Wondering how to maintain weight loss in the long term? Don’t worry, OriGym is here to help!
Whether you’re struggling with your daily eating habits or hoping to make some bigger lifestyle changes, we’ve put together some tips that will teach you the best way to lose weight and keep it off for good.
We’ll also discuss the benefits of maintaining weight loss to remind you of why you started your journey in the first place and why you should keep going. More specifically, in this article we will look at:
- Why Do Many People Struggle to Maintain Weight Loss?
- Tips on How to Maintain Weight Loss
- Benefits of Maintaining Weight Loss
Before we get stuck in, are you interested in helping others reach their weight loss goals? If so, why not become a part of the fitness industry by taking a level 3 diploma in personal training.
If you think the fitness sector is for you, browse through all of our courses here in our downloadable prospectus.
Don’t forget, to help keep you on track, you can download a FREE food diary below!
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Why Do So Many People Struggle to Maintain Weight Loss?
In scientific terms, maintaining weight loss should be simple; to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit, meaning that you need to burn more calories than you consume.
This can be achieved through healthy eating and regular exercise. However, weight maintenance is not as easy as it sounds.
If you’re struggling with how to maintain weight loss after dieting, then you’re not alone. Out of all those who are overweight, there are less people who successfully lose weight and keep it off, compared to those who put the weight back on over time.
This is because keeping weight off in the long run requires you to make some permanent changes to your lifestyle if you hope to be successful. Here are some of the key reasons why many people struggle to make this commitment to their health:
Many people think that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to restrict the number of calories that they consume, as well as the type of foods that they eat. However, being too restrictive may actually have an adverse effect on your progress.
This is because if you’re not provided with enough energy to fuel yourself, then your body will begin to conserve energy by storing fat. In the long term, your metabolism and the number of calories you burn at rest, will slow down and keeping weight off will become even harder.
Also, restricting certain types of food, or even whole food groups, is likely to make you crave that food even more. You may find yourself overeating other foods to satisfy these cravings and may eventually even develop a binging habit.
This causes you to eat more than you would have if you had just eaten the food that you were craving in the first place, it is all about moderation to stay on track and more importantly, to stay happy.
One of the most important factors to mention when considering how to maintain weight loss in the long term is your attitude towards the process.
Many people struggle because they see their diet as a quick fix, rather than a long-term solution to improve their health. As a result of this mindset, when it takes longer than expected to reach your weight loss goals you will feel demotivated and are therefore likely to give up.
Also, you may be struggling with maintaining weight loss if your mind is focused purely on aesthetic goals. This is another example of a short-term goal that will simply hinder your mindset and weight loss journey.
The most important thing to remember to stay in a positive mindset is the fact that results don’t happen overnight. Depending on your weight, a journey to a healthier and happier you could take longer than you think, and that is okay!
Losing weight too fast can be dangerous, so trust the process - just like one good day won’t change your weight, nor will one bad day. So, any hiccups that come along the way, remember to overcome, learn from them and keep going.
Lack of Sustainable Habits
If you’re struggling with how to maintain your weight after a diet, then it’s probably because many diets are based upon willpower, rather than habits that you can incorporate into your daily life.
They are also usually based on rules and restrictions, rather than bigger lifestyle changes. This means that you are likely to feel restricted and will stop following them after a while. In the long term, these types of diets are not sustainable, and will not allow you to make the small daily changes that help with keeping weight off permanently.
Trying new recipes and simply being aware of what is in the food you consume regularly is a great first step. Some foods may look healthy but think about things such as how they’re cooked, is it in oil? What about the calories in your dairy intake - could this be cut down?
Simply looking into how many calories are in the foods that you eat more often than others can surprise you, this can help you to make conscious decisions such as reducing portion sizes.
Even if you already know how to maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to ensure that your environment is constructive to help you do this.
For instance, having fresh ingredients available for you to cook at home means that you are more likely to make healthy, satisfying meals which will help you on your journey.
It’s also important to surround yourself with people who will support you when trying to maintain weight loss. Many people fail on their weight maintenance journey as they succumb to pressure from those around them to make the wrong food choices, or to “just skip that workout!”.
This is when self discipline has to come into the picture, you must be able to make your own decisions and not be influenced - this could mean changing your environment in social settings.
Building a solid support network full of people who understand how to maintain weight loss will help you to avoid this and may even help to motivate you in the long run.
Tips on How to Maintain Weight Loss
If any of the factors that we’ve discussed sound familiar, then keep reading to find out how to lose weight and keep it off for good with our help.
#1 Eat a High Protein Diet
It is known that increasing your protein intake has the best effect on your metabolism and appetite if you’re hoping to maintain weight loss.
For instance, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when protein intake was increased from 15% to 30% of overall calorie intake for 19 overweight women, they ate 441 fewer calories per day.
This is because protein increases the level of satiety hormones in your body, whilst reducing levels of ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone. Your appetite will therefore be reduced, which naturally lowers the number of calories that you consume per day.
Furthermore, protein has a much higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fat. This means that it significantly increases the number of calories you burn, as it requires more energy for it to be broken down and used within the body.
But that isn’t all, as protein contains amino acids, which help with increasing muscle mass. Building muscle over time helps to boost your metabolism, which is the number of calories you burn at rest as working muscles require a lot of energy to keep them moving.
So, if you’re wanting to know how to keep weight off, then ensure that you are consuming a sufficient level of protein, you can find out more about the thermic effect and boosting your metabolism here in our article - the best metabolism boosting foods.
#2 Be Mindful of Carbohydrate Intake
As our body’s main energy source, carbohydrates are an important macronutrient. If you’re looking for the best way to lose weight and keep it off, then ditching carbohydrates completely is not one of them!
However, it’s important that you’re mindful of the type of carbohydrates you consume, and the quantities that you consume them in.
For instance, you should try to avoid eating too many refined carbs. These include foods such as white breads and pasta, which are stripped of their natural fibre.
Fibre is crucial as it helps to promote fullness, because the foods that contain it are released into the bloodstream slowly. This helps to keep energy levels up for a longer period, so consuming enough fibre can even prevent you from overeating.
Fibre also helps to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as promoting good bowel health, so try to eat around 30g a day to experience these benefits. It’s important to note that you don’t need to cut refined carbs out of your diet completely - just ensure that you’re eating them in moderation.
Be sure to balance your diet out with plenty of starchy carbs that contain high levels of fibre, which include whole grain varieties of rice, bread, and pasta, as well as potatoes.
#3 Eat Plenty of Vegetables
If you’ve ever wondered how to maintain a healthy weight, then you’ve more than likely been told that eating vegetables is the best method, but why is this?
Ensuring that you consume plenty of vegetables helps with the concept of volume eating. This is because vegetables are low in calories, so you can of course eat large portions of them.
This helps to keep you full and satisfied, as well as allowing you to get all of those important micronutrients and antioxidants into your diet, which are great for overall health. Read more about antioxidants in our article on the best antioxidant foods here.
Vegetables are also very high in fibre, so they keep you full and hence, automatically reduce the number of calories that you eat overall.
The high levels of fibre that are present in vegetables also helps to regulate your blood sugar, meaning that you won’t experience that late afternoon dip in energy which would usually leave you reaching for the chocolate or processed carbs!
#4 Always Eat Breakfast
Many people suggest that skipping breakfast helps when learning how to maintain your weight after a diet, and it may be useful for those who practice intermittent fasting, as it saves more calories for later on in the day. You can learn more about the benefits of intermittent fasting here.
However, we would advise you to try and eat breakfast when possible. This is because it helps you avoid getting too hungry mid-morning, when you more than likely end up snacking on unhealthy foods, which are higher in calories and less nutritious.
Eating breakfast also sets you up for the day, ensuring that you get a decent amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein from the very beginning. After a night of fasting, your blood sugar levels will be low, so these nutrients provide fuel for your muscles and brain, which will help with concentration and productivity throughout the day.
Those who eat breakfast consequently tend to have healthier habits, including exercising more and being more motivated to stick to a healthy lifestyle!
#5 Stay Hydrated
When looking at how to maintain your weight loss, one of the best tips that we have is simple - drink plenty of water!
If you’re not drinking enough water then you may feel bloated, which can cause you to put on a few extra pounds. This is because water helps the kidneys to flush waste and toxins from the body, so, when you’re dehydrated, the kidneys instead retain this fluid.
Water is also essential for burning fat, which occurs in a process called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which involves water molecules interacting with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids. Ultimately, this process cannot occur if you aren’t rehydrating often enough.
Try drinking a glass of water or two before reaching for a sugary snack and you may find that you’re no longer craving it. This is because water takes up space in the stomach, so it is great for preventing the habit of overeating that can of course lead to weight gain.
#6 Incorporate Exercise into Your Routine
If you’re struggling with how to maintain weight loss and haven’t started exercising regularly, then why not incorporate it into your daily or weekly routine?
NHS guidelines recommend that you perform at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity.
Moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, bike rides, water aerobics, and even dancing. A vigorous intensity activity is anything that makes you breathe hard and fast, including running, sports and swimming.
Exercise is a key component to add into your lifestyle when maintaining weight loss, as it helps to increase the number of calories that you burn, decreases appetite, improves cardiovascular function, and promotes a sense of psychological well-being. These are all factors which are important for keeping weight off in the long term.
Although exercise helps to ensure that you are in a caloric deficit, this should be combined with eating a healthy, balanced diet when maintaining weight loss.
#7 Try Resistance Training
One of the best forms of exercise for maintaining weight loss is resistance training.
Resistance training is any form of exercise where your muscles must contract to overcome a form of resistance. This resistance can be from your bodyweight, resistance bands, weight machines in the gym, or free weights such as dumbbells and barbells.
As you increase the weights that you are lifting, your muscles are forced to adapt and grow to overcome the increased resistance applied to them. This can allow you to build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Lifting weights is therefore great for keeping weight off, because during weight loss you often lose muscle alongside fat.
Having a lower muscle mass lowers your metabolism, as your working muscles require less calories. This means that you burn fewer calories at rest, making it harder to maintain the hard work you have put in.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to maintain your weight loss and are bored of the usual forms of cardio, why not try weightlifting instead? If you need an extra push, learn about the benefits of strength training here.
#8 Weigh Yourself Regularly
A 2013 study found that people who weighed themselves 6 days a week consumed 300 fewer calories per day than those who monitored their weight less frequently.
This is because being aware of your weight helps to ensure that you are on the right track; if you find that you’re putting on weight, then you can put plans into place to help you with keeping the weight off before it gets out of control.
Weighing yourself regularly can also be motivational, as seeing the numbers go down allows you to celebrate the small wins and can encourage you to keep going towards your goal. Monitoring your weight is a great way to stay on track but remember to not get discouraged if the scales vary from time to time.
However, alongside the scale weight it’s also important to pay attention to how you feel and how your clothes are fitting.
If the numbers on the scale are increasing, but you feel that your body weight is changing, then you may still be reducing your body fat, but also increasing muscle mass. This is especially true if you are incorporating resistance training into your routine!
To monitor this, take weekly progress photos and you may notice a few changes as time goes by. Progress photos can be a great visual reminder of how far you’ve come and can be hugely motivational if you’re struggling with how to maintain weight loss.
#9 Get Plenty of Sleep
We all know the importance of healthy eating and exercise when trying to figure out how to maintain a healthy weight, but many of us underestimate the power of a good night's sleep.
When we’re tired, we’re less motivated to exercise, to make healthy food choices, and are more likely to overeat, making it harder to lose weight.
Also, not getting enough sleep increases the levels of ghrelin present in our bodies. This is known as the hunger hormone because it increases appetite, which is another factor correlating lack of sleep to overeating.
So, another additional habit that can help you to lose weight and keep it off is to ensure that you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
To ensure that you are getting good quality sleep, you should also try to keep your bedtime consistent and shut down any electronics a couple of hours before going to sleep. Both your mind and body will thank you for this in the long run.
For some useful resources on nutrition, read our articles below:
Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!
#10 Plan Ahead
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail; this may be a cliché, but it’s very true if you’re wanting to know how to stop putting on weight.
With busy schedules and the stresses of everyday life, it can be easy to turn to convenience food, or skip that workout.
However, this is where planning should come in, for instance, creating a meal plan full of delicious dishes will keep your eating habits on track. Having the ingredients, or even the meals themselves, ready to go as soon as you get home means that you’re more likely to be able to cook a healthy and satisfying meal.
Another tip is to schedule workouts in, just as you would plan meetings or appointments into your diary.
Having steps in place such as this to help you towards your overall goal is important, particularly for those days when motivation is low. If you do need an extra dose of motivation, read our article on the best motivational podcasts here.
#11 Set Yourself Goals
As we’ve established, one of the most important tips for how to maintain weight loss is planning and organisation, and goal setting is part of this process.
Setting yourself some goals allows you to develop a long-term vision, which should provide you with the motivation to stay on track on a day-to-day basis.
These should be SMART goals, which means that they should be specific, manageable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. If you need some help on these, read our article on SMART fitness goals here.
For instance, is there a special occasion that you want to feel your best for? You should consider how and why you want to achieve your goal, and the steps that you can put in place to help you along the way.
However, it’s important to remember that one off, short-term goals won’t always keep you motivated. Be sure to set goals that aren’t just about aesthetics, such as wanting to achieve visible abs or be ‘beach body’ ready.
Instead, set some goals that will help you to improve your long-term health, or even your sporting performance. Being able to run a certain distance at a good pace or lift a certain amount of weight is much more likely to motivate you to maintain your weight and enjoy yourself whilst doing so.
#12 Track Your Progress
If you’ve set some goals but are still struggling with how to maintain weight loss in the long term, then a great way to give you some motivation is to track your daily habits. This could include your food intake, as well as any exercise that you complete.
Tracking your food using an app, food diary, or journal helps to increase your awareness of how much you consume, as well as providing specific information about calories and macronutrients.
You don’t have to track your food intake forever, but it’s a great tool for beginners as it teaches you about good nutrition and eating habits, as well as portion control. This ensures that you are not over or even under eating and that you are getting all of the correct nutrients you need to be in optimal health.
You may also choose to track your exercise using an app or fitness watch, or perhaps even a simple diary. Keeping note of the distance that you’ve run or the weights that you’ve lifted is a good way to ensure that you are continually progressing, you can find some of the best fitness watches here on our list.
This also helps you to see how far you’ve come, which can give you motivation to keep pushing and surpassing your fitness goals.
#13 Make Sustainable Lifestyle Changes
One of the most successful methods for maintaining weight loss is making lifestyle changes that work for you.
As we’ve discussed, many people follow unrealistic diets that lead them to restricting food intake, leaving them feeling deprived and unsatisfied with the food that they are eating. For instance, a common method of food restriction is eating healthily all week, then binging at weekends.
Also known as yo-yo dieting, this can lead to weight cycling, which is where you lose and regain weight multiple times. Weight cycling comes with several health risks, including high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, and high cholesterol. You can learn more about fad diets here in our article and the risks it offers.
If you’re wondering how to maintain weight loss after dieting and are hoping to avoid weight cycling, then try to maintain a consistent eating pattern.
You can do this by following the ’80-20’ rule, where 80% of your diet consists of nutritious, yet delicious foods, and 20% consists of some treats, which can be less nutritionally dense foods.
Allowing for small, portion-controlled amounts of your favourite foods in your diet will help to make maintaining your weight loss a lifestyle, rather than seeing it as a short-term dieting phase.
Research has shown that those who are able to maintain their weight loss for 2 to 5 years are more successful in maintaining weight loss permanently!
#14 Lose Weight Slowly and Steadily
Whether you’re on a weight maintenance journey or are a beginner wanting to know how to stop putting on weight, we would recommend that you aim to lose no more than ½ to 2 pounds per week.
This is because if you lose weight too fast, the likelihood is that you’ve lost it in an unsustainable, unhealthy way, such as through undereating.
Undereating can lead to your metabolism slowing down as your body tries to conserve energy, meaning that you will burn less calories and find keeping weight off much harder in the long term.
There are many health risks associated with drastic weight loss; as well as irritability, fatigue, and hair loss, it can cause menstrual irregularities for women.
Losing weight slowly and steadily gives you time to learn new eating habits, such as portion control, being able to read nutritional labels, as well as learning to listen to your body’s hunger signals. If you need help with portion control, take a look at the best portion control plates here.
These are key skills that you’ll master if you choose a slower approach and will protect your weight loss in the long run, meaning that you are much more likely to maintain it. So in other words, start the journey correctly and it will naturally become a part of your lifestyle.
#15 Learn to Cook at Home
When looking at how to maintain weight loss in the long term, cooking fresh, healthy, and wholesome meals for yourself at home is a great skill to have!
Eating out often is an expensive and unsustainable habit, and processed foods are often lacking in nutritional value, are a source of empty calories, and are loaded with added sugar.
Cooking for yourself allows you to control exactly what goes into your food, as well as the portion size, which ensures that your meals can be personalised to fit your specific goals.
This may also help you to find a new hobby, which will encourage you to want to keep creating delicious, nutritious foods in the long run.
However, if you feel yourself slipping back into your old ways, try mixing things up a little. Why not buy a new healthy cookbook, try out a new recipe, or host a healthy dinner party for your friends and family?
Again, it is all about making healthy changes a new way of life, rather than a trial period. You could even treat yourself to one of the best recipe boxes from our list here.
#16 Practice Mindful Eating
Based on the Buddhist belief of mindfulness, mindful eating is a great concept to practice when exploring how to keep weight off, as it provides you with methods to recognise and cope with your emotions in relation to food.
Mindful eating encourages you to listen to your body and pay full attention to your experience and any cravings you may have whilst eating. It is therefore believed to be used as treatment for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
To practice mindful eating, it’s important to eat without distraction, so take yourself away from any television or computer screens during mealtimes.
You should also chew food slowly and thoroughly to engage your senses, meaning that you are more likely to feel satisfied and are less likely to overeat, which is great for weight maintenance.
Finally, you should pay attention to your appetite cues, so that you only eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you feel full. This allows you to recognise the difference between real hunger and emotional or boredom eating, behaviours that are commonly associated with weight gain.
#17 Lower Your Stress Levels
As a common trigger for overeating, as well as impulsive eating, stress is often the hardest barrier to overcome when you’re struggling with how to maintain your weight.
When you’re stressed, cortisol levels tend to become elevated, which has been linked to higher amounts of fat being stored in the stomach region, as well as increased appetite.
These factors often lead to overconsumption of the wrong types of foods, as you may be aware just like many of us, we tend to grab whatever is most convenient during stressful periods.
A good intervention you can make to help with controlling stress levels is implementing some form of exercise into your routine.
Doing exercise releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine from the brain, all of which help to boost your mood and balance stress hormones within the body.
Although weightlifting and HIIT are both proven stress busters, your chosen form doesn’t have to be this intense, you could try the likes of yoga! If you need help choosing which kind, head over to our article on the 24 types of yoga styles here.
The meditation and breathing exercises that are practiced during yoga sessions helps to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for decreasing heart rate and allowing relaxation. Practicing yoga can therefore put you in a much better state of mind for maintaining weight loss and can avoid you from feeling overwhelmed when it gets tough.
#18 Be Prepared for Setbacks
Although following these tips should set you up well, there may be times when you find it difficult to keep up your healthy habits and find yourself wondering how to maintain weight loss again.
For instance, life may get in the way, and you may eat over your calorie limit, or skip that workout for an extra hour in bed.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should throw your goals out of the window. Simply move on, keep making good choices, and most importantly don’t hold on to feelings of guilt - this will only set you back even further.
Learning how to handle slip ups and get back on track is the most essential tool for maintaining weight loss, especially if you hope to see it as a lifestyle rather than a short-term diet.
Nobody said it was going to be easy trying to lose weight, it is a journey that is far from straight and narrow but it's vital that no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way, you learn from them and jump back on the horse.
#19 Find a Good Support System
Maintaining weight loss on your own can be hard, so why not involve friends and family in your journey?
A strong support system can help to hold you accountable, as well as helping you to navigate and overcome any problems that may arise, which can be tricky when learning how to maintain weight loss alone.
If you’re lacking in motivation, you could try partnering up with someone else on a similar weight loss journey. Seeing someone else maintain healthy habits will encourage you to maintain yours and could be the spark that you need to keep you going.
This partner could be a workout buddy, a member of a weight loss group, or even a friend who’s trying to find out how to lose weight and keep it off too.
In fact, a study that recruited participants for standard behavioural treatment found that 76% of those recruited alone completed the programme, but only 24% maintained their weight loss for at least 10 months.
In contrast, 95% of those who were recruited with friends and given social support completed the treatment, and 66% maintained their weight loss in full. There is no harm in a little healthy competition so any friends or colleagues who are in the same boat, why not encourage them to join you on a new diet regime?
Benefits of Maintaining Weight Loss
Now that you know how to maintain your body weight after weight loss, let’s explore the mental and physical health benefits of doing such.
#1 Improved Sleep
A 2014 study found that obese adults who lose 5% of their bodyweight slept for longer after maintaining their weight loss for at least 6 months.
The study also found that their sleep quality and mood improved, and even alleviated symptoms of depression.
Improving your sleeping pattern helps when maintaining weight loss in the long term, as it can relieve the symptoms of sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea affects those who are overweight, as it causes extra tissue to build up in the back of the throat; when the body relaxes during sleep, this excess tissue drops down and blocks the airway.
This causes you to stop breathing frequently throughout the night and can cause you to snore loudly. Sleep apnoea also causes you to wake up many times, and disturbed sleep can lead to headaches, mood swings and lack of concentration during the day.
Long term sleep apnoea can also lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or type 2 diabetes.
Reducing these symptoms therefore puts you in a more positive and healthier mindset, which is crucial for motivation when on a weight maintenance journey. Read our article to find out about the importance of rest days and how many you need here.
#2 Decreased Joint Pain
Another benefit of knowing how to maintain a healthy weight is that it also helps to maintain healthy joints.
This is because carrying excess weight puts pressure on the joints, particularly those in the lower body such as the knees.
Not only that, but holding excess fat in the body can cause inflammation, which is when chemicals in the body damage your own tissues over time, and can affect those in the joints.
Losing weight helps to prevent this and also makes you less susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage protecting the ends of bones wears down over time. This affects mainly the joints in the hands, spine, hips, and knees and becomes a real problem, particularly as you age.
There are some treatments that can help your bones health such as L-Glutamine, find the benefits, side effects and usages here.
#3 Reduced Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke
Learning how to maintain weight loss also has positive effects on your long-term health.
Losing weight lowers levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in the body, which is known as the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol. It also lowers levels of triglycerides, you may remember this name from earlier, these are the particles that transport fat for storage and energy.
Having high levels of either LDLs or triglycerides within the body means that you’re more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke and as we have already discussed, being able to maintain your weight also reduces inflammation in the body.
Fat cells, especially those in the stomach area, can release chemicals that irritate and inflame tissues all over the body, including the brain. This process has been linked to health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
#4 Lower Blood Pressure
Maintaining weight loss also has positive effects on your blood pressure and conditions related to having high blood pressure.
Carrying extra weight on your body increases vascular resistance, which makes it harder for your blood to be transported through the circulatory system. It therefore pushes harder against the artery walls and forces your heart to work under pressure.
Knowing how to lose weight and keep it off can therefore your blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart failure. This occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient levels of blood to properly supply the body’s organs with oxygen.
If high blood pressure is not addressed, then the accumulated pressure on the artery walls makes them more vulnerable which can lead to coronary artery disease. This happens when the arteries that supply blood to the heart are blocked.
Untreated high blood pressure also causes the arteries around the kidneys to narrow, weaken, or harden, which can lead to kidney failure.
Research shows that you don’t even need to reach your ideal weight to feel the benefits of a lower blood pressure; simply losing 5-10% of your baseline weight in a modest and gradual way is the best method, especially if this is maintained over a long period of time.
Learn more about how to reduce blood pressure with cardio and aerobic exercise here in our article.
#5 Lower Risk of Getting Cancer
Being overweight has been linked to a higher risk of developing certain types of cancers. For instance, obesity is a big factor in over 50% of all endometrial cancers.
There are also strong links between carrying extra weight and developing breast cancer, particularly for older women who have been through the menopause.
However, it is unclear why being overweight does not affect the risk of developing breast cancer before the menopause, so more research is needed in this field.
Although there is no clear proof that losing weight and maintaining it protects you from all types of cancer, there are some changes that occur after losing weight which suggest that it might.
For instance, overweight people who lose weight have lower levels of some hormones linked to cancer, such as oestrogens, androgens, and insulin, as well as reduced inflammation in the body.
#6 Improved Memory
Did you know that learning how to maintain weight loss improves more than just your physical health? It can have permanent effects on your ability to retain information too!
In a 2013 study, 20 overweight, post-menopausal women were assigned to one of two healthy weight loss diets for 6 months.
The results showed that memory performance improved after weight loss, and the brain activity pattern during memory testing reflected this improvement.
During the study, researchers found that brain activity increased in the regions that are important for identification and matching of faces after weight loss.
It was also found that brain activity decreased in the regions associated with retrieval of episodic memories, which indicates more efficient retrieval of information within the brain. Areas like this are not the first thing that springs to mind when you think about being overweight, however there are so many aspects that can improve from weight loss management.
#7 Greater Confidence
Learning how to maintain your body weight after weight loss also helps to improve several elements of your mental health.
If you’ve been able to achieve your goal of losing weight, then maintaining this loss in the long term helps to improve your body image. Your clothes will fit better, and you may even want to experiment with new styles, which will help you change up your appearance and boost your confidence even further!
Not only does maintaining weight loss help you to feel good on the outside, but the resilience and dedication that you’ve shown in achieving your goal helps to build confidence in yourself.
This newfound confidence will be inspiring to others, and you may even be able to act as a mentor for them during their weight loss journeys, maybe even going on to be a fitness professional inspiring others.
Exercising whilst maintaining weight loss also helps to improve mental health, as it releases endorphins that give you that post-workout high.
So whether your weight loss journey has enabled you to fall in love with weightlifting, running, or any form of exercise, learning a new skill is always a great way to increase confidence in yourself and your abilities.
How Many Calories Should I Eat to Maintain Weight Loss?
If you’re wanting to know how to maintain your loss, then the key thing to do is ensure that you are in a caloric deficit.
To do this, you need to be burning more calories than you consume.
Although the average man needs to consume 2,500 calories and the average woman needs 2,000 calories to maintain their weight, this number varies based on individual genetic factors such as your height, weight, and age.
This can also vary depending on other factors, such as how active you are and the amount of muscle mass you have. To ensure that you are in a calorie deficit, you can use online calorie calculators or apps such as My Fitness Pal to determine the number of calories that you need to eat.
Alongside watching your diet and calorie intake, increase the number of calories that you burn by trying to incorporate at least 150 minutes of exercise into your week.
Another great way to burn more calories is by increasing your non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT. This is the energy expended by your body for all activities except for sleeping, eating, or exercise.
One of the best methods of increasing your NEAT is to implement small changes into your daily routine, such as:
- Getting off the bus a few stops early
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift
- Parking in the space furthest from the supermarket entrance
- Standing up from your desk or sofa every so often
These small changes allow your body to move that bit more and add up to a greater calorie burn which, when combined with eating the right number of calories for your body, makes this the best way to lose weight and keep it off in the long term!
Which Foods Are Good for Maintaining Weight Loss?
Technically, you can eat any type of food when trying to maintain weight loss, as long as you’re in a caloric deficit.
However, if you’re wanting to know how to maintain weight loss after dieting, then there are certain foods which will make it easier for you. In general, choosing to eat mostly nutrient dense foods will help to fill you up for longer and will leave you feeling satisfied, meaning you are more likely to stay in a calorie deficit.
As a high-volume food that is packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients, it is therefore important to incorporate lots of vegetables into your diet.
You should also consume lean sources of protein, such as chicken, salmon, tofu, and beans. Protein helps to reduce the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin in your body, meaning you will feel fuller for longer after eating.
Foods which are high in fibre such as fruit, vegetables, and wholemeal breads and pastas are also great for maintaining weight loss. As well as being slowly digested, meaning that they only cause a gradual rise in blood sugar and help to maintain energy levels for longer, while also being great for your gut health!
Before You Go...
If you were wondering how to maintain weight loss, we hope we’ve provided you with all the information you need to start making healthier choices! Remember to take it slow and steady, and that small changes add up to help you maintain your weight loss in the long term.
Now that you’re aware of all the benefits to maintaining weight loss, why not pass your wisdom onto someone else? Here at OriGym we offer a level 4 advanced sports nutrition course to help you to help others in reaching their goals. Alternatively, you can browse through all of the courses on offer here in our downloadable course prospectus.
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