Losing weight is a major challenge, but an even greater challenge is to keep off the weight that you have lost. Keeping the weight off is not easy and most people who lose weight eventually gain at least some, if not all of it back. According to a study in the journal Obesity published in 2016, researchers found 13 of 14 contestants regained the weight they’d lost. This may be because if you lose weight too quickly, then the body will try to reset or maintain its initial set point.
It happens mainly because the fat cells in our body secrete hormones, and one of these is leptin that helps the person from feeling hungry. The more fat a person has, the more leptin he/she will have; so, when you lose weight, you lose that satiety signal. If a person puts on weight after a major weight loss, the body will then signal the muscles to be more efficient and burn fewer calories, thus making a person’s metabolism low. Researchers in another study found that the contestants’ metabolic rate remained covered up even after they’d regained the weight. In some cases age, hormones, sex, genetics and gut bacteria can also affect a person’s metabolic rate.
Another reason could be that areas of the brain (involved in the rewarding feeling you get from eating) get more active. This increases your appetite and you end up consuming much more food than what you need.
To make sure that you keep off the weight you have lost, make sure you follow the instructions below:
- Light eating is right. Ensure a little bit lower caloric intake than you want to.
- Cut off gimmicks, special diet foods and magic pills as they are not effective in the long term.
- Make a journal of your food intake as it is a powerful tool to keep you on the right track.
- Stay hydrated as it is good for your overall health. Water helps you to burn calories by keeping your metabolism going as water doesn’t have carbohydrates, calories or fat. Avoid juices and aerated drinks, as they may contain high sugar content.
- Daily exercising, especially walking, is the best workout routine.
- Outdoor games would also help you maintain the right weight.
- Weigh regularly to see if you have gained weight or not; if yes, then make some adjustments to your lifestyle to get back to a healthy weight.
- Try to get enough sleep, because sleep-deprived people would have cravings for unhealthy foods.
Always keep your motivation high even though it’s challenging to keep off the weight. A healthy and consistent diet, regular exercising and intense attention to your current weight, and good eating habits can help you win the struggle to keep those extra pounds off for good.