While there are many effective ways to maintain weight loss, the most effective strategies include those which are applicable to daily life. Since losing weight, and keeping it off, requires dedication and action, it is important to create a practical routine that can be easily followed for long term success. Below are 15 tips that are not only effective in assisting in losing weight and maintaining such weight loss but they can also be implemented in daily life making the journey to a healthier life simpler to achieve.
1. Stop Fad Diets- Eat Healthy Instead
With so many diet myths circulating in media the most widely accepted is the idea of needing to diet at all. According to Abby Langer R.D. diets are not appropriate for long term success as they have an eventual end date and are also usually so restrictive that they lead to temptation and eventual failure. Instead of dieting, simply aim to eat healthy as this is more sustainable for long term success.
2. Drink More Water
Drinking water, especially before meals, is a great way to aid with maintaining weight loss. Research has shown that consuming water not only helps burn more calories but it can also help suppress appetite if consumed before meals.
3. Eliminate Added Sugar
Added sugar is one of the biggest issues impeding health and weight loss for many. According to the American Heart Association most adults consume too much sugar on a daily basis. Such an increase in sugar intake not only leads to weight gain but it can also lead to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Paying attention to food labels can help eliminate unnecessary added sugar in the diet and thus aid in maintaining weight loss and health.
4. Eat Real Food
The food industry is full of many unhealthy, overly processed food items that impede successful weight loss, however, this can be combated by sticking with real, whole, unprocessed food. Whole foods are typically filling and healthier compared to their processed counterparts so limiting shopping to only alongside grocery store aisles can help keep weight gain down.
5. Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
All carbs are not created equal. Refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, white rice, etc, are known to be much lower in fiber and micronutrients as compared to the carbohydrates found in whole foods. Studies show that refined carbs can often rapidly spike blood sugar levels which can lead to increased hunger and cravings and therefore increased food intake. According to Ludwig DS et al., consuming carbs can also be linked to obesity therefore it is best when eating carbs to choose those that still contain all of their natural fiber and nutrients.
6. Avoid Sugary Drinks- Soda, Fruit Juice, Etc
Sugar is found in many items however soda and many juices are oversaturated with it. Avoid consuming sugary, liquid calories as to help manage weight. Instead sticking to water for hydration is highly recommended as it has zero calories and is a great way to stay hydrated and healthy.
7. Do Aerobic Exercise
Participating in frequent physical activity is a great way to foster and maintain weight loss. Aerobic exercise, more widely known as cardio training, is a great way to get moving and burn fat. Aerobic exercise is also good for supporting improved mental and physical health as well as working to prevent certain cardiovascular diseases.
8. Use Smaller Plates
Our brains can be tricked into thinking we are full once all of the food from our plate is gone. In this way of understanding, using smaller plates will aid in feeling full without over consuming calories. Using smaller plates to help the brain manage caloric intake without having to count calories can be beneficial for those wanting to maintain weight loss.
9. Portion Control
Taking note of what foods are being eaten and in what quantities can be very beneficial for maintaining weight loss. Being mindful of how much food is consumed is a great way to manage caloric intake as well as a great way to stay mindful about what types of foods are being consumed on a daily basis.
10. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is often recommended to those interested in weight loss because of its ability to help reduce appetite. Dr. Frank Hu, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, states that in addition to weight management, diets containing high amounts of fiber can also help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
11. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Working toward weight loss does not only occur while working out or being mindful of what food to eat but it also happens during a good night’s sleep. Studies show that poor sleeping habits have been linked to an increased risk of obesity in both children and adults and according to Louise Chang MD other studies have shown that a lack of sleep prompts consumption of larger portions and increased cravings for high calorie foods. Being sure to get a good night’s rest is a great way to manage weight loss.
12. Eat More Protein
As one of the macronutrients used by the body, protein is an important component of every meal. Used to help burn fat and build strong, lean muscles, increasing protein intake can prove to help build more muscle which will be beneficial to ridding the body of excess weight.
13. Eat Spicy Food
According to Pamela Peeke M.D, capsaicin found in hot peppers can increase body heat which can boost metabolism up to 5% and increases fat burning up to 16%. Research also shows that spicy food may also help with food cravings as it can decrease appetite which lowers the amount of calories consumed. In this way, adding a little spice may be a great way to manage weight loss.
14. Chew more slowly
Mindful eating not only ensures staying present while enjoying a meal but it can also aid in maintaining weight loss. Studies show that slow eating has many benefits such as better digestion, easier weight maintenance, and better hydration. Fast eating can offset digestion as well as provide the space to consume far more calories than needed in one sitting. Knowing this it is understood how slowing down while eating can help foster the enjoyment of improved digestion, better health, and maintained weight loss.
15. Keep Healthy Food Around When Hunger Strikes
Often the most challenging aspect of weight loss and eating healthy is the availability of healthier food options. When maintaining such hectic and busy lives it is often times easier to grab food and snacks that are quick and readily available rather than having to take time to prepare every meal. Keeping healthy snacks and food items on hand will help address this issue so healthy choices are not jeopardized when time is short.
Bringing It All Together
While there are many tips on how to go about losing and maintaining weight, implementing a select handful of some of these mentioned above will be a great start to a new and sustainably healthy lifestyle.