7 Easy Tips to Keep the Weight Off in 2022
If one of your goals for 2022 is to not only lose weight but keep it off, our cardiologists applaud you! There is little that is better for heart health than maintaining a healthy weight.
Our cardiologists put a strong emphasis on the “maintaining” part. Most people who set out to lose weight either don’t lose weight or find that they regain it all, sometimes with several more pounds to boot. That’s why we offer the following tips for losing weight and keeping it off.
Don’t Follow a Super-Restrictive Diet
When you are planning your weight loss, factor weight retention into your plan. Very restrictive diets can sometimes lead to dramatic weight loss. However, they can also come with rebound weight.
It’s better to stick to a less restrictive diet that might lead to slower weight loss but is easier to maintain over the long term. One good choice is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is heart-healthy, with low red meat consumption and a high intake of antioxidants. It’s also easy to adapt for weight loss. High amounts of vegetables contribute to fullness even with relatively low-calorie consumption.
In addition to limiting your calorie intake, it’s important to maintain high levels of activity. The more active you are, the more weight you’ll lose, and the better you’ll be at keeping it off. This doesn’t mean you need to run miles every day. As with diet, exercise works better if it’s not too drastic and you’re able to keep it up long term. The number one activity of people who maintain weight loss? Walking.
On the other hand, you should also integrate muscle-building exercises into your routine, such as weightlifting. Muscles consume calories, and the more muscles you have, the more energy you will consume during your daily activities.
Eat Filling Foods
Eating meals that make you feel full is important to maintaining your weight loss. Your body doesn’t want to be hungry all the time, and if it is hungry, you are more likely to break your diet and eat unhealthy foods. So, how do you feel full while eating fewer calories?
The key is to eat food that’s more filling. This could be protein, fat, or fiber. Protein is hard-to-digest energy, so eating more protein can help you keep weight off. Some studies suggest that eating around 30% of your calories as protein could help you maintain weight loss. Fat can also be hard to digest, making it a potentially good choice. However, there’s a caveat: make sure you’re eating heart-healthy fats like olive oil, as in the Mediterranean diet, which can get as much as 35% of its calories from fat. Fiber is especially hard to digest – most of it passes through us undigested – so it’s a good way to get and stay full.
When people try to cut calories, they often start by skipping breakfast. It often seems like the easiest way to cut a chunk of calories: skipping an entire meal. However, if you skip breakfast, you are more likely to feel hungry later in the day, leading you to eat more calories and often from unhealthy sources like snack foods.
Follow a Steady Routine
If you want to keep your weight off, it’s important to maintain the routine that helped you lose weight in the first place. That’s part of the rationale for avoiding restrictive diets.
But it’s also important to maintain your routine on a daily basis. Many people get into the routine of eating healthy all week, then splurging on the weekends. Try to stick to your diet and exercise routines all week long. If you benefit from occasional diet holidays, make them infrequent.
Being dehydrated can make you hungry. It makes sense: we naturally get about 20% of our water from food. If you’re not drinking enough, your body tries to trick you into getting more water by eating more food.
Get Good Sleep
It’s hard to keep weight off if you’re not getting enough sleep. During sleep, your body performs essential functions, including metabolic regulation. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body is more likely to want more calories and more likely to store those calories as fat.
Plus, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will have poorer impulse control. You won’t be able to resist the urge to snack as well, which will result in you eating more junk food.
Looking for a Heart-Health Partner?
Are you trying to keep your heart healthier in 2022? At South Denver Cardiology, our heart doctors focus on lifestyle and prevention as much as interventional cardiology. We can help you use exercise and diet to improve your heart health and offer diagnostic testing to check in on the health of your heart. That way, we can see how successful our prevention efforts are being and change the approach as necessary.
Please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form today to request an appointment at South Denver Cardiology’s main office or one of our satellite offices.
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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.Sign Up