Long Term Weight Management Guidelines
Maybe you lost weight but have started to gain it back? Or maybe you have gained weight with age and can’t seem to lose it? These are common issues when it comes to weight loss. Here are three tips for losing the weight and keeping it off:
1. Calories Need To Be Adjusted Over Time
When you lose weight, calorie intake needs to be adjusted. This is because as body fat and lean body mass decreases, your body doesn’t require as much energy to fuel the same motions. There’s less of you so you burn less calories than you previously did. This isn’t a bad thing though. Monitoring your body fat percentage as you lose weight will allow you to track your daily calorie burn. You can then adjust your calorie intake to meet your new needs.
2. Increase Your Protein Intake, Especially As You Age
The two factors in how many calories you burn are how much muscle you have and how much you move with that muscle. Over the age of 30, muscle protein synthesis slows down, which means that your body doesn’t process protein as efficiently as it use to. When this happens, your body has a harder time maintaining the muscle that you have without increased protein intake. You will slowly lose lean body mass over time which ultimately lowers the number of calories that you burn every day. As a result, you will gain weight if you aren’t adjusting your nutrition or activity level accordingly.
You can fight this though! Increase your protein intake to make up for the slowdown in protein processing. Since your body processes a percentage of the protein that you take in, increasing your protein will still give your body the quantity that it needs to keep your muscle mass and calorie burn high. As you already know, the more calories you burn every day, the easier it is to keep the weight off.
3. Embrace Your New Lifestyle
Unfortunately, it is common for people to gain the weight back after they lose it. It doesn’t have to be this way though. The best way to prevent the weight from coming back is by understanding that you lost your weight by changing your lifestyle and that change needs to continue. If you hit your goal and then you’re done, you will fall back into old patterns and habits and the weight will come right back on the way it did originally. Exercise and tracking your calories have to become your new normal. To make a lasting change, you have to change your lifestyle.
Diffuse Your Fears
Losing the weight and keeping it off doesn’t have to be impossible. You need to adjust your calorie intake over time, make sure that you’re getting enough protein, and love your new lifestyle. You can do it as long as you put your mind to it!