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For millions of overweight people, reaching a healthy weight is a dream. However, shedding excess pounds is only half the weight loss battle. What's just as important is maintaining the weight loss. This part of the weight loss effort is often overlooked. It's easy to assume that once you reach a healthy weight, staying there will be easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Regaining all the weight once lost is sadly common. Here are seven tips for how you can avoid that outcome.
A good diet doesn't mean you should be hungry all the time. Quite the opposite. Many unhealthy, processed, fatty foods are digested quickly. In contrast, high-fiber and protein rich foods are digested slowly, allowing for a gradual release of energy and sustained satiety. Some of the best choices for nutritious and filling foods include eggs, beans, whole-wheat bread, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Fruits and veggies are indispensable to a healthy lifestyle. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with many vitamins and minerals key to bodily function. If you skip the fruits and vegetables you will be more likely to indulge in sweet, fatty, or otherwise unhealthy foods. Aim four about five servings of vegetables per day and four servings of fruit.
From cakes, to cookies, to chips, to French fries, there's no doubt about it: many of the tastiest foods are also the least good for you. Quitting these foods entirely is probably not realistic. The more reasonable approach is to limit their consumption. Choose small portions sizes and don't indulge every day. Switching to healthier versions of desserts or snacks is also smart.
While diet is always the most important factor in determining weight, working out is still a big part of adopting the healthy lifestyle required to maintain weight loss. Besides burning calories, exercise makes you look and feel better. With an improved mood and greater confidence, you'll be less likely to resort to junk foods and sweets as a way to cope with stress and unhappiness. Exercise is also important since muscle is often lost during weight loss.
It's hard to accomplish anything without emotional support. Other people provide accountability, meaning you don't have to go it entirely alone. If those around you do not live healthy lifestyles, try finding some new sources of support. Join a weight loss support group. Exercise is another good means of finding people devoted to healthier living.
Maintaining weight loss is as much psychological as anything else. Once you've reached your goal, it's easy to relax and lose focus. Bad habits start creeping back in and before you know it, you're gaining weight. Don't allow this to happen. Be vigilant. Continue to pay attention to what you are eating and how much exercise you are getting. Weigh yourself occasionally or at least pay attention to how you look in the mirror.
It's almost impossible to completely avoid setbacks. There will probably be times you regain some weight. What's more important is how you respond to these setbacks. Don't fall into despair simply because of a little backsliding. If you reassert your willpower you can get back to where you were before.
Why do so many people regain the weight they once lost? Usually, the issue is that the diet that got them there is not truly sustainable. If you lose weight only by adopting an extremely restrictive diet, you won't be able to keep it up indefinitely. No one wants to be hungry all the time. That's the problem with weird fad diets. The better, healthier approach is to adopt a balanced lifestyle focused on moderation and sensible decisions.
By Carlton Ryan