The worst thing about losing weight is that, even if you don’t want it, it keeps finding you again! There comes a point in the weight loss journey when you hit a plateau. What is worse is when you discover that even after shedding the pounds, the number on the scale is back to where you started.
You are not alone! In fact, many people who drop a large amount of weight, regain it after some time. Basically, people who limit calorie consumption can significantly reduce their metabolic rate which makes it challenging to burn calories and lose weight over a duration of months (1). What this implies is that a lower metabolic rate makes the weight come back once the pre-weight loss diet is resumed.
This is just one of the reasons. There are several other causes of regaining weight…
Here’s a list of the most common reasons of weight regain (some of which may actually surprise you!)…
- Don’t Restrict Diets: Cutting down on their food intake totally is the most common thing people do to lose weight. However, this may do more harm than good. Extremely low calorie intake may slow down your metabolism and affect your appetite-regulating hormones, both of which are associated with weight gain. (2) So, it’s good to eat a healthy diet, especially with a lot of protein, to maintain an ideal weight since it can help reduce appetite and promote fullness. (3, 4, 5)
- Eat Breakfast: Most of us think that skipping breakfast is a good idea for weight loss. However, this is not true at all. No doubt that eating the right amount of food is necessary for healthy weight maintenance, but skipping breakfast is not a solution in anyway. In fact, skipping breakfast could be a cardinal mistake.
A study published by ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ has suggested that people who eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet, regular breakfast, and monitor weight, to maintain their weight loss may get long-term success in their journey (6)
Moreover, breakfast eaters tend to have healthier habits overall, such as consuming more fiber and micronutrients and exercising more (7, 8, 9). So, it is good to start your day with a bowl full of nutrients and healthy fiber to maintain your weight successfully for a long period of time.
- Lift Weight: One of the most common side effects of weight loss is a reduction in muscle mass (10). Reduced muscle mass can limit your ability to keep off by lowering your metabolism, which means you burn fewer calories (11). Weight-lifting after weight loss is a good way to keep weight off by maintaining muscle mass (12, 13, 14, 15).
So, it is advisable to engage in strength training at least twice a week to receive these benefits (16).
- Reduce Stress Levels: Stress may also affect your weight loss. High-stress levels can increase your stress hormone cortisol which may contribute to weight regain. (17) Basically, an increased level of cortisol may lead to an increase in appetite and food intake (17). Stress is also a common trigger for compulsive eating, which means when you eat even when you’re not hungry (18).
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is also responsible for affecting your weight control. In fact, people who get less sleep are more likely to gain weight, or it may interfere with weight maintenance. (19, 20, 21) The reason behind it is the levels of ghrelin may accelerate due to inadequate sleep. Ghrelin is known as the ‘hunger hormone’ because it increases appetite (20).
There are several simple changes that you can incorporate easily that will help you support and maintain a healthy weight. Through your journey, you will understand that weight management involves much more than what you eat. Sleep, exercise and mental health also play a vital role. Therefore, it is possible to control weight simply by adopting a new lifestyle.
In addition to the above-mentioned ways for weight maintenance, you can also join SuperFood WeightLoss Accelerator to get help with your weight loss plan. Here you can learn more about your weight and solutions to lose it and maintain it.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- Benton, David, and Hayley A. Young. “Reducing calorie intake may not help you lose body weight.” Perspectives on Psychological Science. (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639963/
- Rosenbaum, Michael, and Rudolph L. Leibel. “Adaptive thermogenesis in humans.” International journal of obesity. 34:S1 (2010): S47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673773/
- Soeliman, Fatemeh Azizi, and Leila Azadbakht. “Weight loss maintenance: A review on dietary related strategies.” Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 19:3 (2014): 268. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24949037
- Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., et al. “Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance.” Annual review of nutrition. 29 (2009): 21-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19400750
- Halton, Thomas L., and Frank B. Hu. “The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 23:5 (2004): 373-385. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466943
- Wing, Rena R., and Suzanne Phelan. “Long-term weight loss maintenance–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition. 82:1 (2005): 222S-225S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002825
- O’Neil, Carol E., Theresa A. Nicklas, and Victor L. Fulgoni III. “Nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight/adiposity parameters in breakfast patterns compared with no breakfast in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2008.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 114:12 (2014): S27-S43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25458992
- Affinita, Antonio, et al. “Breakfast: a multidisciplinary approach.” Italian journal of pediatrics. 39:1 (2013): 44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726409/
- Rampersaud, Gail C., et al. “Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents.” Journal of the american dietetic association. 105:5 (2005): 743-760. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15883552
- Chaston, T. B., J. B. Dixon, and P. E. O’brien. “Changes in fat-free mass during significant weight loss: a systematic review.” International journal of obesity. 31:5 (2007): 743. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17075583/
- Stiegler, Petra, and Adam Cunliffe. “The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss.” Sports medicine. 36:3 (2006): 239-262. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200636030-00005
- Donnelly, Joseph E., et al. “American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 41:2 (2009): 459-471. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19127177
- Kruger, Judy, Heidi Michels Blanck, and Cathleen Gillespie. “Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 3:1 (2006): 17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1555605/
- Hunter, Gary R., et al. “Resistance training conserves fat‐free mass and resting energy expenditure following weight loss.” Obesity. 16:5 (2008): 1045-1051. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845
- Marks, BONITA L., et al. “Fat-free mass is maintained in women following a moderate diet and exercise program.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 27:9 (1995): 1243-1251. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8531622
- American College of Sports Medicine. “American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 41:3 (2009): 687. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19204579
- Ranabir, Salam, and K. Reetu. “Stress and hormones.” Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism. 15:1 (2011): 18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/
- Yau, Yvonne HC, and Marc N. Potenza. “Stress and eating behaviors.” Minerva endocrinologica. 38:3 (2013): 255. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214609/
- Patel, Sanjay R., and Frank B. Hu. “Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review.” Obesity. 16:3 (2008): 643-653. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18239586
- Beccuti, Guglielmo, and Silvana Pannain. “Sleep and obesity.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. 14:4 (2011): 402. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/
- Van Cauter, Eve, and Kristen L. Knutson. “Sleep and the epidemic of obesity in children and adults.” European journal of endocrinology. 159:suppl_1 (2008): S59-S66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755992/