One of the main problems for some people who are following different diets for some time is gaining weight back. Therefore, it is important to find a diet plan that is not difficult to follow permanently and helps you successfully lose weight.
Additionally, you need a meal plan that can help you maintain your weight, not gain it back, and that will provide you with all the important nutrients. Therefore, we will provide you with some strategies that can help you achieve your ideal weight and an example of a maintenance meal plan to help you with that.
Why do people regain weight?
Before we start, this is one important question that everyone wants to know the answer to. There are a few things responsible for weight regaining and they are usually related to feelings of deprivation or unrealistic expectations.
Firstly, one of the reasons might be a wrong mindset. That is when you think that a diet is a quick fix and not a long-term solution. When you look at it as something that is a long-term thing that can better your health you will have more success. Therefore, you will less likely to give up and gain the lost weight back.
Furthermore, some people start a very restrictive diet. That is not a good idea because you need to find a diet that will have all the important nutrients and that will help you lose weight at the same time.
It is better to lose weight slowly and keep it down than to lose it fast and regain it after you stop following it. Additionally, extreme calorie restriction can change your appetite-regulation hormones or slow your metabolism.
Moreover, there is a lacking of sustainable habits. There are lots of diets that are focusing on willpower over the habits of incorporating them into your daily life. If you don`t focus on changing your lifestyle that can discourage you and stop you from weight maintenance.
Lastly, many diets have requirements difficult to keep up and the best thing would be to consult with a dietitian, nutritionist, or any professional who can guide and help you find a diet that is good for you.
How to achieve and maintain your ideal weight?
There are some tips and strategies that can help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight. Here are some of them:
1. Don`t skip breakfast.
Whatever diet you decide to choose and follow, eating breakfast is crucial in your weight maintenance goals. Eating breakfast every day will provide enough fiber and micronutrients and overall healthier habits.
That does not mean that skipping breakfast will lead to weight gain or bad eating habits. However, it is more likely that you will be successful at maintaining your ideal weight if you do not skip breakfast. However, listen to your body and decide how you feel when you skip breakfast and when you keep eating it every morning.
2. Try to exercise regularly
Regular training is not just healthy, but it is important for weight maintenance. Exercising will help you burn extra calories and it will make your metabolism faster which together will help you achieve energy balance.
When your energy is in balance you will burn the same amount of calories that you consume and your weight is more likely to stay the same. You can achieve this by having approximately thirty minutes of exercise a day.
However, having higher levels of activity might be something that can help you maintain your weight even more successfully. Additionally, it is important to remember that exercising is more helpful if you add other lifestyle changes and if you stick to a healthy diet.
3. Consume enough protein
This can not only help you maintain your weight but also can promote fullness and reduce your appetite. Protein is essential because it reduces the levels of hormones that increase hunger and for weight regulation.
Therefore, the effect it has on your fullness and hormones will reduce the number of calories that you eat a day. That is a crucial factor in maintaining your weight. Additionally, a great amount of energy for your body is needed to break down the protein, so it can increase the number of calories you burn during the day.
4. Don`t be discouraged by setbacks
It is inevitable for setbacks to happen and there might be times when you decide, or have to, skip your exercise or eat your unhealthy craving. However, this does not mean that you should forget about your goals. Just move on and keep making good choices. To avoid this as much as possible, try to plan for situations that can make your healthy diet difficult.
5. Keep in mind your carb intake
When you pay attention to the amount and types of carbs you are eating you will easily accomplish weight maintenance. Therefore, avoiding refined carbs, such as white pasta, fruit juices, and white bread can be important for your goal.
These foods do not have enough natural fiber to keep you full so they can lead to weight gain if you consume a lot. When you limit your carbs you are more likely to eat fewer calories and you will keep your weight at the ideal level.
6. Try to control your stress as much as possible and get enough sleep
Managing stress is not always easy but it is important in controlling weight. If we have high-stress levels that can be a big factor in regaining weight. It is because increases levels of cortisol. Therefore, cortisol is related to higher amounts of belly fat and food intake because it increases appetite.
Stress is something that is triggering impulsive eating and that means that you will eat even if you are not hungry. However, there are ways to reduce stress by exercising, meditation, or yoga. It is important to keep stress under control as much as possible for keeping your weight at an ideal level.
Sleep deprivation plays a major role in gaining weight. Therefore, we need to try to get enough sleep. If you sleep for a short time, you will more likely have less energy and motivation for exercising and making healthy food choices. Sleeping for at least 7 hours a day will help you keep your hormones at a good level and have enough energy throughout the day.
7. Eat plenty of veggies
Vegetable intake is great for weight control because it is low in calories. You don`t have to worry and you can eat large portions without putting on weight. Additionally, you will consume a great number of nutrients. They are full of fiber so your feeling of fullness will reduce the number of calories that you eat during the day.
8. Reach mindful eating
To reach mindful eating we need to listen to our internal appetite cues and pay attention while we eat. Therefore, we need to eat slowly, with no distractions. Additionally, it would be great to chew food thoroughly so we can taste our meal and the aroma.
When doing this we will stop eating when we are full. If we are distracted it will be difficult to realize the fullness and we might end up overeating. When using mindful eating we can maintain our weight because we are recognizing behaviors like emotional eating or other things associated with weight gain.
9. Food journal and hydration
When we keep a food journal we can easily track what we eat. That way we can reach and maintain our weight loss. You can also log your exercise and make sure that you are having enough of it to maintain your weight.
Hydration is helpful for weight maintenance for many reasons. Firstly, it promotes fullness and it helps you keep your calorie intake if you drink a glass or two before your meal. Secondly, drinking water will increase the number of calories your burn throughout the day. Lastly, it will increase your metabolism and promote fullness.
10. Make sustainable choices consistent, and find a support system
The key is to find a diet that works best for you. It can be a keto diet, plant-based diet, diet plan for athletes, or anything else that will be good for you and that is sustainable for you. That should be something that will make you feel good and that you will be able to keep for a long time. Choosing the right diet plan will help you feel good in oppose to feeling deprived when you follow a strict diet that is difficult to stick to.
Consistency is a vital part of achieving and keeping your weight at the ideal level. Starting something different might be overwhelming at the beginning but when you get used to that it will bring amazing things.
Lastly, it is easier if you do it with someone. If you find a support system that will hold you accountable or someone with who you can partner, it will be easier for you to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Having a buddy with the same goals will help you stay on your track easily.
Maintenance meal plan to help you keep your ideal weight
We have an example of a meal plan that can help you reach and maintain your weight at the ideal level. It includes a lot of fiber, nutrients, and protein-rich meals so you can reach and maintain your weight goals.
Breakfast – oats made with milk, chia seeds, fresh berries, and pumpkin seeds
Lunch – egg and veggie muffins and tomato salad with basil and avocado
Dinner – cauliflower-crust pizza with mushrooms, pepper, pesto, chicken, and spinach
Breakfast – kale, cherries, flax seeds, banana, and milk smoothie
Lunch – salad with tomato, peppers, sweet potato, corn, salmon or chicken, and chickpeas
Dinner – brown rice with red lentils and spinach
Breakfast – omelet with eggs, onions, peppers, and potatoes
Lunch – big salad with green vegetables and beans
Dinner – tofu or chicken meatballs with squash spaghetti, mixed green salad with parmesan
Breakfast – yogurt with walnuts and fresh fruit
Lunch – kale salad with boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, avocado, whole-grain pita chips
Dinner – small whole-wheat bun and black beans or beef burger with lettuce, peppers, tomato, pickles, onions
Breakfast – salad with granola, walnuts, blueberries, spinach, hard-boiled eggs, and coconut flakes
Lunch – spring rolls with peanut butter and veggies
Dinner – greens, chili, wild rice
Breakfast – pancakes with yogurt, strawberries, and nuts
Lunch – grilled chicken with a big bowl of salad
Dinner – shrimp with peppers, onions, corn tortilla, and guacamole
Breakfast – oats with mango, pecans, and coconut flakes
Lunch – chickpea or tuna salad, mixed greens with apple, avocado, and walnuts
Dinner – grilled salmon with potatoes and kale
For instance, if you prefer a plant-based diet, you can replace fish, eggs, and meat with different alternatives like tempeh, tofu, beans, seitan, chia or flax seeds, and plant-based yogurts and kinds of milk.
Achieving your ideal weight with a maintenance plan and maintaining that weight can be simple if you are consistent with your healthy habits. Choose a diet plan that you can easily follow and that makes you feel good.
That way you will be able to follow it and you will not go back to your old lifestyle. Get enough exercise, sleep and be persistent with your diet and the result will be there for sure.