A quick-fix diet plan, curbing the cravings and a strict exercise regime – finally the results are there for you to exult. The muffin tops are gone, the jaw lines are better defined and the mirror that you dreaded for long suddenly becomes your best friend. The quest to achieve ‘that’ perfect body weight is finally over, or has it just begun!
Maintaining the ideal body weight is a much tougher task at hand, as people tend to fall back into their old habits easily. The temptation of chocolate puddings and French fries that seemed like the forbidden apple throughout the lent suddenly turns out to be so irresistible, that a bit of indulgence becomes over-indulgence without you even realizing that you are piling up those extra kilos once again!
Quick-fix diets and intense short-term exercises aimed at losing weight usually don’t work in the long run.
Here are a few rules to follow that may help you maintain the ideal weight:
i) EAT HEALTHY
Having a healthy diet plan simply means not skipping three regular meals a day; having a balanced low-fat diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and keeping a watch on the portion size.
In an attempt to lose instant weight, people skip meals or tend to follow crash diets for quick results. Skipping meals result in an increased chance of developing diabetes, a low supply of essential nutrients and a drastically altered metabolism. Not having your meals at proper intervals slows down the metabolism, so when you eat the next time, the body finds it difficult to break down the food thus storing it as fat which in turn can make you obese.
Even sticking to only protein or fruit diet can be a risk. A protein diet can increase the risk of heart diseases, raise cholesterol levels and can make you feel constipated due to insufficient supply of fibre. Excess intake of protein can also worsen condition in those suffering from kidney problems.
Similarly, in case of an all-fruit diet the body is deprived of essential nutrients like protein and fats- which though most often demonized is very much necessary for maintaining hormone levels and proper brain function. Fruit diet also loads your body with excess sugar which can send your pancreas into a serious state of fatigue.
No one diet plan can supply all essential nutrients required for our body. So it’s very important to have regularly timed, balanced meals in small portions to maintain a healthy weight.
ii) INDULGE BUT OCCASIONALLY
We are humans and keeping away from temptations for long is not always easy. Sinful eating occasionally can be forgiven. Follow a 80/20 rule i.e. if your are following a healthy diet 80 percent of the time, 20 times you definitely can gorge on to your favourite choco lava cake or an extra slice of pizza. Just try and balance it out by going for a smaller portion of meal than you regularly do and a bit of intense exercise.
Sounds like a real tough task. Taking out time to sweat it out in the gym, considering the busy, tight schedule, seems almost impossible. Don’t worry. Forget the gym. Avoid the elevator and use the stairs instead, do a bit of cooking, gardening, and your regular household chores. Going up and down the stairs just four times could burn up to 115 calories as it’s a great form of aerobics and spending an hour cooking can help you lose about 150 calories. Chores like mopping, sweeping, dusting and washing laundry is good for your arms, thighs and abs.
iv) KEEP STRESS AT BAY
Most people assume that stress leads to weight loss, but the truth is, it can be the other way round as well. Overindulgence, especially on junk, high-fat, high-sugar food brings comfort though for a short while.
`Comfort eating` leads to consumption of food in large quantity in response to the feelings instead of hunger.
Stress triggers the brain to produce corticotropin-releasing hormone, which suppresses appetite. However, when stress persists for a longer period, the adrenal glands release the cortisol, which increases appetite.
Meditate, indulge in fun activities, pamper your-self with a massage and interact with friends to ward off stress and keep the weight at bay.
v) BE REALISTIC & KEEP TRACK
Don’t go by the `size-zero` trend. Different people have their own shapes and sizes. Try to have a healthy weight than a perfect figure. Self-monitor to keep a tab on your eating habits. Check your weight at least once a week. Keeping a regular tab will help you loose the few pounds without putting in much extra effort.
Maintaining an ideal weight can’t be achieved by focusing on short result-oriented activities, instead a planned long term approach, lifestyle change, more realistic approach and regular perseverance is required to attain healthy results.