Weight Loss Maintenance Plan

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Crucial to any weight loss and maintenance plan is bearing in mind the importance of eating lighter as the day progresses, eating smaller amounts more often, minimizing on bad carbohydrates and using more protein-rich foods.
These are steps that will show results gradually and not drastically. It is important to understand that achieving an optimal weight is a journey and not a destination, so we need to focus on the process that leads us there.
Ensuring that we blend the above with the following plans should enable us to maintain a healthy and productive body.

Use more water
Drinking water improves our metabolism which will prevent unnecessary weight gain. Water also improves our hydration which has a direct effect on preventing us from overeating. It also helps to give us a feeling of fullness, thus preventing us from eating or drinking something else. The average healthy man should drink 13 cups (3 liters) of fluids per day while the average woman should drink 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluids per day.

Less processed more natural
Today’s pre-packaged convenience foods have been processed and altered to the point of being virtually unrecognizable, nutritionally, from the real deal. They have less nutrition and more calories, especially Trans fats, which are known to raise bad cholesterol levels. What’s even worse, is processed foods have a direct link with increasing ones risk for cancers, heart disease, diabetes, just to list a few. Avoiding pre-packaged or preserved foods will therefore help in maintaining a healthy weight and, of course, a healthy life.

One cannot stress enough on the importance of exercise. While we can control our weight by what we put in (eat), we may falter some days and therefore exercise is needed to help “burn off” additional calories. The center of disease control recommends that we do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity each week. So we should be having between 11 to 22 minutes of heavy to moderate intensity activity daily if we want to maintain our body weight. Moderate intensity aerobic activity includes biking at a casual pace, walking briskly, actively playing with children etc. Heavy intensity aerobic activity includes running, swimming, competitive sports (football, cricket, basketball) etc.
Reward yourself
Every so often we will have cravings. Rewarding ourselves once a week with a meal that we crave that may be high in calories can be permitted, but we must make up for it with extra exercise. An important part of losing weight is pleasing our minds also. We wouldn’t want to miss out on all the delicious food for the rest of our lives. But careful planning and adherence can allow us to try the not so healthy ones occasionally.

My thoughts are, if we adhere to this plan, we should be able to maintain a healthy weight. I’ll be sure to put it into practice. It’s never too late to change how we eat and live. Once there is life there is an opportunity to make a change. It’s important to realize that we can reverse years of damage to our bodies by deciding to raise our standards for ourselves, then living differently. Old wounds heal, injuries repair, and the whole system improves with just a few changes in what we put into our bodies and how we move them.

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Columns · Food · Health · Issue 22 · Publication

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