Do This Quick Thing Every Day to Prevent Weight Gain
Do you want a quick, tried-and-true strategy to keep from regaining lost weight? Researchers from the NIH have just the thing.
During a “diet” or major weight loss effort, you are obviously very focused on staying the course. You probably write down what you eat, log in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, and weigh yourself frequently to measure your success.
However, once you’ve reached your goal weight, what happens? Most likely, you slack off on these “self-regulation” strategies and one day you wake up and your pants don’t fit! After all the effort you have put into losing the weight, how do you avoid putting back on the pounds?
Quick Task That Prevents Weight Gain
A new study has identified one key task that prevents weight gain. It is as simple as getting on the scale each and every day. Why? Because then you can make changes and one or two pounds doesn’t cascade into ten to twenty pounds!
Lead author Rena Wing PhD, director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital, and a team of researchers followed a group of almost 600 young adults, aged 18 to 35. This age group has been shown as being the population gaining weight the fastest – an average of one to two pounds per year – and are increasing their risk of becoming obese and developing weight-related health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Among the participants, those who “self-regulated”, or in other words, weighed themselves daily and then altered their daily intake and exercise routine based on their current weight, were the most successful in losing the weight and keeping it off.
Don't Quickly Revert To Old Habits After Weight Loss
Often, in formal weight loss programs, people are weighed only once per week. The thought process is that one should be focused on the journey, and not the outcome. While it is true that you should take steps every day to make your diet more healthful and to take steps to increase your exercise rather than focused on each and every pound (for some this can be a source of unnecessary stress.)
However, once the weight is lost and you have reached your goal, it is way too common to revert to your old habits and result in regaining the lost weight – and often, then some!
The bottom line here is to keep track of your weight consistently throughout your life – whether it is daily or weekly – and don’t let those pounds sneak back up on you. Tackle those small weight gains that are much easier to handle than large ones!
Rena R. Wing, Deborah F. Tate, et al.Innovative Self-Regulation Strategies to Reduce Weight Gain in Young Adults. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2016; DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1236
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, By Michiel1972 at nl.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3224129