Dieters are overjoyed when they shed pounds, look and feel better, and get plenty of compliments on their weight loss. But their enthusiasm turns to disappointment if they can’t keep the weight off. Strategies to maintain a healthy weight include lifestyle changes that become permanent.
Instead of focusing on one factor to lose weight, experts recommend building healthier eating patterns for ongoing health and weight maintenance. For example, some dieters lose weight through crash diets that only bring temporary results. It might be a liquid diet or a meal plan that focuses on only one type of food. Many crash dieters eventually fall back into unhealthy eating habits.
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A successful strategy to keep weight off consists of wholesome diets and a regular routine of physical activity for lasting effects, J. Graham Thomas, an assistant professor of research at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, told The Huffington Post
. People can then understand the value of healthy foods and exercise for a transition from diet to maintenance, he said.
Thomas, a researcher with the National Weight Control Registry, which follows the behaviors of successful weight loss maintainers, said people who keep weight off are involved in at least 200 minutes of physical activity a week. That’s about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day on most days of the week. It could include brisk walking.
People who maintain weight control following a diet stay consistent by eating the healthy foods that helped them lose weight. They also seek support from other active friends or family members who eat right. They stay positive and get enough sleep.
Emotional eating is an obstacle facing some people who want to keep the weight off, Shape magazine pointed out
. They might have learned to stay away from unhealthy foods that add on pounds, but stress or anger has them eating junk food or foods they need to avoid. When tempted with a quick snack during these times, people should ask themselves if they are really hungry and need to be eating it.
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If sticking to a healthy eating plan becomes boring, the National Health Service (NHS) advises
finding new healthy foods by buying cookbooks for healthy recipes or attending healthy cooking courses. The NHS also noted that eating breakfast helps to keep weight off. People avoid getting too hungry and snacking before the next meal.
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