A little known fact is that it is easier to lose weight for a short period than to keep weight off long-term. Numerous studies have shown that most dieters are able to stick to their diets and lose weight initially, but after time they return to their old bad eating habits and gain the weight back. Some dieters have even rebounded badly by becoming even more overweight after dieting than when they started!
The problem is that losing weight requires a lifestyle change, not a short term diet. You have to enjoy the food that you are eating while losing weight, and learn to live with healthier habits. So how do you do it? Well, there are a number of tips and tricks which will help you not only lose weight but keep it off long-term.
Healthier habits to keeping the weight off long-term
Several studies have been done tracking the habits of people who have lost weight and kept it off long-term. Researchers James Hill (PhD) and Rena Wing (PhD) initiated the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which was used to record the habits of over 6,000 people. From this group, the average amount of weight lost per person was 70 pounds, and the time they had kept the weight off was six years!
Hill and Wing studied this group intensively, and found out that the people in the group shared a number of habits which had allowed them to keep weight off long-term:
1A low-fat, calorie-controlled diet
People in the group had low-fat, calorie-controlled diets. When controlling portion size and eating low-calorie foods such as soups and vegetables (which are also high in water), it is easier to eat a lower amount of total calories per day. By reducing the types of foods you have in your diet it can be easier not to overeat – choose foods you love and don’t waste calories on foods you don’t.
2Consistency, consistency, consistency
Consistency is crucial! Whether it’s Monday or Sunday people who successfully keep weight off follow their eating patterns religiously. This works because you develop a habit that you use each and every day. Developing this routine is crucial to your success, and it does get easier in time. However, it is important to treat yourself every once in a while – but it is recommended that you plan these little splurges well ahead to avoid overdoing it.
3Eat small meals frequently
Every 3 or so hours and up to 4 to 5 times daily has also been shown as a key factor in keeping weight off long-term. The feeling of being hungry is usually what causes people to relapse into bad eating habits, but by eating every 3 hours you maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid feeling hungry. Combined with drinking extra water this strategy really works, as the extra water also helps you feel full longer.
4A good breakfast
The first thing you should do each day is have a good breakfast. It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time to prepare – a simple wholegrain cereal with fruit and low-fat milk will keep you going through the morning and help you perform better during the day. Better yet, you can prepare this the night before and have it ready in the morning!
You have to exercise. That’s right, there’s no easy way around it, and the most successful in the group were exercising for around 1 hour each and every day. It can be as simple as just walking 5 or 6 miles a day – but if you are having trouble losing weight it is advised to step up the intensity. Interval training is a very good way to burn calories in a short period of time and is quite intense – your heart rate will be pounding.
The most successful in the group took accountability for their weight loss and increased the intensity of their workout as well as decreased calories when the weight loss slowed. This can be done every day, every other day or once a week – just be consistent. An important note is to weigh yourself at the same time of day each time you do it as this gives the most accurate results. A good time is first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten anything.
7Cut down on television/netflix
A surprising habit developed by the group was that they cut their television watching time down to 10 hours every week. This would appear to give them more time to focus on getting exercise and avoid binge eating while sitting in front of the television.
If you slip up it’s not the end of the world, and it was shown that by keeping positive the group was more successful in losing weight. It has been shown that being negative is counterproductive to weight loss – so staying positive is vital to keep you on track.
9Everybody is different, and others diets may not work for you
There is no right or wrong way to lose weight but what works for a coworker may not necessarily work for you. You have to find what exercises and foods you enjoy so that you can maintain a healthier lifestyle long-term.
10Don’t lose too much weight too fast!
Losing weight slowly is not only better for your body but allows you to spend more time living with healthier habits. This is vital for long-term weight loss as you adapt to your new, healthier life.
I hope these tips helped you on your journey and please follow my blog as I’ll be posting more like this!
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