After completing a weight loss plan, your results may only be short-term without the proper tools and guidance to help you build healthy, lasting habits. Your body will likely want to regain the lost weight, which is why the weight stabilization phase is important to ensure you maintain your new weight.
Working with nutritionists and other health professionals can make a significant difference in establishing good foundations so you smoothly transition into a new stage of your life when it comes to diet. This typically includes reintroducing certain foods and gaining a comprehensive understanding of eating behaviors and calorie sources.
The Importance of Professional Guidance
After weeks or months of working towards your weight-loss goals, reaching them introduces new challenges that greatly benefit from professional counsel. The stabilization phase will allow you to gather information about how foods and habits now impact you, so you can transition to the maintenance phase, which is a healthy lifestyle that shouldn’t require more weight loss programs in the future.
When you reintroduce certain foods, or even whole food groups, that were off the table during active weight loss, you need to learn to monitor your body's responses to them.
Working over a specific amount of time sets you up for long-term success as you find balance in your food intake. This minimizes the “rebound effect” that can be a pitfall when someone returns to unhealthy habits after a successful weight loss, undoing much, if not all, of their progress. Maintaining a detailed food and exercise journal provides accurate information that helps to implement any adjustment necessary to stabilize your weight. By taking at least several weeks to adjust to your new body, you will likely learn that you need fewer calories than before thanks to your lighter weight.
A professional can also teach you how to identify significant weight fluctuations and what simple corrections you can make to return to your ideal body weight. Careful monitoring of food intake versus calories burned will inform your maintenance phase as well. This is the right time to create new habits for both diet and exercise, and professional help can provide specific recommendations and actionable advice for you to keep the excess weight off.
During the stabilization phase, a professional can educate you about:
- How to keep your ideal weight
- How to maintain a good body image
- How to understand nutrition labels
- What emotional eating is and what healthy alternatives you can rely on instead
- How to recognize sneaky calories (like the other names for sugar or liquid calories)
Healthy Weight Maintenance
After the stabilization phase has laid the ground for your healthy lifestyle, you will enter the final stage of your weight loss journey: the maintenance phase. At this point, you should have a solid understanding of what to do for a balanced and enjoyable diet, and you should plan to incorporate enough physical activity into your daily life.
Helpful habits for successful weight maintenance include:
- Eating real and clean food
- Avoiding processed meats and packaged meals
- Avoiding foods and beverages that have ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce
- Staying hydrated
- Paying close attention to sugar on nutrition labels
You may choose to continue working with a professional during the first 12 months of your maintenance phase. They will determine how often you should continue to meet and how you should continue to track your food intake and lifestyle habits.
Our Soza Weight Loss team can help you lose weight and create a long-term healthy lifestyle. Call us today at (504) 475-9817 or use our contact formto schedule an appointment.