We've all felt the same way at least once–this is it, this is the time that I take off the pounds. We decide on a diet to follow, sign up for the gym, set our alarm clocks an hour earlier than we used to, and dust off the old yoga mat. The trick, as the experts will tell you, is how to keep the weight off for good. Here are some tips to help you keep those pounds off:
Drink Plenty of Water
A rare case of subtraction by addition, drinking water can help you maintain your weight well after you've hit your initial goals. Our body can have a hard time distinguishing hunger from thirst, so by drinking water throughout the day you can manage your hunger without even realizing it. In addition, one study found that by drinking about a pint of water half an hour before meals participants were able to reduce the amount they ate during the meal altogether by around thirteen percent. Finally, drinking water on its own can boost your metabolism. Another study found that simply by drinking 500 ml of water, participants metabolic rate was increased by 30% over the course of the next hour.
Drinking water on its own can decrease the number of times you feel hungry, decrease the amount of food you eat when you do feel hungry, and increase the rate at which you transform your food into energy. All in all, remembering to stay hydrated will make your body a more efficient machine—meaning the other steps required to keeping those pounds off will only be easier.
Count Fiber and Protein, not Calories
Many diets can help you reduce the number of pounds you take off quickly, but finding a diet that can help sustain that weight loss can be more difficult. Sure you might be able to slim down quickly be drinking only apple cider vinegar and honey but long term, your body will not be able to operate at that level. Instead of simply reducing calories consumed, we recommend looking very closely at where those calories are coming from. Foods rich in natural fibers such as broccoli, pears, and lentils—and high in protein such as eggs, almonds, and rolled oats—can help you feel more full than processed foods.
Get Active and Keep Your Exercise Balanced
Just as important as diet in taking those pounds off is exercise. Regularly getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise can greatly reduce the chances of putting the pounds you lose. The type of exercise you engage in can be important, however. Individuals who took off pounds frequently also lose muscle mass, which means it may be harder to maintain that weight loss due to having less muscle to burn off excess fat. By ensuring that you have a balanced exercise regimen that includes both cardiovascular training as well as weight training, it can be easier to maintain one's weight loss.
Focus on Your Morning Routine
We all dread the alarm clock—but there are a number of reasons why prioritizing a healthy morning routine may lead to being healthy throughout the day. One study, for example, examining individuals that had reduced their weight by at least 30 pounds for over a year, showed that 78% of them began every day by eating breakfast - as opposed to the only 4% that said they skipped breakfast every day. But don't just start your healthy diet early—another study found that women who exercised in the morning felt on average less hungry than women who either did not exercise or exercised during other parts of the day.
By sticking to these four key practices, you may greatly reduce the chances of putting those new year pounds back on. As always, consult with your physician before attempting any weight loss regimen, and be sure to consider your local fitness center for working out your new goals for exercise!
If you're experiencing symptoms or have concerns about your health, it's important to contact your primary care doctor.