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How to Maintain a Healthy Weight: Strategies for Long-Term Sustainability

Updated: May 3



Research shows that over the last several decades the overall weight of every American has increased by an average of 20 lbs. In the 1960s, a size 8 woman weighed approximately 125 lbs while now a size 8 is about 165 lbs and a size 8 dress today is roughly the size of a size 16 of 1958. It is important to focus on this issue, as per the CDC, staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as we age in the future. Being overweight is calculated by the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a ratio of your height in feet and inches over your weight in pounds. Normal weight lies between a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. 

Scientifically an increased weight above the ideal (especially due to the visceral fat around your organs) can contribute to strokes, heart attacks, certain types of cancer, arthritis, hypertension, and many other health complications.

A sustainable goal is to get to a set point when we are comfortable with our weight where it is not difficult to manage and it is not a constant battle. 

Weight loss is often referred to as a journey because throughout our lives we will be eating and we will be expending energy and activity. A simplistic way to see it is calories in versus calories out. However in digging deeper we find out that certain things will contribute more towards weight gain than others.

 

Factors That Can Help In Maintaining A Healthy Weight


Setting SMART Goals

One of the most fundamental steps to achieving anything is planning. When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, setting goals to reach a target and sustain the results gotten, is important. The set goals should be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC & TIME-BASED. Setting goals within these parameters would be foundational for long term success and sustainability, as opposed to just winging it. The focus should be on making gradual, realistic, consistent changes to your lifestyle. 


Prioritizing Sleep

Sleep is a key factor affecting weight management. A substantial amount of studies have suggested sleeping less than normal as a contributing factor to weight gain and obesity. It has been reported some people experience weight gain when they sleep for less than seven hours a night. Such transformations can be brought about through a range of different hormonal activity occurring in the body. When a person gets enough sleep, Leptin (a hormone that helps in appetite regulation through a process of inhibiting hunger and maintaining energy balance) levels go up normally and as a result, the brain gets reassured that the energy stores are in order and skip the giving of a hunger message. On the other hand, low Leptin levels are observed if there is a lack or inadequacy of sleep. Once this situation occurs, ghrelin (an appetite enhancer) which is a hormone that is secreted in the stomach to which leptin counterpart, rises.

Sufficient sleep provides the opportunity for the body to adjust the internal production of the two hormones, maintaining the balance between appetite and fullness. Likewise, lack of sleep can create an imbalance in the body that increases ghrelin levels and lowers leptin levels. This can cause you to feel hungrier during the day. This imbalance caused by sleep deprivation may lead to a higher calorie intake during the day.

An average of 7-9 hours of high quality sleep by night and establishingh a sleep schedule will help to optimize the natural rhythms of the body.


Mood and Stress Levels

Mood and stress levels also play a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight. Persons who are depressed and stressed tend to engage in emotional eating, consuming foods which tend to raise dopamine such as candies, cookies, cheeses, wines, etc. Oftentimes we might associate food with comfort and this can lead to weight gain over time. It sometimes takes years before we realize we have packed on the pounds and the resulting depression over the weight gain leads to a constant cycle of overeating and further weight gain.

It is important to indulge in healthier mechanisms such as exercise, walking, making the most out of social connections (family and friends) to improve mood, as well as practicing stress-management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature to help keep stress levels in check.


Regular Physical Activity

Consistent exercise is not just important for weight loss, but for also maintaining weight loss results.  Physical activity expends calories, and this is essential for creating a caloric deficit necessary for weight loss or maintenance. There are various forms of activities to engage in that will be beneficial. For example one of them could be the HITT exercise. HITT which is high-intensity interval training is where you push your body for a short period of time and then have a short period of rest. This gets your cardiovascular system into a particular zone which helps with fat loss, and it really helps to tone your muscles quickly. There is also regular cardio, and of course weight training. Weight training is even more critical because it helps to build up muscles, which really helps to burn calories, even at rest. Since muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue, having more muscle leads to a higher resting metabolic rate, enabling individuals to burn more calories even at rest. A good balance or combination of both HIIT and weight training exercises will help in managing weight by promoting fat loss and preserving or increasing lean muscle mass.


Nutrition

In general, proper nutrition/diet is essential for healthy living. This is because we are truly what we eat and it affects every area of life. When we think of diet, it’s important we think of it as a lifestyle as opposed to thinking of it as a fad or something that's just short term.

Each diet should start with a balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, with enough water consumption and as much decrease of processed foods, sugary beverages, excess salt and sugar.

Practicing portion control is another vital part of proper nutrition. It is important to eat in moderation as even healthy foods can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess.


Seeking Support and Monitoring Progress

Maintaining a healthy weight is often easier with the support of others, whether it be a community of people with similar goals or working with a certified healthcare provider for personalized guidance and accountability. With the right kind of support, you’ll be able to monitor your progress, stay on track and make adjustments as needed.


 

The Healthy Weight Program at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness


At Libre Aesthetics and Wellness, we have a healthy weight program with a proven track record. No two people are alike and that's why we offer a customized program with emphasis on Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Mental Strongholds that needs to be overcome to achieve sustainable change.  Led by Physicians and Practitioners that have undergone their own transformations, we are ready to help you achieve your goal.


Contact us or book an appointment to get started on your transformation today!


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