A new study has shown how we can maintain long-term weight loss.
Are you dying to show off those curves of yours and shed off your unwanted excess pounds? You can, through diet and exercise. But the question is: can you keep off those unwanted fats in the long run?
Actually, only you have the power to shed excess pounds and keep it off long-term.
Researchers of The Miriam Hospital have published their recent findings on weight loss maintenance for individuals over a 10-year period in the American Journal of Medicine. The results show that most people can achieve weight loss in the long run if they stick to certain favorable health habits. The study is the first to observe behaviour change and weight loss on more than two thousand participants, majority of which were female. Before they were enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), the participants have already lost a minimum of 30 pounds and have already kept excess weight off for a minimum of one year.
Three Keys to Successful Weight Loss
To identify the keys to successful weight loss maintenance, the participants were followed by the researchers for 10 years. The researchers found out that on the average, most of the participants maintained their weight throughout the 10-year period. Better weight control was found in participants who continue to have physical activity, who monitor their weight, to consume low-fat diets and who avoid overeating.
The researchers also noted that majority of the participants still maintained at least 10% weight loss even after 5 years until 10 years. It is said that a larger initial weight loss and a longer duration of weight loss maintenance was associated with better long-term results. Greater weight gain, on the other hand, was associated with decreased exercise, increased fat in the diet and poor choice of food.
Thus this leads us to believe that weight loss is best maintained when we continue to make room for physical activity in our lives, when we monitor our weight regularly and when we choose what we eat.
Increased Physical Activity
By physical activity, we mean any type of movement by the body which creates work for muscles and requires more energy than rest. Examples of physical activity include taking a walk, dancing, doing household chores and mowing the lawn. Physical activity has a lot of benefits to your health. As little as sixty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week can work wonders for your health. Greater benefits can be achieved with about two hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or with more than an hour of vigorous exercise every week.
Next, you need to watch out for what you eat. A healthy diet can give your body the nutrients it needs every day which are within your daily caloric goals to achieve weight loss. Aside from maintaining weight loss, this can also lower your risk for heart disease and other medical problems. To maintain long-term weight loss you should eat a lot of fruits, lean meat and vegetables. You should also be able to control portion sizes.
Increased physical activity and reduction of calories are recommended to lose weight and decrease abdominal fat. Other experts also recommend behavior therapy for weight loss and weight maintenance. These three should be continued indefinitely and should not be stopped when weight loss is already achieved.
Thus, within the first six months after weight loss, a weight maintenance program consisting of increased physical activity, decreased fat consumption and reduced caloric intake should be prioritized. Weight loss in obese and overweight individuals should be emphasized because excess weight can increase the risk of dangerous illnesses and death.
Now you know about the various ways how changing your behavior can help you maintain weight loss in the long run. Not only will you keep excess weight off for many years; you can also avoid the possibility of having diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many deadly illnesses. For other tips on how to increase your physical activity and on how to eat healthy, you can check out our other articles in this site.