Eating healthy shouldn’t be temporary. Diets are often viewed as things people go on and off of, but real, long-term change happens when you learn to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods in the right portions. Master how to fuel your body the right way so you can lose weight without feeling deprived.
Defense mechanisms like increased hunger, lower-energy metabolism, resorting to old habits, and day-to-day stresses seem to fight against you even more than when you were in weight-loss mode.
This is where 80 percent of those previously overweight individuals get stuck.
If You are Over Weight, First Think Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss
Foods with low-calorie density like fruits and veggies are naturally high in bulk, fiber, and water to help you feel full without using up much of your daily calorie target.
If you think about it, when was the last time you were able to eat more than two apples in a sitting or come close to eating a whole head of lettuce?
(Juicing doesn’t count — once you send those fruits and veggies through the juicer, all the beneficial fiber is removed.) The more of these foods you have in your meal plan, the less likely you’ll be to binge on calorie-dense treats.
According to a 2014 meta-analysis in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high-protein diets and meal replacements are effective strategies to help combat weight re-gain.
Sounds similar to the nutrition strategy you used to lose weight, right? That’s why the best “diets” are really lifestyle makeovers with no end date.
Start your morning off with a balanced breakfast and a superfood nutrition shake like Shakeology, and let those healthy decisions set the tone for the rest of the day.
Hopefully, you got some practice from following the recipes in the nutrition guide that accompanied your favorite Beachbody On Demand program.
Now it’s time to take control and perhaps even kick things up a notch. With the advent of that Internet thing, you have access to loads of healthful recipes — like the ones on the Beachbody Blog and Autumn Calabrese’s cooking show, FIXATE.
So whether you consider yourself a foodie or not, seek out blogs that feature recipes that suit your taste.
When you cook at home, you control your portions, the quality of the ingredients, the cooking method, and the menu — all areas that require wise decisions when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
What I’m referring to here are liquid calories that are void of any nutrition, such as soda, alcohol, sugar-laden lattes, and sugar-laden “fruit-flavored” juices, all of which lack the fiber and protein that help you feel full.
This trick is one of the many used by successful weight-loss maintainers in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), an ongoing study of adults 18 years of age and older who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least 1 year.
When cutting liquid calories, focus on water. If you don’t like the pure stuff, make it fancy with some fresh fruit and herbs!
The little bacteria that populate your intestinal tract can have a huge impact on whether or not lost pounds remain lost.
According to a study in mice in the journal Nature, overweight and obese individuals have a higher ratio of unhealthy to healthy bacteria in their guts, and that ratio can persist post-weight loss, presenting a hurdle for maintaining that loss.
To promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, stock your kitchen and pantry with foods rich in probiotics (e.g., yogurt, kefir, fermented veggies like kimchi) and prebiotics (e.g., fiber-dense fruits and veggies, which feed the good bacteria).
While studies show that a daily weigh-in can help you lose weight, you can relax a bit once you’ve reached your goal.
Once a week should do the trick. That will allow you to monitor your weight and make lifestyle adjustments as necessary — and if your weight starts trending upward, you can always resume daily weigh-ins to root out the problem.
The downside to losing weight is that you have to continue eating less to maintain it because your new body doesn’t require as much energy to function.
But that doesn’t mean you have to keep counting calories. Once you get an idea of your new daily calorie target and go through a few rounds of meal prep to see how much food that encompasses, then you can guesstimate how much to eat.
This is where a weekly weigh-in comes in handy since it will alert you if your eyes are getting bigger than your stomach!
One of the most popular types of exercise for weight loss is aerobic exercise, also known as cardio. Examples include walking, running, cycling and swimming.
Aerobic exercise doesn't have a major effect on your muscle mass, at least not compared to weight lifting. However, it is very effective at burning calories.
A recent 10-month study examined how cardio affected 141 obese or overweight people. They were split into three groups and not told to reduce calorie intake (21Trusted Source):
Group 1: Burn 400 calories doing cardio, 5 days a week
Group 2: Burn 600 calories doing cardio, 5 days a week
Group 3: No exercise
Losing weight can be difficult, but many people find weight-loss maintenance to be even more challenging.
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