Are you slipping back to your old weight? You’re not alone. Research shows that only around 20 percent of people who follow a diet regimen succeeded in reducing their weight and keeping the excess pounds off over the long term.
But don’t let this discourage you. Try the best weight loss programs until you find the one that works best for your specific lifestyle. It may just be a matter of understanding why you regain the weight you lost and learning the seven best weight management practices you should be doing today.
Why Do People Regain Weight? 3 Common Reasons
Before you start learning the best strategies to lose and maintain your ideal weight, you must first understand the possible reasons behind the setback you’re experiencing. Knowing why you’re regaining those pounds will make maintaining your new weight easier.
- Wrong mindset
Some people think that dieting is a quick fix to their weight concerns. It’s actually not.
If you don’t think of weight loss programs as a long-term solution for your well-being, you are more likely to gain it all back (and then some). This is because achieving an ideal weight isn’t enough motivation – it should be about staying fit and healthy.
- Restrictive diets
Did you know that restricting calories too much can lead to a slower metabolism? On top of that, eating too little can also cause changes in the hormones responsible for regulating appetite, which can be detrimental to weight management.
- Insufficient sustainable habits
Many diet regimens rely too much on maintaining the will to lose weight rather than incorporating healthy habits into daily life. Instead of focusing on making lifestyle changes, they implement rules, which can be a bit discouraging when maintaining your weight.
7 Best Weight Management Practices You Should Never Miss
Achieving your goal weight is only the beginning of a healthy lifestyle. Once you’re there, you need to implement these seven best weight management practices to boost your chances of keeping those extra pounds off:
- It’s not always what you eat, but when you eat.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. However, it doesn’t specify which foods you should eat, but rather, when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but is more accurately described as an eating pattern. You are advised to consume your daily food intake in 8 hours while your body fasts for 16 hours. Once your body gets used to this pattern, you will limit your digestion time, which will help you lose weight faster as well as allow your body to work on your overall healing.
- Be mindful about what you eat.
If you don’t want to regain the weight you lost, the obvious solution is to keep your calorie intake in check. Be mindful of your portion sizes, and don’t overeat. You can do this by using smaller bowls or plates and choosing smaller versions of your favourite foods (e.g., mini brownies).
It also pays to know what the “Nutrition Facts” sticker attached to food products mean. They explain the amount of calories that particular food contains and even has a per-serving size.
Remember to prioritise mealtimes and avoid multitasking while dining. Make sure that you stop eating before you feel too full.
Take note: Special occasions are not an excuse to overeat. Even when you’re attending an event or a celebration, be sure to choose what you eat wisely.
- Create a meal plan and stick to it.
When you plan your meals, you don’t just save money – you also get to maintain your weight. Include low-calorie snacks such as veggies, whole grains, and fruits to keep your hunger in check.
But what good is a meal plan if you’re going to stray from it, anyway? Save trips to the restaurant or take-outs for special occasions.
Plus, you should consider not having weekend cheat days. This kind of mentality causes people to binge on junk foods and other unhealthy options, leading to an offset of your weight loss efforts.
- Reduce your screen time.
You might be wondering: “What does watching television or using my gadgets have to do with maintaining my weight?”
Spending more time in front of a computer or television is equivalent to less time spent moving on your feet and burning calories.
In fact, out of more than 10,000 participants of The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), 62 percent of those who successfully lost and maintained their weight reported that they only watch 10 hours of TV every week.
Instead of sitting on the couch all day long, do more enjoyable activities that keep you moving during your leisure time.
- Drink your fill.
Drinking plenty of water helps in weight maintenance because:
- It leaves you feeling full
- Drinking one or two glasses before meals can help reduce your calorie intake
- It boosts the number of calories burnt throughout the day
- Sleep well, sleep enough.
Did you know that sleep is also a factor in weight control?
People who are sleep-deprived have a higher risk of gaining weight partly because of the increase in ghrelin levels – the hunger hormone responsible for boosting appetite. Aside from that, poor sleepers have less leptin in their system, which means they have less control over their appetite.
Getting enough sleep makes a person feel more motivated to move around to burn calories because he isn’t tired. This also leads to making healthier decisions when it comes to eating.
People tend to overeat because of stress. This kind of impulsive eating occurs even when you’re not hungry because of the increase in cortisol (or the so-called “stress hormones”) in your body.
That said, managing your stress is a vital part of maintaining your weight. You see, consistently high cortisol has been linked to increased appetite, higher belly fat, and higher food intake.
To combat stress, you can try yoga, exercise, and meditation.
Manage Your Weight Well
Managing your weight is all about taking steps in the right direction. Follow this guide to make sure your weight loss efforts don’t go to waste.
Burak Cankat is the Wellness Director at Zoya Health and Wellbeing Resort in the UAE, with 18 years of experience in the Hospitality, Health and Well-being industry. The resort is a unique integrative well-being destination nestled between the sea and mangroves in Ajman, offering holistic packages that combine cutting-edge medical science, physiotherapy, fitness, nutrition, and the latest advance in aesthetics to nourish the body and invigorate the mind.