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Keeping It Off

on Jan 25, 2016 in Fitness, General Wellness, Nutrition, Weight Loss

Winning Strategies for Long-term Weight Loss Maintenance

Red weights with measuring tape

Weight loss is hard , but the true challenge is maintaining a weight loss. Some studies estimate that as many as two-thirds of people who lose weight gain a majority of it back within three years. If you have ever struggled with your weight you may have already experienced this.

As depressing as these statistics are, remember that there are people out there who are defying the odds, long-term weight maintenance is achievable. In the Positive Choice Integrative Weight Management Programs we have been able to better the odds for most people. Three years after losing weight, 50% of our participants are maintaining all or most of their weight loss, another 25% are maintaining two-thirds or more of their weight loss. We work to improve our programs every year, employing the strategies that have been proven successful. Our goal is to provide the support and tools to help people lose weight and help them build a lifestyle that will give them every chance for long-term success.

Although more research needs to be done to fully understand the challenges to weight maintenance there are a few things that have been clearly documented.

The health of your intestinal tract is important. Certain bacteria in our intestinal tract produce hormones that can effect appetite and metabolism. Up to two years post-weight loss, fluctuating levels of grehlin/leptin hormone levels can create increased feelings of hunger. People who have lost weight are hungrier for at least two years. Most people spend money on losing the weight, but direct very little resources towards to their maintenance efforts. When seeking to lose weight, it is extremely important that you participate in support that can help you for at least two years of your post-weight loss. One of the biggest mistakes people make in our Weight Management Programs is not taking advantage of our long-term weight maintenance programs.  During a weight loss phase and also following in the maintenance phase your routine should include foods that help promote healthy gut bacteria and perhaps probiotics to help adjust your intestinal tract bacteria. Maintaining a weight loss eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and legumes should help promote the growth of healthy GI tract bacteria. Some foods that may harm good intestinal bacteria and stimulate the growth of harmful bacteria would include genetically modified (GMO) foods like soy and corn, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods (because of all the additives, etc.)

Stimulating your metabolism is important.  This is particularly true with larger amounts of weight loss because when you lose a lot of weight you can lose muscle along with body fat. Muscle weight is a calorie burner so less muscle equals less calories needed every day. The more muscle you have the more calories you need to maintain your weight and that makes maintenance easier. A healthy muscle mass also has a weight gain protective effect. A healthy muscle mass alters body chemistry making it less likely that extra calories get stored as fat. At Positive Choice we teach strategies which can minimize muscle loss during weight loss and build muscle during the maintenance phase. This offers a double benefit as building muscle will help stabilize and/or increase metabolism and also help regulate hormones and curb appetite.

SECA-Body-Composition-AnalyzerA tool that we use to help is SECA Body Composition Testing. The SECA machine is one of the most sophisticated methods for analyzing muscle mass, body fat, body hydration, and cellular health and is available at the Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center. A simple body composition test (body fat and muscle measurement) is $55 and packages of three body composition tests for $150.

Buying a package of three is recommended for people losing weight because we use the first test to establish a baseline level of muscle/fat composition and also to determine a healthy ideal body weight range. Then body composition is measured midway through the weight loss phase to access muscle loss and adjust muscle strengthening strategies. The last test is done at or close to goal weight to determine what strength building needs to be added to facilitate long-term weight maintenance and correct calorie levels.  Anyone can take advantage of the SECA Body Composition Analysis and/or package deal. Just call the Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center.