Losing weight can be challenging, but keeping the weight off permanently is a bigger challenge. With Spring here, thoughts of long summer days in shorts and bathing suits come along, often followed by a desire to loose weight.
Often weight loss goals come with memories of past frustration with gaining back lost weight after you go off a plan. How do you maintain the lost weight once you return to normal eating habits?
It all begins with a lifestyle change. Many programs have addressed this with better results, but there is still a missing ingredient: metabolism.
Your body’s ability to burn fat is one of the biggest factors in maintaining a normal body weight.
When loosing weight you loose fat but with it goes muscle and muscle equals metabolism. So with less muscle mass you have a lower metabolism and therefore a reduced ability to burn fat. Hence, why many diets don’t work and you gain back more weight than you originally lost.
No problem, just exercise, that will keep up the muscle mass.
Exercise is and always will be a very critical component of maintaining a healthy weight, but there is more to it.
If you use meal replacement shakes filled with an amino acid called Leucine, your body will naturally keep your muscle mass while it’s loosing the fat, keeping metabolism high.
Follow a diet that has been based on clinical research with proven healthy results.
Avoid fad diets that promise “pie in the sky” unrealistic quick results and instead opt for the ‘lifestyle’ change plan for long term maintenance.
High protein through soy or whey supplement and complex carbohydrates will help to regulate the blood sugar if taken in frequent and smaller portions throughout the day.
The result is feeling full, and not craving the wrong foods because your blood sugar is balanced.
Eat at least one regular meal with fish or chicken for high protein, low fat which will curb the craving for ‘real food’ if using meal replacement shakes.
Any diet program that dramatically reduces calories will put the body into a starvation mode and therefore increase cravings giving poor results.
Increase exercise to a minimum of half to one hour per day with a balance of cardio and some muscle strengthening exercises. This will keep your metabolism high and help you feel good about yourself.
Exercise increases the endorphins to the brain that offer the ‘feel good’ feeling.
Begin any program with moderation and set yourself up for success with healthy foods you enjoy eating, exercise you like, a support buddy to share your challenges and success, a chart to keep track of lost inches and weight, and most of all a planned celebration for when you have reached your goal weight and inch loss.
You deserve to feel and look fabulous and to be rewarded for it!
Check out www.cinchclub.com for some dieting tips.
Lacombe freelance columnist Judy Holt is a wellness consultant and author of 1 Potato, 2 Potato, Couch Potato to You.