Losing weight is a difficult process, especially as we get older.
I’m in the middle of that process right now, have been for a couple of years now, and have found it far more challenging than it used to be.
Today, however, I find myself inspired and reinvigorated.
Unsurprisingly, these feelings are the result of reading and learning something new.
Gina DeMillo Wagner wrote an article entitled “And Keep It Off!” in the latest edition of Experience L!fe, which you get a subscription to when you sign up at Lifetime Fitness.
Here is a brief summary of my key takeaways from the article, which is specifically geared towards tips for keeping weight off once you lose it:
1. “Ideally, you should lose no more than 5 percent of your body weight in three months.”
This is quite instructive.
If you are anything like me, you like to delve right into something when you get excited about it. Naturally, you then also want to see quick results.
But quick results when it comes to weight loss are not always good.
Why? The author explains, via instruction from Julie Starkel, MS, MBA, RD, and functional-medicine nutritionist and registered dietician:
Your body has a “set point,” the weight at which all your organs and body systems (including your metabolism) function at their best.
The set point serves an evolutionary purpose: it’s the body’s way of monitoring your fat stores for survival. Trouble is, the set point doesn’t distinguish between dieting and starvation. Don’t worry: it will adjust slowly as you lose weight: “Big if you lose weight too rapidly, your set point can’t keep up,” she says, “so you’ll have to work harder to maintain the weight loss while your body adjusts.”
Sometimes it can take a full year for your body’s set point to catch up to your weight loss.
Work smarter, not harder.
As with everything else, even weight loss should be done in moderation to achieve the most long-lasting results.
2. Eat more protein and fiber, less carbs
This is nothing new. I’ve discussed this here many times already in the short history of this blog.
But the reasons why bear repeating:
- Protein and fiber quiet the “hunger-generating” hormones in your body.
- Fiber is especially important because it maintain insulin sensitivity.
- Protein provides more prolonged satiety compared to carbs and fats.
Study after study after study, and article after article after article in recent years have been trumpeting the advice to eat more protein, fiber, and yes even fats, while reducing carb intake.
It’s far from easy. But it’s worth it.
3. Think before, during, and after you eat.
I do a lot of auto-eating.
I’ll come home after a day of work, grab a cold, tasty beer and whip up some food without even really thinking about. This isn’t necessarily bad in and of itself, but when these such auto-meals stack up on one another they can lead to excessive eating without actual hunger or body fueling being the main goal.
As the author asks:
Are you enjoying that glass of wine, or are you just drinking it mindlessly because there’s an open box of chardonnay in the fridge?
We’ve all probably been guilty of this times, whether with food or drink.
Think about what you’re eating, and to all the sit-at-your-computer-and-eat tools like me: make eating an activity in and of itself. It’ll help you cut down on some of the over indulging.
4. Get fit and muscle up
Like #2, this isn’t a new lesson, but it bears repeating over and over and over again. It’s also why I’ve already got it in today’s plans to get back over to the weights.
Cardio is great and all, but it is not the be all, end all of healthy fitness. Increasing muscle mass, which only happens from lifting weights, helps you maintain a strong metabolic rate and build sleek muscle.
Additionally, the author cites numerous studies that have demonstrated a link between resistance training and an altering of one’s hormonal environment, specifically leptin and insulin, that promotes weight maintenance.
Even if each of these lessons was review, it never hurts to hear positive messages again, perhaps in a different way, to further reinforce them.
Have a great Saturday everyone, and good luck making the healthiest choices you can make. Hopefully this post has been instructive in helping you do so.