Post Weight Loss Challenge: Maintenance
It is mostly at the stage of weight maintenance that most people experience difficulties. An active lifestyle and a good nutrition are easier said than done, right? To avoid gaining back all the lost weight, it is necessary to know the factors associated with gaining back weight, and address them.
Weight loss leads to a reduction of total daily energy expenditure. By being lighter, we burn less calories to move. What can be done to overcome this phenomenon? You can increase the intensity, frequency, and/or length of your workouts. Integrating intervals or circuit training is also a good way to increase the effectiveness of a program without making sessions longer. I invite you to read the article Quick Program to Maximize Weight Loss. In addition to these changes, do not miss any opportunity to move! For example, you can walk during breaks at work, use the stairs instead of taking the elevator, play tennis on weekends, etc.
Lack of sleep and high levels of stress also contribute to make you gain back your lost weight. Being more active and using relaxation and stress management methods will help you counter these factors.
Everywhere we go, we see fast food and get bombarded with publicity. Try to expect the unexpected, and bring healthy snacks when you go out. Read the article Snacks for Dummies for healthy snacks ideas.
Don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time and perform activities that you enjoy. Having fun is a key component that will help you prevent food cravings and loss of motivation to exercise.
To avoid getting discouraged, it is necessary to set realistic objectives right from the start, predict obstacles, and develop strategies to face them. Good strategies could include meeting with a professional, getting support from your social environment, or adopting a positive attitude.
Finally, staying fit is a big challenge. To succeed, we need to change our lifestyle permanently, without wanting to go back to our old habits. It is a life choice to which we have to get accustomed slowly. That is, we have to enjoy a new way of living that includes adequate physical activity and healthy nutrition, without sacrificing fun.
By Mathieu Rousseau
1. Wing, RR, Hill, JO (2001). Successful weight loss maintenance. Annual review of nutrition. 21:323-41.
2. Wing R.R., Phelan S. (2005). Long-term weight loss maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 82(1): 222S-225S.
3. Tremblay, A. Passeportsanté.net. Capsule Audio. http://medias.passeportsante.net/balado/capsule_sante-tremblay.mp3?source=bulletin (page contultée le 30 sepmtembre 2012).