Like other scientific fields, the science of weight loss is continually evolving. What’s true is that no single diet approach, whether low-carb, low-fat, paleo or vegan, with no or varying amounts of physical activity, will work for every individual. It’s also true that within each approach, there are people who will lose weight, as well as people who will gain weight. Even more confounding is the fact that those who successfully lose weight have an extremely high failure rate when it comes to maintaining that weight loss. This dichotomy leaves scientists baffled, as the search for the ideal diet and weight loss maintenance strategies continues. One commonality that most can agree on is that everyone who loses weight and maintains weight loss has had to make changes in their everyday behaviors. In addition to dietary changes, this could mean watching less television, eating breakfast every day, not eating after dinner or exercising daily.
The “eat less, move more” strategy makes weight loss sound simple and stress free. Losing weight and keeping it off is never easy, but it is possible. One great motivator for weight loss and maintenance is a significant health scare or the diagnosis of a chronic disease. For some, it’s the realization that maintaining a healthy weight can add healthy years to a life, and precious time to spend with loved ones, friends and pets. Highly motivated people who start again each time they fail are the most likely to be successful at finding a diet and exercise plan that works for them. A holistic approach to weight loss, accounting for biology, behavior, psychology and budget, may help reveal the specific impediment to an individual’s achieving and sustaining a healthy weight. Some experts argue that pigeonholing people into one type of diet, or pushing people toward a number on a scale, rather than focusing on health goals, may set people up for failure.
-Unrealistic expectations of ideal weights are often enough to keep people from losing any weight at all. A healthy sustainable weight is often a higher number on the scale than one would tend to think. Accepting that a 10% weight loss can improve blood pressure and blood sugar and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes may help overweight people to take small steps towards that goal.
-Unfortunately, many view weight loss as a quick fix as opposed to a long-term solution for improved health. Clearly, a change of mindset is necessary not only for weight loss but for long-term weight maintenance, especially in an environment where unhealthy food is plentiful.
-Diets that are too calorie restrictive are destined to fail. In addition to increased hunger, your body works against you, which makes losing weight even harder. To save energy, any weight loss stimulates hormones that slow the basal metabolic rate, reducing daily calorie expenditure, increasing appetite and encouraging overconsumption along with fat storage.
-There are different philosophies regarding weight loss and exercise. Whether or not experts agree on exercise as a weight loss method, exercise is necessary for overall health and disease prevention or management. Thirty to sixty minutes of daily exercise not only burns calories, it helps to speed up the metabolic rate, encouraging higher calorie burn while at rest.
-Biology, genetics and hormones are all players in the weight loss and maintenance game. A person who weighs 200 pounds and was never overweight will have an easier time maintaining weight than a person who was once 300 pounds but has lost 100 pounds. Though the body subverts weight loss maintenance, one should know that although vigilance is necessary, the body will reset to a new normal weight and the resting metabolic rate will stabilize. Building muscle mass through aerobic exercise and weight training will help to determine your resting energy expenditure.
-Continued use of behavioral strategies and a “no surrender” attitude is necessary to maintain weight once a desired weight is reached. Gradually adding small amounts of healthy nutritious calories can help determine the right balance of daily caloric intake and exercise needed to maintain a healthy weight and avoid regain.
Whatever your diet choice, recognizing that we often eat in response to stress, boredom or emotions may help to avoid setbacks. Sustainable lifestyle changes are actually easier to follow than unrealistic caloric intake or deprivation. If you are serious and determined to lose weight and keep it off, take a slow but steady pace. Avoid “cheat” days and stick to healthy eating habits all the time including weekends. Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can significantly affect weight control, so put some of your efforts into improving your sleep habits. Tracking your food intake helps to monitor calories, and more importantly, nutrition. Be sure you are hydrating sufficiently and feeding your body the nutrients necessary for energy production and the maintenance of overall good health.
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Weight Loss Support Packets by Designs for Health®: One daily packet provides optimal fat burning and hormone balancing ingredients for improved fat metabolism and effective weight loss support. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and yeast free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
SlimStyles Weight Loss Drink Mix by Natural Factors: This clinically proven appetite and weight control drink mix provides healthy high protein, low carb, low glycemic index ingredients that may improve adherence to a calorie restricted diet. Taken daily as a meal replacement, this highly purified proprietary fiber blend helps to maintain satiety and support healthy blood sugar levels. Natural double chocolate flavor.
PGX® Weight Loss Meal Replacement by Bioclinic Naturals: This proprietary clinically studied meal replacement complex helps to reduce appetite, ease cravings and safely support weight loss. Highly viscous fibers help to normalize blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and support regularity.
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The 17 Best Ways to Maintain Weight Loss. https://authoritynutrition.com/maintain-weight-loss/
Sifferlin, Alexandra. Why Your Diet Isn’t Working. Time, Inc., June 5, 2017.
Maintaining Weight Loss. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/diabetes/maintaining_weight_loss_85,P07862/
Here’s Why It’s So Hard to Maintain Weight Loss. http://www.livescience.com/53942-weight-loss-biology.html
4 Reasons It’s So Hard to Lose Weight – and How to Bust Through Them. http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-06-10/4-reasons-its-so-hard-to-lose-weight-and-how-to-bust-through-them