How Do I Maintain My Weight?
The Weight Challenge
Losing weight is a great accomplishment, but it's only half the battle. Many people lose weight only to gain it back. So care must be taken to continue the lifestyle changes that helped with weight loss if the weight loss is to be maintained. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are essential to maintain weight after a weight loss.
Why Does Weight Change?
To maintain a certain weight, food and beverages consumed must be in balance with physical activity. In other words, calories consumed must equal calories burned. When calories consumed are greater than calories burned, weight gain occurs, and when calories burned are greater than calories consumed, weight loss occurs.
Tips for Losing Weight
To increase calories burned, one must become more active. Taking stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving and exercising can increase calories burned. One great tip is to get a pedometer at a sporting goods store and try to increase the miles you walk each day! To decrease calories consumed, eating less fat and decreasing portion sizes can help.
A good way to maintain your weight is to weigh yourself regularly, about once a week. If you notice that you are gaining weight, cut back on your food intake and or increase your exercise until your weight falls to normal. If you notice that you are losing weight, eat more (nutritious foods, of course!) until your weight returns to normal. Ideally, a pattern of eating at the same time of day and keeping your carbohydrate intake consistent should be maintained.
Weight Maintenance is a Balancing Act
Adjustments on either side of the equation, calories consumed or calories burned, can help you find a routine that promotes weight maintenance.