Healthy Lifestyle

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Keeping weight off once it's gone

Losing weight can be a life-changing event. For some men and women, the desire to lose weight is largely cosmetic, while others must lose weight for medical reasons. Regardless of the reason behind a person's desire to lose weight, setting and achieving such a goal is an accomplishment to be proud of.

As difficult as losing weight can be, men and women often find it even more difficult to keep that weight off once it's gone. But maintaining a healthy weight does not have to be so difficult, especially when people can apply the same effort and discipline to keeping weight off that they did to losing weight. The following are a few additional tips to help men and women maintain a healthy weight.

* Exercise daily. Exercise plays a significant role in many people's weight-loss efforts, and men and women should continue to emphasize exercise as they work to maintain their weight loss. An exercise regimen that helped you lose weight can be just as effective as you work to keep that weight off. Aerobic and strength-training exercise can help men and women maintain a healthy weight while reducing their risk for various diseases, including heart disease. Strength training exercise can be especially important for men and women as they age, as such exercise helps maintain bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

* Continue to monitor eating habits. Once the weight has been lost, that does not mean you can return to your pre-weight loss diet. After those excess pounds have disappeared, continue to watch what you eat, avoiding foods that are high in fat and sugar. In addition, continue to control your food portions to avoid overindulging. Portion control can go a long way toward helping men and women keep weight off, and how much you eat should be considered nearly as important as what you're eating.

* Enlist the help of others. Many people enlist the help of family and friends as they attempt to lose weight. Immediate family members, in particular, tend to play a significant role in such efforts, acting as a daily support system and even, on occasion, serving as the "food police" when men and women veer off course of their healthy diets. Such support can be just as valuable as you work to maintain your weight loss. If you worked out on the buddy system on your way to losing weight, continue to do so. If your family adopted a healthy diet to help make things easier on you during your weight-loss efforts, continue to eat such healthy foods as a family, which can only pay dividends for everyone in the long run.

* Expect some setbacks, but don't accept them. Just like there were setbacks on your road to losing weight, there will be setbacks as you try to maintain that weight loss. Such setbacks are to be expected, but they're much easier to accept when you're already at a healthy weight than they were when you were overweight. But when you accept setbacks and don't work to avoid more, all that hard work losing weight could end up being for naught. Don't beat yourself up if you gain some of the weight back, but if you do, assess how it happened and work to address any issues that might have led to that weight gain.

Gadsden Times