Like millions of people around the world, you may have tried a few diets but with limited success. And chances are that if you’ve ever tried one of the latest weight-loss fads, you regained the fat almost immediately. In fact, when it comes to dieting, less than a quarter of people who lose weight, keep it off in the long term.
It isn’t effortless to commit to a healthy lifestyle. But one of the best ways to maintain your optimal weight is to invest in your weight-loss achievements. An abdominoplasty, for instance, will deal with those loose rolls of skin following fat reduction. If you’d like to know more about the tummy tuck procedure, we’ve linked a video here.
But don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to hit that ideal number on the scale with the latest celebrity fat loss trend. Instead, let’s look to science for some proven fat loss solutions.
Regular physical exercise
Healthy eating and getting plenty of movement is key to our overall health and longevity. And being physically active plays a massive role, not necessarily in losing weight but in keeping it off.
Not only does exercise help to burn calories, but it also increases metabolism. In fact, research suggests that a minimum of 30 minutes moderate exercise a day, post weight loss, means you’re more liable to stay trim.
Regularly jumping on the scales is seen as an old school weight loss tool. But monitoring your weight on a daily or monthly basis can be helpful, making us aware of any progress and encouraging weight loss management.
Another reason to exercise is reduced muscle mass. This is common during weight loss but losing muscle reduces your metabolism too. Meaning you burn fewer calories. So don’t just focus on cardio, get some strength training activities in your routine also. Try yoga or weightlifting to improve the metabolic rate and give you a more toned physique. Do some strength training twice a week, incorporating all muscle groups for optimal results.
A good brekkie
Setting yourself up for the day with a good breakfast may assist with weight loss. And breakfast eaters tend to have healthier habits; they’re more likely to exercise and generally consume more fibre and micronutrients.
In one study, almost 80 per cent of participants who had been able to maintain their weight loss long term regularly ate breakfast.
Still, that doesn’t mean skipping breakfast will absolutely lead to weight gain. In fact, it too may help some people achieve their weight loss and weight maintenance goals.
If you can stick to your weight loss goals and eat breakfast, then you should eat it. But if you aren’t hungry in the morning, don’t force-feed yourself. Instead, consistently monitor your overall calorie intake and don’t satisfy cravings with unhealthy snacks if you get the mid-morning munchies.
Eating lots of protein actually encourages fat reduction by reducing the appetite and keeping us satiated. Protein increases certain hormones that make us feel full and is even thought to reduce the levels of hormones that increase hunger. So if you do eat breakfast, make protein a significant part of that meal.
Protein also requires a significant amount of energy to break down. So, regularly making it part of any meal may increase the number of calories you burn.
You can actually maintain weight loss much easier if you pay attention to the types and amounts of carbs you consume.
Too many refined carbs can sabotage any weight loss goals. But it’s important to note that we need some form of carbohydrate in our diet to keep us healthy. For instance, you can find heaps of good carbs in fruits and veggies.
A high vegetable intake leads to better weight control too because veggies are low in calories so you can eat more substantial portions. Additionally, you’re getting a massive amount of nutrients to keep you energized. Being high in fibre, veggies also help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Aim for two servings of vegetables at every single meal.
Limiting your carb intake may help you maintain your weight loss. Still, if you lose weight by cutting out the carbs all together, you’ll regain the weight as soon as you return to regular eating habits.
But you’re much less likely to crave those high sugar, processed carbohydrates if you drink lots of water and practice proper hydration. A great tip is to drink a glass or two before you eat. This will make you feel fuller and keep your calorie intake in check.
Proper sleep patterns can have a positive impact on weight loss and maintenance. And lack of sleep is a significant risk factor for obesity leading to higher levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”.
Poor sleepers also have lower levels of leptin, a hormone which controls appetite. Constantly feeling tired also makes us less motivated to exercise, which can lead to bad food choices. Seven hours each night is optimal for weight loss, weight control and general health.
Managing stress is crucial if you want to lose weight and keep it off, and regular good night’s sleep will lower stress levels. High pressure can contribute to weight gain because of increased cortisol levels. And those high cortisol levels can lead to more significant amounts of belly fat and increased appetite.
Eating when you aren’t hungry means you need to find ways to manage stress. Walking, yoga and meditation are great ways to lower cortisol levels and encourage healthier sleep patterns.
There’s no avoiding it. Setbacks are inevitable when it comes to losing weight. You may even give in to an unhealthy craving or skip a workout on occasion.
This doesn’t mean you’re failing. Reset and try again the next day. And don’t give yourself a hard time over the occasional blip.
Meanwhile, some studies suggest that one of the most significant setbacks to weight loss is, taking the weekend off. Regularly bingeing on the weekend can undo all of the hard work we’ve put in during the week. Following a consistently healthy eating plan means you’re more likely to sustain long term weight loss.
And if you want to avoid those setbacks, don’t go it alone. Find a support system or partner up with someone with the same weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals as you. If that support person happens to be your partner or spouse, all the better. That way, you’ll keep each other accountable, whether you’re at home or at the gym.
Consistency is key
Yoyo dieting means continually returning to old habits. So commit to making your healthy diet and regular exercise regimen part of your new lifestyle. A healthier lifestyle means maintaining your weight effectively will be much easier.
This may seem overwhelming at first, but those wholesome choices will soon become automatic. Try some mindful eating; listening to internal cues and being present while eating means you’re more likely to stop eating when full when you eat this way.
We often eat without recognizing fullness and then overeating but eating slowly and savouring the meal helps target behaviours such as emotional eating.
The act of mindful eating can lead to maintaining weight without the need for counting calories. Make it a habit, and you’re far less likely to experience setbacks.
The Bottom Line
Specific and restrictive diets can be unrealistic and don’t usually result in healthy, sustainable weight loss.
But simple, long term changes to your lifestyle can make healthy eating and weight loss more convenient to stick to. Controlling our weight involves much more than what we eat. We also need plenty of exercises, proper sleep and mental wellbeing.
Many of us have failed to reach weight loss goals because we look at the short term goals. Fad diets, in particular, lack longevity with food deprivation, often leading to further weight gain once you go back to normal eating. But there are plenty of great products on the market aimed at maintaining good health without making you feel like you’re missing out.
Manageable changes to health and wellbeing are crucial to long term success. So don’t be too restrictive, stay consistent and make sound choices that you can stick to into the future.