Everyone is at a different stage in their weight loss adventure. Some are beginning, full of ambition and commitment, some are seasoned and challenged with staying the course, and some are actually near their goal, beginning to bask in the glory of a battle fought and won. Where ever we are in the journey, we can look at others and feel some pride in our achievements and some envy that others have gone out ahead. Throughout the weight loss crusades, the basic weapons are simple: less food and more exercise. But for those who are at or near their goal weight, the challenge becomes different, and in some cases, more complicated – how to keep the weight off, now that we’re at our goal.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, approximately 20 percent of people who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight, kept it off for at least a year using a few simple steps. Here are five strategies that the study says help to keep off the pounds you worked so hard to lose:
- Be physically active – popular activities included walking, cycling, weightlifting and aerobic exercises
- Maintain a consistent eating pattern with a low-calorie, low-fat diet. The study showed people went out for meals less than three times per week with less than one of those meals being ‘fast-food.’
- Eat breakfast regularly – eating breakfast boosts your metabolism, which helps you avoid mid-morning snacks as well as snacks later in the day.
- Monitor your weight regularly – catching a couple of pounds is easier than letting it go to 10 or 15. Researchers noted that participants commonly gained a pound or two, but that early adjusting kept the task achievable.
- Don’t fall off the wagon – don’t be detered by fluctuations, catch them early and stay on track.