Maintaining Weight Loss

Maintaining Weight Loss

Benefits of maintaining weight loss

Losing weight is difficult for many
people, but it’s even more challenging to keep the weight off. Many people who lose
a
large amount of weight have problems keeping it off over time. One theory about
regaining lost weight is that people who eat fewer calories to diet also have a drop
in
the rate their body burns calories. This makes it harder to lose weight over a period
of
months. A lower rate of burning calories may also makes it easier to regain weight
after
going back to a more normal diet. For these reasons, you shouldn’t follow a
very-low-calorie diet or try for quick weight loss.

It’s best to shoot for losing no
more than 1/2 pound to 2 pounds a week. You’ll need to add in long-term lifestyle
changes to make it more likely that your weight loss will be lasting.

Getting to a a healthy weight
offers health benefits. These include lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lower
blood pressure, less stress on bones and joints, and less work for your heart. It’s
vital to get to and stay at a healthy weight to get the most health benefits over
a
lifetime.

Keeping extra weight off takes
effort and commitment, just as losing weight does. You can reach your weight-loss
goal
through a a combination of changes in diet, eating habits, and exercise. In some cases,
people turn to weight-loss (bariatric) surgery. Medicines can also help you maintain
your weight loss.

Tips for staying at your goal
weight

You can use the same tips to stay
at a healthy weight that you used to lose your extra weight:

  • If you used a weight-loss
    program to lose weight, keep following it. According to the National Weight
    Control Registry, more than half of people in the registry used some type of
    program to reach their weight-loss goal.

  • Exercise is a key part of
    staying at a healthy weight. You can get results even with moderate exercise such
    as walking or using stairs. Aim for activities that burn 1,500 to 2,000 calories
    per week. Adults should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical
    activity each week. Or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. You can
    break up your exercise time into smaller amounts each day.

  • Exercise pays off. Among
    people in the National Weight Control Registry, 94% got more exercise to help them
    reach their goal.

  • Add calories back in slowly.
    Once you have reached your weight-loss goal, you can try eating a few more
    calories. Try adding about 200 calories of healthy, low-fat food each day for one
    week to see if you continue to lose weight. If you do, continue to add calories
    from healthy foods until you have the right balance of calories to stay at your
    weight goal. It may take some time to do this. A nutritionist can help.

Keep using behavioral strategies
for staying at a healthy weight. Be aware that stress can make you want to eat more..
Also use exercise and physical activity, or meditation to cope with stress instead
of
eating.

If you slip back into old habits,
it doesn’t mean you have failed. Instead, pay focus on what your diet and on exercise
to
help you get back on track. Also try to figure out what caused you to slip back and
find
other ways to cope.

Weight cycling

Weight cycling is losing and
regaining weight multiple times. Weight cycling is also called “yo-yo dieting.” This
cycling may raise certain health risks. These include heart disease, high blood
pressure, gallbladder disease, and high cholesterol. The best strategy is to reach
and
stay at a healthy weight through physical activity and healthy eating.

One myth about weight cycling is
that a person who loses and regains weight will have a harder time losing weight later
compared with someone who has not gone through a weight-loss cycle. Most studies show
that weight cycling does not change how well your body burns fuel. It also doesn’t
affect how well you can lose weight in the future. Weight cycling also does not increase
the amount of fat tissue in your body or affect whether fat ends up around your
stomach.

Talk with your healthcare provider
if you have questions about weight loss.