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Diet

How to Maintain Your Current Weight

Weight management encompasses an array of methods to maintain a current body weight. Weight management is different from weight loss in that you're not trying to shed pounds (which can be challenging). You're just trying to not gain them. Here are some tips to stay at your healthy level.

1. The Mindset
  • 1: Be mindful of your weight
    It's your best feedback for how your lifestyle and diet are affecting your body. A big part of the reason people gain weight is because it happens gradually, and they don't notice until they've gained a significant amount. Balancing energy intake and energy expenditure is the basis of weight management throughout life.

    Research says that 75% of successful weight losers that keep it off weigh themselves every week. It shouldn't be a preoccupation, but it should be something you're aware of if you're actively trying to maintain it.
  • 2: Don't sweat the small stuff
    Keep in mind that fluctuations of 1-3 lbs are normal throughout the week and even during the day. Do not become obsessive about weighing yourself daily; this mindset can become counterproductive. Because of fluctuations in weight, it's recommended to weigh yourself only once a week.

    Your weight will be different morning, noon and night. Each week you weigh yourself, weigh yourself at the same time to keep an accurate record of your efforts.
  • 3: De-stress and get enough sleep

    An easy way to start gaining weight inadvertently is to not get enough shut eye and stress yourself out. Your body functions best when it's rested and relaxed.

    When you're tired, you handle stress less well. When you handle stress poorly, you start eating. Start adding a bit more time to your sleep schedule and practice relaxation techniques -- yoga is a great way to get started.
2. The Diet
  • 1: Become a label reader
    Continue your weight smarts when you first arrive in the grocery store. Bring your shopping list of healthy foods/recipes for the week, tally your fiber count to 30 grams daily and stay mindful of appropriate serving sizes, and most importantly, do not go hungry.

    In general, processed goods just aren't good for you. They're full of toxins and things your body doesn't even recognize. When you start reading labels, you'll start seeing this. Go for whole foods and stick to labels that don't have tons of four-syllable words.
  • 2: Eat breakfast
    And that doesn't mean a box of donuts or a cup of coffee. Not only will your waistline appreciate it, but the relaxed, healthy morning will get you in gear for a successful day.

    If you want proof, just as the successful "losers" of The National Weight Control Registry. They've lost at least 30 pounds and have kept it off for at least a year (some as long as six!). And guess what? They eat breakfast.
  • 3: Eat right
    A well balanced, healthy diet helps control caloric intake and maximizes vitamin and mineral intake. When your body has all the needed nutrients it requires, your energy levels stay high and you feel good about yourself. All these factors contribute to motivation to maintain a healthy diet, which in turn makes managing your current weight easier.

    When you go to the grocery store, load up on produce. Fruits and veggies are good for your number on the scale and for your heart and vital organs. In addition, go for lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Though you're not necessarily counting calories anymore, you do want to limit your fat and sugar intake for your overall health.
  • 4: Plan meals
    When you go to the grocery store with an idea of what you'll eat for the week, it keeps you from impulse buying and keeps you from impulse eating later on. You won't be grazing in front of the fridge on those cookies if they're not available.

    When you plan your meals, make them well-balanced and colorful. Each meal should have 10 g of fiber and should include fruits and vegetables. Keep the whites and yellows to a minimum.
3. Activity
  • 1: Stay moving
    Now that you're at where you want to be, find opportunities to make this part of your lifestyle. Sedentary habits will lead to weight gain.

    Get up off the couch! Grab a friend and take a walk through the park, go dancing, or hit the pool. Take the stairs every chance you have. Get outdoors and pick up some new habits to match your healthy weight.
  • 2: Keep exercising
    Physical activity is imperative to maintaining your current weight. The American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 30 minutes of moderate level exercise, daily, to maintain weight without weight loss. Keep in mind that all exercise is beneficial, even if you cannot reach the 30-minute goal each day.

    Exercise can take any form. You can walk the dog each night, do yoga, or go swimming. Anything that keeps you moving counts as physical activity. What's more, you don't have to do 30 minutes at one time! Break it up into two or three smaller segments if that better suits your schedule.
  • 3: Mix it up
    If you keep with the same routine, you and your body will get bored. You'll be less likely to keep up with it and, as a result, less likely to maintain your current weight.

    Do cardio, lift weights, do circuit training, and do yoga. Each day can be a different routine. Or, if you'd rather, combine them in the same day. Just keep weightlifting to every other day or so -- your muscles need time to heal.