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How to lose weight and never regain lost weight (easily)

In Spain, women spend an average of 8 years on a diet, according to expert data from the European Medical Institute of Obesity (IMEO) shared with EFE. In other words, the time we spend counting calories is equivalent to 94 diets of four weeks each.

In these data lies the key to the main problem when we lose weight: maintaining weight loss over time. Quick diets that focus on losing weight in the shortest time possible and, as a consequence, increase our hunger hormonesreduce our metabolic rates and cause a vicious spiral of weight loss followed by regaining what was lost, also known as the ‘rebound effect’.

The underlying problem of this recurring behavior, according to Harvard University, is that Many times this weight loss is achieved by jumping from one fad diet to anotherwhich often means experiencing the consequences of what is known as a metabolic roller coaster or yo-yo effect.

How to avoid gaining weight again

Dr. Richard Joseph, from Harvard Medical School, assures that these conclusions are consistent with the existing scientific literature. Any successful weight loss requires tipping and holding the balance toward higher energy expenditure and lower calorie intake, i.e. a negative net energy outcome.

And he adds that, in order to build a lifestyle that does not make us feel persistently hungry and angry, The focus must be placed on those determinants that underpin behavioral changes and that, as some recent studies confirm, psychology is essential to regulate the physiology that supports weight loss.

The data to date confirm the importance of self-regulation and, in particular, self-control of everyday behaviors that drive energy intake and expenditureespecially eating behaviors.

Those who have high exercise self-efficacy (believing in their ability to perform certain behaviors) are more successful in maintaining weight loss. And, more recently, researchers have been unraveling elements of the mindset that instill high self-efficacy in important weight control behaviors.

The discoveries carried out in this study carried out by the National Weight Control Registry, collected by the Oxford University, with a database of more than 4,000 people, they suggest Six Key Strategies for Long-Term Weight Loss Success:

  1. Increase physical activity levels for at least one hour per day
  2. Follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet
  3. Always have breakfast
  4. Maintain regular weight self-monitoring
  5. Maintain a consistent eating pattern
  6. Catch small “slips” before they turn into major weight gains

In 2022, a study by the University San Luis Obispo, California analyzed machine learning and natural language processing to identify the main behavioral themes (motivations, strategies, struggles and successes) consistent with a group of more than 6,000 people who had successfully lost and maintained more than 9 kg of weight for at least least a year.

The most repeated as key behavioral strategies in the group were perseverance in the face of setbacks, consistency in following food, and monitoring eating behaviors. Additionally, reflecting on improving their health and feeling good about looking slimmer helped most of them feel motivated.

What can be said with certainty, says Dr. Richard Joseph, is that “for each and every one of us, Maintaining weight loss requires being comfortable with discomfort: the discomfort of occasionally feeling hungry, of exercising instead of stress eating, of deciphering reward-seeking versus actual hunger, and resisting the omnipresent temptation of ultra-caloric foods.”

To help each other eat healthily and maintain our weight loss in our modern environment, “we must learn and practice psychological tools that help us not only accept, but ultimately embrace, this inevitable discomfort,” the expert concludes. .

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