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Once you’ve reached your ideal weight, it’s time to give yourself a hearty and much-deserved pat on the back for a job well done. Now, it’s time to shift your focus on lifestyle habits that can help keep those extra pounds from returning.
Maintaining your weight loss takes as much discipline and consistency. Read on to discover simple strategies that you can easily stick to!
Why Do People Regain the Lost Pounds?
Many people end up gaining back the excess pounds they’ve shed despite attempts to keep them at bay. Here are some reasons why this happens:
- Your body works to regain back the lost weight once you stop dieting: Rebound weight gain often occurs after your extreme calorie-deficit diet, which slows down your metabolism and increases your food cravings. Increased hunger is your body’s response to your low calorie and nutrient intake.
- Sleep deprivation results in weight gain: Lack of sleep increases the levels of your “hunger hormone” called ghrelin and makes you less motivated to exercise. Sleep deprivation is also linked to poor food choices. Instead of healthier options, you tend to crave junk food or high-carb and sugary snacks such as doughnuts, french fries, pizza and corn chips when you’re sleep deprived.
- A quick-fix diet solution is hard to sustain: With fad diets, you quickly regain the lost weight after stopping their methods of dieting. Weight control requires long-term healthy lifestyle habits.
How to Sustain Your Healthy Weight
Weight maintenance comes with commitment. Here are our five practical everyday habits to effectively keep your weight in check.
Good Habit #1: Commit to Regular Exercise
Endurance, strength, balance and flexibility training contribute to your body’s energy balance for better weight control. Energy balance is a state in which your body burns the same amount of calories that it takes in.
Intense workout activities such as cardio and strength training are good not only for your body weight but also for your cardiovascular health, muscles and overall physical strength and endurance.
You can start your cardio exercise with a stationary exercise bike, a fitness device for fat and calorie burning. RENPHO’s AI Smart Bike is for you if you also want to personalise your workout based on your fitness goals.
If you prefer low-intensity exercises, yoga, walking or jogging are equally effective in keeping your weight under control.
Good Habit #2: Watch What You Eat
Smart nutrition combined with regular exercise makes for a successful weight management plan.
Fibre-rich, low-fat foods, including cruciferous vegetables and whole grains, are great for weight maintenance. Eating vegetables makes you feel full without consuming too many calories. To add more vegetables to your meals, you can simply mix spinach into your pasta, put lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and onions in your sandwiches, or use mushrooms as part of your ingredients instead of meat.
Limit your intake of high-carb foods such as white bread, pasta and cookies to avoid weight regain.
Good Habit #3: Create a Healthy Meal Plan
A doable and practical home meal plan lets you enjoy a balanced diet and food variety. It can also prevent you from overeating whilst reducing your food waste and food expenses.
A healthy meal plan ensures that your body is getting all the right nutrients without exceeding your everyday calorie intake goal. Your plan should include foods such as fruits and vegetables, high-fibre whole grains, fish, chicken, eggs, and beans. Limit your intake of added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.
When planning your meals, here are some pointers to consider:
- Create a grocery list: Plan your meals ahead of time to buy all the ingredients you need and avoid impulse buying when you go grocery shopping.
- Schedule your cooking time: Do your best to cook despite your busy schedule to avoid frequent food ordering.
- Experiment with recipes: If you’re up to it, try different kinds of cuisines to enjoy food variety. You can stir-fry vegetables or prepare a pot of rice and beans. The choice is yours.
- Cook your favourite food: Prepare dishes that you love with a twist without missing your weight management goals.
- Be flexible: Flexibility gives you room to give in to your cravings without overindulging in unhealthy food and drinks.
Good Habit #4: Believe that you can do it
A positive attitude goes a long way in your weight management journey. Be gentle with yourself if you experience setbacks such as missing your exercise or overeating. You can stay motivated by:
- Celebrating how you can now fit into the clothes that were once tight on you thanks to your hard work
- Engaging in positive self-talk
- Seeking support from your families and friends who can cheer you on
- Remind yourself about how far you’ve come in terms of your physical and mental health
If you find yourself returning to your old eating habits, it’s ok to do it over and go back to your healthy eating plan.
Good Habit #5: Start a Food Diary
A food diary is one way to keep track of your food intake and stay within your desired weight range. By logging your daily consumption, you can make proper meal adjustments, ensure portion control and monitor your fitness progress.
Here are your guide questions when writing in your food diary:
- What food and drinks did you eat?
- How much did you consume?
- Were you alone or with friends?
- Did you have other activities whilst eating?
- How were you feeling whilst eating?
Additionally, when logging the information, keep in mind to:
- Be as detailed and specific as possible
- Record everything immediately
- Include the amount of food consumed
You can keep tabs on your food intake using a notebook, a spreadsheet or your smartphone’s notes app. You can also try Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smart food scales to record your nutrient intake using their dedicated apps for a more balanced diet.
With your food diary, whether digital or not, you don’t have to rely on your memory.
There’s no easy fix to sustaining a healthy weight loss. It’s best to talk to your nutritionist to come up with a sustainable weight maintenance plan based on your needs.
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