As a registered dietitian, many of my appointments with patients begin with harrowing tales of weight-loss programs from the past. Patients discuss details about why one worked over another and how much weight was lost in each.
Unfortunately, the majority of these attempts all end on the same note: gaining all, or more, of the weight back. Thousands of references are available to consumers on how to lose weight. However, very few sources identify, perhaps, the most important piece of the puzzle — how to keep the weight off. Here are some tips to help you manage the weight you worked so hard to lose.
1. Increase the exercise and decrease the calories
Imagine picking up two 10-pound weights and taking a 1-mile walk. It would be challenging to accomplish. Your body would have to work harder to compensate for the extra weight. Now drop the weights. Take the same walk. That exercise should be much easier. Your body is now more efficient, and the calories you’ll burn will go down. That’s exactly what happens when you lose 20 pounds.
To keep the weight off, you need to challenge your body by decreasing calories even further in some cases (because your body is not working as hard to get you from point A to point B anymore) and stepping it up on the exercise front. In fact, a 2014 study that followed individuals who lost weight and tracked their maintenance success, found those who maintained the most weight loss reported high levels of physical activity as well as a diet that was consistently low in calories and fat.
2. Weigh yourself often
The same study mentioned above also found individuals who successfully maintained their weight weighed themselves several times a week. A 2015 study found weighing in daily was equally effective, especially in men. The scale may be a good monitor of weight that may be creeping in.
Though if you find that…