There are several indications of health, and one of them is weight. Weight loss, on the other hand, is a common objective for many people seeking to better their health. There are various advantages to reducing a few pounds using healthy techniques, including improved blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, and a lower chance of chronic disease. Even though you’ve certainly heard that a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you lose weight, it’s easier said than done.
Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is influenced by your entire lifestyle. You can’t have one without the other when it comes to diet and exercise. However, they may be more beneficial at certain stages of your weight loss journey. So, what’s the greatest way to lose weight and keep it off in the long run? To find out, we looked at the literature and chatted with Lainey Younkin, M.S., RD, LDN (follow her at Lainey Younkin Nutrition), a weight loss dietician.
How Is Weight Loss Different Than Weight Maintenance?
“Calories in, calories out” is a common misconception when it comes to weight loss, but it’s not quite that straightforward. Many factors determine how many calories you need in a day, including age, activity level, body composition, illness, injury, and more. How to loss weight Our metabolism refers to how much energy (or calories) our bodies consume on a daily basis. Aside from calories burned during exercise, our bodies burn calories in three ways: basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy required to keep your heart beating and lungs breathing), thermic effect of food (the amount of energy required to digest food), and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (think of walking to work or going upstairs). Our basal metabolic rate consumes the vast bulk of our body’s energy.
Losing weight can cause our metabolism to slow down a little (think: a smaller body requires less energy to heat than a larger one). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you’ll have to be more strategic in your weight-loss efforts. Let’s look at what should be your primary emphasis for weight loss and weight maintenance, as well as how they differ.
The Most Important Thing for Weight Loss
There are numerous methods for losing weight, but one of the most prevalent is to create a calorie deficit. This entails taking fewer calories per day than your body burns. “Exercising is not the best way to reduce weight, according to research. Weight loss requires a calorie deficit, however, studies show that it is easier to achieve and sustain a calorie deficit by modifying your food than exercising “Younkin says. So, rather than continuously hitting the gym when you’re first starting out, try to focus on what’s on your plate. Fortunately for you, we have a wide range of weight-loss meal programmes to suit any taste.
A restrictive diet, on the other hand, is not a long-term solution for weight loss. “Going on a diet isn’t the best approach to lose weight in the long run. You want to generate a tiny calorie deficit that you can maintain over time, rather than severely lowering calories and losing a lot of weight rapidly “Younkin agrees. “This can be accomplished by eating fewer portions, boosting vegetable and protein consumption, and decreasing simple carbs, sugar, and alcohol use.”
The Most Important Thing for Weight Maintenance
“After losing five to ten per cent of your body weight, studies show that you should maintain that weight for six months before trying to reduce more (that is, if you still have weight to lose). This is how you can gradually lower your set point—the weight range in which your body prefers to remain—over time “Younkin agrees. However, sustained weight loss is notoriously difficult. In fact, a study published in BioPsychoSocial Medicine indicated that over 70% of patients failed to maintain a 10% weight drop for two years. This may make it appear as though the odds are stacked against you, but weight maintenance is possible if you shift your focus away from weight reduction practices.
When it comes to maintaining weight loss, research suggests that exercise may be more important than food. Daily moderate to intense exercise is the number one factor that people who have lost weight and kept it off have in common. People who dropped an average of 58 pounds and kept it off exercised for roughly 40 minutes per day, according to a study published in the journal Obesity. This exercise didn’t have to be done in a row; it could be done in 10-minute increments throughout the day.
But, if diet helped you lose weight in the first place, why is exercise more important than diet? It ultimately boils down to a calorie balance. While losing weight necessitates a calorie deficit, maintaining weight necessitates a calorie balance—no shortfall but also no excess. Daily activity enabled people to burn more calories throughout the day, allowing them to consume more without gaining weight.
“You won’t notice benefits if you can’t keep eating a certain manner indefinitely. So, in order to maintain your weight loss, you’ll have to stick to any dietary modifications you’ve made “Younkin has a suggestion. This explains why people who follow a rigid diet tend to regain the weight they lost (and then some). It’s simply impossible to keep those tight eating habits up. Healthy behaviours like the ones Younkin listed above—eating smaller amounts, boosting vegetable and protein intake, and limiting simple carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol intake—are, on the other hand, far more practical to sustain. “Once such improvements become second nature, focusing on exercise can help you maintain your progress.”
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
“People frequently set unattainable weight loss objectives. If you restrict your food intake, over-exercise, or constantly obsess about food and your body in order to maintain a certain weight on the scale, you are not at your healthiest weight “Younkin agrees. Any changes you make to lose weight should become habits that you can maintain in the long run. Little changes that you love can build up to great milestones over time, which is fortunate for us.
For people striving to eat in a way that supports their weight loss goals, Younkin has some particular advice: “To keep your blood sugar in check, eat every 3-4 hours, plan healthy snacks, and don’t feel guilty if you eat something you shouldn’t. Throughout the week, aim to use the healthy plate strategy approximately 80% of the time and don’t worry about it “”And now for the rest.” Fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with nutritious grains, and the last quarter with lean protein, according to the healthy plate technique. This method simplifies portion control by eliminating the need to measure everything. “How to loss weight Being careful of sugar and alcohol intake might also assist,” Younkin adds, “since those ’empty’ calories can pile up over time.”
Find an activity that you appreciate when it comes to exercising. It will be easy to maintain consistency. “Start slowly and don’t make exercise an all-or-nothing proposition. Something is preferable than nothing “Younkin is encouraged. If you don’t have 45 minutes to spare for a long workout, go for a 20-minute or even 10-minute stroll instead, and attempt to incorporate more active time afterwards. If you’re stuck or at a stalemate, try changing things up or trying something new.Finally, having someone to hold you accountable can help you stick to your healthy lifestyle changes. You don’t have to do it all on your own, according to Younkin, so enlist the help of a friend, hire a dietician, or work with a personal trainer.
Weight loss might be difficult, but making tiny lifestyle adjustments that you can stick to will help you succeed. “Dieting is not only unsustainable because it’s too difficult to stick to dietary limitations over time,” Younkin explains, “but it also wrecks havoc on your metabolic and mental health.” “Don’t get caught up in the scale’s daily and weekly oscillations. Even if you only lose one pound per month, by the end of the year, you’ll have lost 12 pounds!” Losing weight and keeping it off is a long process, but with the right knowledge and support, you can achieve your goals.