How to Maintain a Healthy Weight
There is often more conversation around losing weight, than about maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, after losing weight, then the conversation is all about how to maintain a healthy weight.
“Managing a healthy weight means living a healthy lifestyle,” said Colleen Champlin, NP-C at Portneuf Medical Center. “Nobody is going to be perfect at this, but we strive to reach the goal of a healthy lifestyle.”
According to Champlin, there are four areas to address when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight
Of course, there is overlap and if one area is lacking it often affects others area. For example, if you are not getting enough sleep and you are just focused on making it through the day if may be more difficult to plan healthy meals and or find time to energy. As you lose sleep, eat poorly and skip exercise, there is a high likelihood d that your stress levels will rise.
Making small changes can lead to long-term change. People often start with large goals and when that large goal is not achieved quickly, many people may just quit. A better strategy is to start by adding one small goal. After that goal has become easy to maintain, challenge yourself and add a new goal and continue to challenge yourself. For example, if you walk one mile each day for a month, start walking a mile and a half, continue adding distance until you have reached five miles. Not only do small additions add up to big mileage, you can make small changes to your diet such as giving up soda.
“Are you getting empty calories in your drinks?” asks Champlin. “You can get a full day of calories in drinks if you are not careful.”
In addition to being cautious with what you eat, physical activity can also help you maintain a healthy weight- as well as a healthy mind. Exercising will also help reduce your levels of stress and increases your level of endorphins- which can improve your ability to sleep. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep to feel well-rested. Sleeping less than the adequate amount can actually lower your metabolic rate.
Exercise is also an important factor in bettering the physiology of your body and exercise is important in maintaining your muscle mass. Muscle is the driver of your metabolism, as our bodies are designed to move.
“A big struggle is related to the types of food and beverages that are available,” said Champlin. “They now engineer the food to have just the right feel, crunch and melt in your mouth goodness. It is easier to snack on a bag of chips, than a bag of broccoli.”
When making healthy choices, choose foods such as vegetables, fruit and meats as those groups will keep you feeling fuller, longer than processed foods will.
After surpassing a healthy weight range within 70-100 pounds, it becomes significantly more difficult to lose weight. Champlain said, “weight loss surgery – also known as bariatric or metabolic surgery is a way to be able to lose the weight. Surgery is not the easy way out. Even with surgery, it is important to change the diet and start exercising.”
Changing your diet and beginning to exercise are two of the hardest changes to make, but small, attainable goals can lead to a big difference.