You think that losing weight is tough? There’s something tougher than that! Keeping the weight off after you have lost a few pounds. I am sure you will agree with me. A lot of us might have successfully lost weight, but unfortunately, it bounces back making it even harder to battle weight loss.
The key to maintaining your weight is to identify what helped you attain your goal and making it a habit. In short, you will have to make a few changes in your lifestyle which will help you keep those pounds off.
Healthy Habits for Weight Loss that Maintain your Figure
Calorie counting is considered as one of the successful ways of dieting, but are you doing it the smart way? To the dieting newbies – here is a little heads up about calorie counting.
To accelerate weight loss, you will have to eat fewer calories than you burn. On an average, a person who does not involve himself in much physical activity burns 1620 calories. If you are a couch potato, you will have to eat lesser than 1620 calories.
Making the right choices
Let’s begin with a comparison. A piece of your favourite chocolate cake is roughly made up of 350 calories. A bowl of tuna salad has the same number of calories. Which will make you feel fuller – the cake or the salad? Making the right choices will help maintain your satiety level. As tempting as the chocolate cake is, it won’t keep your hunger in check for more than an hour.
You’re late for work, you have a choice between skipping breakfast and having a heavy lunch, or, you’re gonna make do with a few meal replacement protein bars – what would be your choice? From experience, I can tell you that skipping breakfast can cause serious health problems in the long run. Meal replacement bars are nutritious and free from sugar, so opt for them instead.
Advertisement commercials are a big steal! All those ads about diet sodas with zero calories are just fooling you! There is no such thing as zero calorie drink! (Except water of course!). A diet soda roughly has 140 calories. The best way to keep your hunger cravings at bay is to stop drinking calories. Nothing can make you feel full like a fibrous meal.
Once you serve yourself with food, have you taken a look at the plate? Which color highlights your meal? Is it white? Then you are in trouble! According to a research done, the color palette of your plate decides the rate at which you gain or lose weight.
What’s the rainbow?
Enter rainbow. All vegetables and fruits have a different color. The color is because of the minerals and vitamins it’s made up of. Carrots have a delightful orange color because they are made up of carotene which can be converted to Vitamin A which enhances eye health. Fill your plate with a lot of veggies and fruits. Limit the carbs. In other words, limit the white and the brown portion of your plate.
If you eat the rainbow, not only do you lose weight, you can also stay healthy as you get all the necessary nutrients through the vegetables and fruits. You can limit the number of fruits as well since they contain sugar in them.
5-Meals a Day
A habit that can help you a great deal with your weight loss is breaking your meals. We are all trained by our parents to eat thrice a day irrespective of being hungry or not. This habit which is considered ‘healthy’ might be your barrier to losing weight.
According to a research conducted, people who break down their meals are more successful in maintaining their weight. One habit which can come in handy here is portion control. Since you are breaking your meals into 5 times a day, instead of 3, you will have sized your portions mindfully. The best way is to use measuring cups or scales. A rather fun way to do it is to compare it with everyday objects. For example, one serving of rice is the size of a golf ball. When you are breaking your meals, the thumb rule is to eat only when you are hungry.
Eating when you are anxious or bored or stressed should be strictly avoided when you practice eating 5-meals a day.
When you are trying to lose weight, resisting temptations seems almost impossible! That scrumptious Choco Lava cake looks so inviting and you can just can’t stop yourself! We have all been down that road. So what can you do?
This is where the 80/20 rule comes into the picture. According to the hack, you will have to eat 80% healthy foods at the same time enjoy 20% of your favourite foods. Fair enough right? The human brain is wired a bit differently. The more you tell yourselves that you can’t eat that cake, the more it craves for it! When you follow the 80/20 rule, you don’t have to fight your temptations, and you just have to keep a check on the quantity you eat.
You can trick your brain into eating your favourite dessert in a meagre amount rather than not eating at all. You can either have one favourite food in every meal or have one cheat meal during the weekends. But remember to keep the quantity in mind!
There’s no way you can escape from exercise. Be it losing weight or maintaining it, exercising is a must. As already mentioned, the number of calories you eat should be less than the number of calories you burn to help you lose weight and also to maintain it. The best way to burn calories? Working out!
A brisk morning walk can give your day an excellent start and at the same time kick-start your metabolism level on a high note. Moderate cardiovascular activity for 30-60 minutes is necessary to maintain your weight.
When you are losing weight, it’s important that you burn fat and not lose muscle. Strength training can help you with this. It is highly recommended that your workout schedule involves at least two days of resistance training. Once you have lost weight, strength training can help you tone your muscles and give you a good shape.
A key element in every diet is water. When you are dehydrated, you feel tired and hungry resulting in overeating. On an average, a man should drink 3 litres of water and women should drink 2.2. If you are someone who works out then add another 600 ml to your day.
Water is necessary to carry out all functions of the body appropriately. It carries required nutrients to the organs, flushes toxins and maintains body temperature. Dehydration, on the contrary, can lead to poor metabolism and low energy level.
Planning your meal ahead can stop you from eating junk food.
When you fail to plan your food ahead, you don’t have time to pack your lunch, and you are left with no choice but to eat at your office cafeteria which is stocked with the unhealthiest food on the Earth.
Make the most of your weekends and your freezer. Design a timetable and come up with meals for each day. This way you can keep your food choices healthy.
Never Skip Breakfast
When I started reading about nutrition and diet, I used to wonder what’s the fuss about breakfast? Why is it so important? Then I got the answer to the million dollar question. Breakfast is the most important meal of your day as it is the fuel that kicks off your metabolism.
What happens when you skip it?
When you skip your breakfast your body has absolutely nothing to get started with. Your metabolism level slows down, and you have no energy to proceed with. You become tired, and you end up ordering junk food for lunch which can kill your whole fitness routine. Begin your day with a protein-packed breakfast to get going.
Follow a Consistent Diet
The word ‘diet’ is often misunderstood. People begin to group food into categories and avoid specific food items. The key to a successful diet is to include all necessary nutrition by eating all groups of food. For example, some people totally avoid carbs thinking that it’s the reason they are putting on weight.
What should you do?
Follow a consistent diet which includes the necessary amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Most importantly never avoid any group of food.
8-Hour Shut-eye Time
When it comes to maintaining weight, next to food, sleep is also an important factor. Research shows that people who get a proper 8-hour shut-eye time and follow a consistent diet maintain a healthy weight when compared with people who lack sleep. When you get the optimum amount of sleep, your body is better prepared for the next day, and your metabolism level also remains healthy and high.
Make sure that you get 8 hours of sleep. Avoid using electronic gadgets at least an hour before you hit the bed.
Most of the times we don’t notice our weight going up. People who meet us every day will hardly be able to tell us the difference! Fitness enthusiasts don’t face this problem as they weigh-in often. They constantly monitor their weight and if there is an increase they take the necessary steps to get back to their healthy number.
It is highly recommended that you check your weight once in every 15-days to keep an eye on your weight.
Ready to Rock?
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy figure is challenging but definitely attainable. There are so many other habits which can help you reach your goal faster. Never skip breakfast, add a lot of protein to your meals, and stay consistent with your diet. Get started right away! Stay healthy, stay Happy!