Losing It…And Keeping It Off!

Sadly, the majority of dieters are going to gain back the weight they lose. New research shows, however, that this isn’t all the fault of the dieters. In fact, new research says that it’s actually the body’s fault that it’s so hard to keep weight off – especially if you’ve been overweight for a while. In simplest terms, once you lose weight, your body is going to be fighting to get that weight back and you have to then fight against your body to keep it off.

Here’s the breakdown according to the newest research in the area:

Losing weight is done easily by cutting calories. While there are different ways to cut calories, all you really have to do is get rid of enough and you’ll start to lose weight.

Once the weight is gone, however, the body starts to wonder where it went. It wants it back, so the body’s metabolism and chemical composition actually changes to make it easier to gain weight again.

According to the traditional calorie counters, you may be encouraged to eat 2,500 calories per day to maintain your new weight. So you start eating about 2,500 calories per day and the weight that should be gone for good starts creeping back. Researchers are now starting to uncover  the possibility that calorie counters aren’t as straightforward as we like to think.

Once you lose a significant amount of weight, the body plays a trick and changes the amount of calories it needs. While you might be encouraged to limit calories to 2,500 per day, in reality your body only really wants about 2,200. So by keeping yourself at the recommended 2,500, you’re actually overeating by 300 calories per day.

That’s about half a pound per week you can gain back while you’re presumably doing everything right.

So what’s a girl to do?

If you’re working hard on losing weight, plan on making this a permanent lifestyle adjustment. You’re going to have to keep working hard once the weight comes off. The best ways to stay on top of your body’s little tricks is to be diligent.

Journal your food choices and exercise every day. This will keep you accountable and give you a better idea of how much weight you’re actually gaining if your caloric needs are off from what’s considered “normal” on the charts.

Weigh yourself every morning. Yes, you’ll gain a few pounds from water weight and the like, but if you’re weighing yourself every morning before you step in the shower, you’re going to notice very quickly if those pounds start creeping back and you can make adjustments immediately. Weighing yourself every morning will also let you pat yourself on the back for working hard at keeping yourself healthy.

Get lots of sleep. Other studies have shown that women who don’t get enough sleep have a much harder time losing weight and keeping it off. You need energy, so sleep for it.

Get active. You don’t have to run five miles before breakfast, but find ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. You’ll burn off some extra calories, feel stronger and healthier and improve your body’s physical condition as well. Exercise for your health, however, not your weight as many people who exercise to lose weight actually gain a lot back by overeating as a “reward” for their hard work.

Cheat! You have to give into your cravings every now and again. If you give into that pint of ice cream on Friday night, you’re much more likely to stay on track the rest of the week and your cravings won’t overcome you and encourage a binge that would be truly unhealthy.