16 Easy Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight
There's nothing worse than being stuck in a never-ending loop of gaining weight, losing weight, and gaining it back again, only to try losing it once more. Let's stop the yo-yo madness and help you stay at the healthy weight you want to retain. No more starvation. No more endless cardio. No more epic cheat weekends. Just you being your best self and staying healthy and balanced every day.
These tips will make it easy for you to know exactly how to maintain a healthy weight. From diet to nutrition to the people you surround yourself with, you'll be right on track!
Find Your Support System
"Being mindful of how you eat and where you eat can be enough to keep you on track," McKenzie Flinchum, RD, LD/N, certified personal trainer and owner of Flexible Dietetics LLC, told POPSUGAR. "Listen to hunger signals and eat when you are hungry and stop when when you are satisfied, not full. Be mindful when eating and avoid mindless eating such as eating in front of the television, eating while driving or working, or picking at foods."
Get a Minimum of 7 Hours Sleep!
"Getting a quality night's rest provides your body with a time to rebuild, renew, and refresh," Jade Dworkin, MS, certified personal trainer of Be One Yoga Studio, recommends. "Too little or too much sleep can alter hormone levels to the point where a yo-yo effect can occur in your weight. Stay well-rested by ideally logging seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night."
Check Your Progress, but Don’t Obsess
Measure yourself at the start of a diet and check in regularly, but don't obsess daily. According to Nichelle Laus, personal training specialist, "Weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day by up to seven pounds. Weigh yourself at the same time of the day." A study by the University of North Carolina found that people who weigh themselves regularly are more motivated to maintain their weight.
Measure Your Meals
Be careful to watch each meal to ensure youre not over- or undereating. You can't know what you're putting into your body if you don't measure it! Research has found that people tend to drastically underestimate how much they eat. Measuring also keeps you aware of the diet choices you're making.
Watch how you're consuming food and how you feel after eating certain foods. "Instead of eating on the go in your car or walking, try sitting down and really enjoying the food your eat," said Laus. According to a recent study, people who ate while distracted tended to ignore signs of fullness and eat more, just because they weren't paying attention. Put down the remote and enjoy your dinner!
Focus on Fiber
Fiber does more than keep you regular; it makes it easy to feel full. According to Flinchum, "Fiber doesn't only aid in digestion, but it can help fill you up and keep you satisfied and is an important nutrient for helping to maintain a healthy weight. Fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are foods you can incorporate into your diet to boost fiber intake."
Eat Healthy, Consistent Meals
Love and enjoy the food you eat! Dworkin told us the key is to eat everything in moderation while allowing yourself the freedom to indulge. The key is to "make your plate colorful, nutrient-dense, and flavorful." Have you ever noticed the better your food looks the better it tastes? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to test your artistic skills!
Indulge With Permission
It's OK to eat dessert! Maintaining a healthy weight means maintaining a healthy relationship with food and not stressing out about enjoying a treat. Konforti explained that "health is always important, but remember that we're human. We have to live a little. One cheat meal won't ruin your diet just like one healthy meal doesn't make your diet. Treat yourself every now and then, but get back on track afterward without feeling guilty."
We can't say it enough: drink up some of the good stuff! According to Dworkin, "The more hydrated we are, the more alert, balanced, and happy we are." Dworkin recommends you take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two and to find out how much water you should be drinking in ounces each day.
Get Your Cardio In
Make sure to get your cardio in regularly. A study by the American College of Sports Medicine found that regular exercise was effective for maintaining weight. Make sure not to overdo it, though. "Cardio is great for burning calories, but you can't outexercise extra calories," says Laus.
Pick Up the Weights
Lifting weights and getting resistance training is a key to keeping your body strong and metabolism up. Recent research found that those who lift weights after losing weight are more likely to keep the weight off. Konforti told us, "Focus on compound and total-body movements that have the biggest bang for your buck. Remember to give yourself time to rest between exercises and workouts to recover."
Get Moving, Get Going!
"It may sound obvious," says Dworkin. "But we don't hear it enough. Find something you love like rollerblading or yoga and set aside 30 minutes per day for five days per week. Stay balanced by mixing up cardio, strength, and flexibility. Exercise boosts your mood and provides a productive outlet for stress so that you can properly maintain your weight."
Rise and Shine For Breakfast
Researchers have found that people who regularly eat breakfast are most successful at keeping weight off after losing weight. You'll be fueled for the day, but more importantly, you'll be on a consistent eating schedule — which helps you avoid resorting to vending machine snacks.
Be Tech Savvy
Use technology to help you track workouts or stay active. Sometimes all we need is a good recommendation from a friend on where you can get a healthy meal that'll make you forget you're on a diet or caring about calories! A study found that self-monitoring makes a huge difference in long-term weight maintenance.
Track Your Progress
Use a calendar or workout log to track your workouts and meals. It's easy to forget or assume how much you exercised so just being conscious of what you're doing goes a long way. Research has found that people who tracked their diets using journals are more likely to maintain weight.