If you thought losing weight is hard, wait to hear the bad news that I bring you: maintaining the new weight can be even harder.
Especially if the loss has been achieved in a very short time with a restrictive diet, because that approach is necessarily unsustainable over time and it is likely that whoever practices it will go back and forth into a dangerous dynamic of yoyo weight.
For that reason, according to one study, only 20% of people who start from an overweight situation and manage to lose weight keep it in the long term.
First, why do we regain weight?
Before entering into advice and strategies, it is necessary to know what are the main reasons why people recover the weight that has cost them so much to lose. Most are related to expectations that are too high and the feeling of deprivation.
They were following a restrictive diet: An excessive caloric restriction slows the metabolism and affects the hormones that regulate appetite, and both can affect the subsequent recovery of weight.
A wrong mentality: If you think of a diet as a shortcut to lose weight instead of as a change of habits to improve your health, it is more likely that at some point you will abandon and recover the lost weight.
Unsustainable habits: Many diets are based on motivation and willpower and not on habits that you can incorporate into your day to day. And motivation and willpower are not stable over time.
However, that does not discourage you because there are several strategies that have been scientifically proven that can help you in your effort to maintain the new weight.
Exercising is often an important part of the effort to maintain our weight, as it helps burn calories and increase metabolism, two ways to achieve caloric balance It is necessary not to gain or lose weight.
Several studies have shown that people who do at least a few 200 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (about 30 minutes a day) after losing weight you are more likely to maintain it. In some cases, more exercise may be necessary: another study described how optimal it is One hour a day.
However, it should be noted that exercise alone is not enough, and that you have to join it to healthy eating.
Eat lots of protein
Boosting proteins as part of your diet can help you maintain new weight because it is a nutrient that favors the feeling of satiety and thus reduces the feeling of hunger.
Proteins increase in our body the levels of certain hormones called GIP and GLP-1 that make us feel satiated and help us regulate the weight. It has also been shown that proteins reduce the levels of hormones that make us feel the hungry. Thanks to these effects, eating more protein can make you better control your caloric intake, which is an important step to maintain your weight.
In addition, proteins require more energy from your body to process them, so that by eating them you are also increasing the calories you burn throughout the day.
According to several studies, the amount of calories from protein should be around the 30th% for these effects to occur on metabolism and appetite, which is about 150 grams of protein daily on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Do strength exercises
Often along with weight loss there is a loss of muscle mass. This can be a problem afterwards to maintain weight, since having less muscle also reduce metabolism and you burn fewer calories.
So it is recommended that during the period of weight loss and also after some kind of strength training, how to lift weights, but example, to avoid the loss of muscle mass and thus maintain or improve your metabolism.
Several studies have shown that people who lift weights are more likely to maintain their new weight. To achieve this, it is advisable to do some of these strength exercises a couple of times a week and train all muscle groups.
Beware of refined carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy diet, but if you want to maintain your weight, it can be helpful to control how many you eat, and especially of what kind.
Eating many refined carbohydrates, such as what is found in white bread, pasta or fruit juices, for example, can be counterproductive. These hydrates do not contain any of their natural fiber, a nutrient that helps us feel satiated, which reduces the total amount of calories we eat and thus makes it easier for us to maintain weight.
Be consistent in your habits, also on weekends
A custom that can be harmful is that of eat healthy and healthy during the week and then melt from Friday night to Saturday. People who do this often overdo it over the weekend and throw overboard the maintenance exercise they do Monday through Friday. In addition, if this becomes custom we can end up recovering more weight than we had when we started to lose weight.
Several studies show that people who follow a regular feeding pattern throughout the week, including the weekend, is more likely to maintain its new weight in the long term.
Drinking water does not lose weight per se, but it is important for several reasons. To start, it helps you feel full: According to one study, drinking a glass of water before meals helps reduce caloric intake by 13%.
In addition, it has been shown to stay hydrated slightly increase the amount of calories They burn during the day.
Sleeping or not what the body needs is a risk factor when it comes to gaining weight and could also interfere with the process of maintaining it. The reason is, in part, that inadequate sleep increases the levels of ghrelin, a hormone that affects our appetite.
In addition, people who sleep little tend to have lower levels of leptin, another hormone involved in the control of hunger and appetite.
Finally, people who sleep little and are tired have less motivation to exercise and make healthy decisions.
Control stress levels
When we suffer from stress we present higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that has been linked to higher abdominal fat ratios, greater appetite and higher caloric intake.
In addition, stress is a common trigger for compulsive eating, times when we eat even if we are not hungry.