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6 Healthy Habits to Help You Maintain Weight Loss

6 Healthy Habits to Help You Maintain Weight LossWeight gain can easily sneak up on you during the holidays. There are more parties, more desserts, less outdoor activities and etc. Around new years it becomes very popular to try and undo the damage that some do over the holidays. Most people have at some point decided to lose weight in their life and then proceeded to do so. What most people, unfortunately, end up doing is to lose some weight and then shortly thereafter regain the weight again. The weight loss maintenance is the most difficult part of changing your body. Maintaining the weight loss for a long period of time is a tough task that requires some effort.

The biggest problem is to find a sustainable solution. Every change/diet/fix has to be something that can be done for a long and consistent time. Otherwise, it will not give you a permanent solution but a short term change and that’s it. To find a long-term solution, it’s crucial to have a balanced approach. Being too aggressive with restrictions will make it very hard to sustain over a longer period which is necessary to see some permanent results.

Only about a small percentage of people who lose weight manage to maintain the weight loss for over 1 year. Common habits for the people who are successful include engaging in high levels of physical activity, eating a diet that’s low in calories, self-monitor weight on a regular basis, maintain a consistent eating pattern, and catching “slips” before they turn into larger re-gains.

If you do choose to implement a change that’s going to help you lose weight, make sure it’s something that you can sustain for a long period of time. Make sure you have a reasonable goal. A weight loss of 0.5-1 lb per week is more than enough for most people. Higher rates can be appropriate if a person has a significant amount of weight to lose. Losing weight slowly means that the change is sustainable and lean mass (muscle) is spared while losing weight. Muscles are your best friend and they help you stay healthy and functional. Dropping weight too fast will set you up for a large rebound as well as lose lean mass.

Satiety is a very important factor for weight loss. The body can up-regulate and down-regulate feelings of hunger very quickly and it will do so to maintain balance. Satiety is affected by many factors including food choices and habits. Hunger will most likely increase as someone continues to lose weight. Being satiated makes it a lot easier to make good nutritional decisions. The goal is to make the weight loss as effortless as possible and being “hangry” will make things a lot more difficult. There will be some individual differences in what we experience to be more or less satiating. Some people find low carb & high fat meals to be very satiating while some don’t. Figure out what meals and food that keeps you full the longest while limiting calories. Fiber makes a huge difference in not just satiety but health. Vegetables and fruit are high in fiber and water which makes them very satiating.

That is why they should make up a large part of your diet. The goal is to eat more vegetables than fruit. Fiber is not only satiating but it offers a wide variety of positive benefits including decreased mortality risk. Meals that are higher in protein are usually also more satiating than lower protein meals.
Water should be the go to drink when losing weight. Being well hydrated will help you be more in tune with you feelings of hunger. Also replacing a drink higher in calories such as juice or soda will help limit your intake of added sugar. There is no magic number you have to drink each day in water. Following your thirst is usually the best way to go about it.

Habits play a large role in satiety as well. Eating slower leads to a better perception of satiety. Clearing out a plate of food in 5 minutes is probably way too fast. It takes a little while for the brain to register that food is coming in. First, the stomach will expand from the food, and even later the nutrients will start to reach the bloodstream. If you scarf down food quickly you can outpace the 6 Healthy Habits to Help You Maintain Weight Lossfeedback loop and end up overeating. Try to slow things down a little bit and see what happens. Something as simple as using a smaller plate has been shown to decrease food intake. A bigger plate tends to automatically be filled with more food just because of the size of the plate. If there is a TV in the room you will automatically eat more. The TV or computer will distract you from the food and the eating becomes less mindful. When it’s time to eat focus on the food only. Watching TV will make you eat more and if there is food on the television then you will eat even more. Here are a few easy tips that will help you become more satiated:

  1. Eat slower (10+min per plate at a minimum)

  2. Use a smaller plate

  3. Turn off the TV, computer, phone, music, and etc.

  4. Get some protein and fiber on the plate

  5. Start your meal with a tall glass of water

  6. Make sure you get enough sleep! If you’ve missed the previous sleep article go back and review it here.

Focusing on these habits can help your weight loss efforts. Try to create an environment that aligns with your goals and you will not have to exhaust your willpower.

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Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

Director of Training and Head Coach at CrossFit TNT
M.S Human Performance from Lindenwood University

B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University

Started CrossFit in 2010.

Favorite thing about what I do:

To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence

Credentials:

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association

CF L1 Coach

CF L2 Coach

CF Endurance

CF Weightlifting

CF Mobility

CF Gymnastics

USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach

CPR Certified
Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

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