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How to Sustain Weight Loss 

While losing weight is difficult for many people, maintaining weight loss is even more difficult. The majority of people who lose a significant amount of weight regain it within two to three years. One theory about regaining lost weight is that individuals who reduce their caloric intake to lose weight experience a decrease in the rate at which their bodies burn calories. This makes losing weight more difficult over time. A slower rate of calorie burning may also make it easier to regain weight after returning to a more normal diet. Extremely low calorie diets and rapid weight loss are discouraged for these reasons.

It is recommended to lose no more than 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Incorporating long-term lifestyle changes is necessary to increase the likelihood of long-term weight loss success.

Weight loss to a healthy weight range for a person's height can have a positive effect on health. These include decreased cholesterol and blood sugar levels, decreased blood pressure, decreased stress on bones and joints, and decreased heart work. It is critical to maintain weight loss in order to reap long-term health benefits.

Maintaining excess weight requires the same effort and commitment as losing weight does. Weight loss goals are accomplished through a combination of dietary and behavioral changes. In extreme cases, individuals seek bariatric surgery.

Strategies for sustaining weight loss

Weight loss strategies also play a vital role in weight maintenance:

  • When support systems are used effectively during weight loss, they can help maintain weight loss. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 55% of registry participants lost weight through the use of a program.
  • Physical activity is critical for weight loss maintenance. Even light exercise, such as walking or using the stairs, has been shown to be beneficial. Maintaining weight loss is recommended with activity that burns between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per week. Adults should strive to engage in at least 40 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity three to four times per week.
  • Diet and exercise are critical components of weight loss and maintenance strategies. Ninety-four percent of National Weight Control Registry registrants increased their physical activity.
  • Once the desired weight is achieved, a weekly experiment involving the gradual addition of approximately 200 calories of healthy, low-fat food to daily intake may be attempted to determine whether weight loss continues. If weight loss continues, additional calories from healthy foods may be added to the daily diet until the optimal calorie balance for maintaining the desired weight is established. It may take some time and meticulous record keeping to ascertain the effect of changing food intake and exercise levels on weight. A nutritionist can assist you in this.

Maintaining weight requires continued use of behavioral strategies. Be mindful of how you eat in response to stress. Additionally, instead of eating, use exercise, activity, or meditation to cope.

A brief return to old habits is not indicative of failure. Maintaining weight loss requires attention to dietary choices and exercise. Identifying situations such as negative moods and interpersonal difficulties and coping with them in ways other than eating can help you avoid reverting to old habits.

Weight cycling

Weight cycling is repeatedly losing and regaining weight. According to some studies, weight cycling, also known as "yo-yo dieting," may pose some health risks. These include hypertension, gallbladder disease, and elevated cholesterol. These studies, however, do not apply to everyone. The best strategy is to avoid weight cycling and to commit to increased physical activity and healthy eating.

One myth about weight cycling is that someone who has lost and regained weight will have a harder time losing and maintaining weight than someone who has never gone through a weight-loss cycle. The majority of research indicates that weight cycling has no effect on the rate at which the body burns fuel. Also, a previous weight loss cycle has no bearing on one's ability to lose weight again. Likewise, weight cycling has no effect on the amount of fat tissue or the distribution of fat around the stomach.

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