Losing weight can be difficult: you struggle through difficult diets and exercise routines until you finally reach your goal. You use extreme willpower to resist cravings and struggle over plateaus to drop the excess pounds. However, as hard as it is to lose weight, it is even more difficult to keep it off.
The majority of people who lose weight from "fad diets" and from diets that cause you to lose weight quickly usually gain the weight right back in a relatively shorts period of time. Diets like the cabbage soup diet or maple syrup diet may cause you to lose weight quickly, but once you quit the diet and start eating normal food again your body will go into survival mode and start hoarding the calories. As a result of the survival mode your body enters, you will gain back all of the weight you lost. The same is true for extremely low-calorie diets. These diets are extremely hard to follow in the long term because they are so restrictive. Most people do not have the will power to consume only 1,200 calories per day, and when they begin to eat more the body turns that food into fat, as if it were storing up for the winter!
The key to maintaining weight loss is to not deprive your body of too many nutrients. As simple as it sounds, eating a healthy balanced diet and getting regular exercise will help you lose weight and keep it from returning. The key is to eat the right foods in the appropriate amounts. Eat breakfast every day. Eating five or six smaller meals will help curb your hunger and provide your body with energy all day long. Consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, particularly the dark green, red or orange variety, because they are packed with fiber and nutrients. Substitute white bread, white rice and pasta for whole grains, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. These foods are richer in fiber and are not filled with sugar. Lean meats are also important, particularly as a source of protein. The common recommendation for meat is to make sure you don't eat anymore than the size of your fist.
Exercise is essential for your overall health and to maintain weight loss. Exercise will help burn calories and turn fat into lean muscle. It will also provide you with energy and increase the endorphins in your brain to enhance your mood.
Drink plenty of water to help your body function properly and to burn fat. Water also reduces the snacking urge because the first feeling of hunger is actually the need for hydration.