a lifelong habit in everyone’s life. Not only
will it keep your weight in check, it can help reduce stress and prevent
disease. A combination of cardiovascular activities, strength training, and
flexibility training can help create the most well-rounded fitness plan.
Create a life that is conducive
to weight management. Make it harder to fail and easier to succeed. This is
possible when you make little changes like:
- keeping your kitchen
stocked with healthy foods
- eating out less often
- learning to love
- building friendships
with other health-conscious people
- scheduling workouts
- not saving clothes
that are too big for you
While statistics may show that
your chances of regaining weight are pretty good, this should provide even greater
motivation for keeping it off. A positive attitude and dedication to lasting
health can go a long way in weight-loss maintenance. By keeping the weight off,
you are setting yourself up for a long and healthy life.