Reaching your ideal weight or desired body shape is one of the best feelings you will ever have. Many wish they could put some kind of lock onto their body weight. Unfortunately, there is no such lock! Answers start when you start searching for things like; how to maintain a healthy weight. The answers are what will help you ‘lock’ this in.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not hard at all just a matter of doing a few things as discussed in this article. They are plain actions without twists. For example, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, and many others.
Let’s find out how to maintain a healthy weight.
Why people regain weight?
Most people may drastically regain weight just a short period after reaching their ideal and healthy weight. Here are some reasons why;
Not enough exercises.
If one quits doing exercises or turns to a sedentary lifestyle, his/her body may not be able to fully bun calories. The excess calories will be stored as fat by the body and thus weight regain.
Reducing on the minutes and number of workouts after reaching your ideal weight is healthy but a complete stop will cause weight regain. For one to maintain weight, at least 150 minutes to 250 minutes of work out a week should be done.
When one quits healthy eating.
Many people can stay committed to healthy eating and quit moments after reaching their ideal weight. This automatically causes weight regain in a few moments after you have quit healthy eating.
When you followed fad or unrealistic diets and exercises.
Diets most especially those that are restrictive to certain entire food groups are not always long term. As soon as you stop that diet, you experience rapid weight regain.
What is a healthy weight?
How much is healthy weight depends on various factors like age, sex, height, muscle-fat ratio, body fat distribution and body shape. This means that healthy weight figures will vary in different people.
There are many different ways of finding your ideal weight which is healthy and the methods include;
- Body mass index: this is a tool or equation used to measure body weight using height and weight. According to BMI, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is an ideal and healthy weight.
- Waist-to-hip ratio. : measures the ratio of your waist circumference in relation to the hip circumference. According to The World health organization, a healthy WHR for men is 0.9 and less in men whereas o.85 and less in women.
- Waist-to-height ratio: this is measured by dividing the waist size by height. Getting 0.5 and less means a healthy weight.
- Body fat percentage: measurement of fat divided by total weight. To learn more about body fat percentage, read our article on How to measure body fat percentage. In this article, you will also see the most accurate ways of measuring body fat percentage. See the article here.
Why is it important to maintain a healthy weight?
A healthy weight will save you from many overweight and obesity-related diseases and conditions like discussed below.
- Maintaining a healthy weight lowers the risk of diseases like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other over weight-related diseases.
- Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the risk of getting certain cancers for instance bowel, womb, esophageal (food pipe), pancreatic, kidney, liver, upper stomach (gastric cardia), gallbladder, ovarian, thyroid, myeloma (a type of blood cancer), and meningioma (a type of brain tumor).
- It relieves joint and back tensions. People who are overweight tend to experience back and joint pains due to the force the large amounts of fat exert on the pains and back.
- With a healthy weight, you will have increased energy levels.
- Reduces infertility risks related to being overweight.
- You will have more self-esteem and confidence when you have a healthy weight rather than being overweight.
- Reduced chances of osteoporosis which is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone or makes too little bones.
How much should I eat to maintain my weight?
In order to maintain weight, an average woman should eat about 2,000 calories per day. However if she decides on losing more of that weight by 1 pound per week, 1,500 calories per day will deliver the results.
On the other side for an average man to maintain his weight, he needs about 2,500 calories per day.
What is the best way to maintain a healthy weight?
To maintain a healthy weight here are things you should avoid and those that you need to do.
1. Manage stress levels.
Stress is a known cause of weight gain by increasing levels of cortisol which is a hormone released in response to stress.
High levels of cortisol in the body are linked to belly fat and an increased appetite and food intake. In most people, it triggers impulsive eating which is a kind of eating when the person is not hungry.
Therefore, combating stress levels helps you avoid weight regain. Activities like yoga, sports, meditation, hanging out, and many others that can make you happy will help you combat stress.
2. Get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation is a major factor in weight gain in many adults. Getting less time of sleep also interferes with weight maintenance and sparks off weight regain soon after.
Inadequate sleep leads to an increased level of ghrelin which is a hunger triggering hormone. More so, it lowers the levels of leptin that are necessary for hunger control, and this increases appetite.
In addition to increased appetite, inadequate sleep lowers the body energy making one tired and less motivated to workout. This also causes one to overeat in order to boost energy. All this eating increases your calorie intake thus weight regain when the calories aren’t burned and stored as fat instead.
Therefore, getting enough sleep of at least 7 hours a night will help you feel energized to workout. Proper sleep also keeps your hormones in control by reducing the levels of ghrelin and boosting leptin.
Check out this article on Lose weight by sleeping rightly. It also has tips to help you get better sleep.
3. Keep your body hydrated.
Staying hydrated is known for weight control and maintenance. Drinking water increases the feeling of fullness and helps to keep your food intake in check most especially when you drink a glass before meals.
Staying hydrated also reduces hunger and increases the feeling of fullness helping one overcome the unnecessary snacking.
Drinking water is also known for slightly increasing the number of calories one burns throughout the day.
Have you read this article yet? Interesting facts about drinking water for weight loss. It is an article about how drinking water helps to suppress appetite and induce weight loss. Read more by checking here.
4. Careful on your carb intake.
The types of carbs you eat will help you maintain a healthy weight. Eating foods that are rich in fiber will help you maintain a healthy weight. Such foods include whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and potatoes.
These types of foods are rich in natural fiber which has lots of benefits towards weight loss and maintenance.
Try by all means to cut refined carbs out of your diet. These are often processed, stripped of their natural fibers, and in most cases, they are high in sugars.
Refined carbs can be found in food sources like pastries, white bread, pasta, and sweetened beverages all of which aren’t weight maintenance-friendly.
Read more about the carbs you should eat in this post. Good carbs vs bad carbs. In this article, you will learn about carb food sources to avoid and those to eat for weight maintenance. You will also learn that carbs are not the cause of obesity as many have thought and stated. Read it here.
5. Workout regularly.
Regular exercises play an important role in weight loss and maintenance. It helps to burn extra calories and increase metabolism which are important factors in weight maintenance.
In addition to weight maintenance and weight loss, workouts improve moods which helps to manage stress levels. Since stress is a weight gain factor, handling the stress levels makes workouts very helpful too.
Being physically active helps with healthy weight maintenance. Even a mere walk around the hood, taking the stairs instead of elevators or a 30-minute jog can help maintain a healthy weight.
6. Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
Have you ever thought of the benefits of eating breakfast towards weight loss? Eating breakfast is known for helping to keep your appetite in check throughout the day. This is all explained in this article about weight loss breakfast.
You will feel satisfied for longer probably till your next meal. This will help you avoid cravings that would have added extra calories to your diet.
You will also be able to eat less food during lunchtime compared to the person who skipped breakfast. A less amount of food means that you will have your calorie intake in check and controlled.
Among the many benefits of breakfast are kick boosting the body’s metabolism and providing energy to workout.
7. Always be consistent.
Stick to your healthy diet and exercise routine. Just because you have reached the ideal weight does not mean that you should go back to eating junk foods or skipping exercises. That’s the trap that causes many to regain weight.
People who manage to stick to consistent healthy eating are more likely to maintain a healthy weight for a longer period of time.
8. Make use of food trackers.
Keeping a record of the number of calories you eat in a day can help you maintain a healthy weight. Food trackers help with awareness of how much you are eating from calories and nutrients. This information can help you choose food wisely without exceeding your recommended calorie intake.
Food trackers also help you estimate the number of calories you should consume in order to maintain a healthy weight.
9. A mindful eating delivers good results.
Sitting down without distractions with all the mind on the food can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Mindful eating involves eating slowly, without distractions, and chewing food thoroughly. This manner of eating can help you recognize when you are full so that you can stop eating hence avoiding overeating.
People who practice mindful eating are able to maintain their weight even without counting calories.
10. Make use of a support patterner or system.
Sticking to weight goals can be boring but involving a partner, family member, spouse, or friend can help you boost morale.
Different systems like online challenges, support groups or a reminder app can help you stay motivated and on point.
Research shows that having a partner to pursue goals can be more motivating and a lot can be achieved more than while in solo.
11. Weigh yourself occasionally.
Knowing your weight for a set period of time for instance after every week or two can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Your weight can help you estimate whether you are on the right track or things are going wrong.
For example, a week of good progress can help you realize the good practices you should keep. Whereas a week of weight gain is an alert for you to revise your diet and habits.
12. Eat more proteins.
Following the health benefits of proteins towards weight loss, they should be included regularly in your diet. Eating proteins can reduce appetite and promote the feeling of fullness.
Proteins also increase the level of leptin hormones which are responsible for hunger control. This automatically reduces your calorie intake and helps avoid unnecessary cravings.
Check out this post on High protein foods that are low in fat. This post has a list of foods high in protein that are good for weight loss. It also has a number of benefits associated with proteins. You can see the entire article here.
Therefore, eating more proteins will benefit weight maintenance by increasing metabolism, increasing leptin levels, and reducing your general calorie intake.
13. Fill your plate with more veggies.
Vegetables are linked to weight control and maintenance. Veggies are low in calories which means you can eat large portions of them without adding on weight yet they have a lot of nutrients.
They are also high in fibers which is linked to many health benefits towards weight loss. In summary, vegetables are satisfying, low in calories and will help you maintain a healthy weight.
14. Learn from setbacks.
Weight regains should not discourage you and make you quit your weight goals. They should rather be wake up calls to change to a better way of living.
Sometimes, you can skip workouts or crave for foods that are not weight loss friendly its normal as long as you don’t make it a habit.
Use the setbacks to learn and prepare for the future instead of them being a discouragement.
What foods to eat to maintain weight?
Your diet is very important when you are on weight loss maintenance. Just because you have reached your ideal weight, that doesn’t mean that you can quit dieting. Here are the foods you can eat while on weight maintenance.
These have many benefits towards weight maintenance like reducing hunger, providing body repairing, and building nutrients. Some of the healthy protein sources include;
- Lean meats
- Low-fat dairy
- Nuts and seeds
Fiber-rich foods will help you cut on your calorie intake as well as keep you satisfied for longer. They are also associated with better metabolism and healthy living. Some of the rich fiber food sources include;
- wheat germ
- chia seeds
These are healthy carb food sources that will help you maintain weight. Whole grains are satisfying, low in calories, full of nutrients, and have got fiber in its natural form. Examples of whole-grain foods to eat for weight maintenance include;
- Whole wheat
- Whole oats
- Brown rice
- Whole rye
- Whole grain
Fruits are known for being healthy and providing the nutrients needed for the body. Most fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and fiber in its natural form. Examples of fruits for weight maintenance include;
- Passion fruits
They are very important in a weight maintenance diet plan as they are packed with lots of nutrients and benefits.
Examples of leafy greens include;
- Turnip greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Swiss chard
Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day. Choose water over carbonated sodas, processed juice, or alcohol. Water is calorie-free yet with a lot of health benefits for weight maintenance. For example, it suppresses appetite and increases the feeling of fullness.
Can you maintain weight without exercise?
Sometimes we may not be able to engage in workouts due to fixed schedules, laziness or unbearable circumstances like the COVID 19 lockdown as per 2020. However, that cannot be a limitation to healthy weight maintenance. Here is what you should do to maintain a healthy weight without exercise.
- Check your eating habits.
Mindful eating without any distractions where you sit and chew thoroughly will help you control and decrease your food intake. This helps cut the amount of food and calories.
- Serving food on a smaller plate also helps you eat less. It is one of the best actions to take most especially when you are not eating weight friendly foods.
- Eat more proteins.
- Avoid stocking or putting unhealthy foods where they are easily accessible like the fridge.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods.
- Always stay hydrated by drinking water.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid the consumption of sugary drinks like soda.
The bottom line.
As seen above, maintaining a healthy weight is just a relaxed version of weight loss. For example reduction of exercise time. This, however, doesn’t mean neglecting the things you did to achieve this level. For example exercise, healthy eating and others.
If you have been on a weight loss plan, maintaining will be so much easier since you will be used to most actions involved like mindful eating, drinking water, and others.
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