As most dieters know, the hardest part is not losing weight. It’s keeping it off.
When your body gets thinner, it goes into starvation mode, ratcheting up your appetite in an effort to make you eat more.
Mainstream doctors have one answer for this problem: willpower.
They urge you to stay disciplined and fight through the hunger pangs.
A new study shows there’s a better way. It found that something else is more critical to maintaining weight loss than staying on your diet.
The research was published in the journal Obesity. Scientists followed dieters as they lost at least 30 pounds and then tried to keep it from coming back.
The research team measured how many calories the subjects burned and how many they ate. And they monitored how much they exercised. Then they looked at which of these factors were linked to successful, long-term weight loss.
You might think that people who ate less would be the most likely to maintain their slimmer bodies. But that was not the case.
It turns out that people who kept off the weight ate about the same as those who regained it. But they exercised more.
Weight-loss maintainers on average burned about 300 more calories a day. That’s the equivalent of:
- Sprinting for about 3 ½ minutes.
- Jogging for about a half hour.
- Walking briskly for 45 minutes.
Dr. Victoria A. Catenacci was a member of the study team. She said weight-loss maintainers consume a similar number of calories per day as people who are overweight or obese. But they “avoid weight gain by compensating with high levels of physical activity.”
High Intensity Interval Training Helps You Stay Slim
If you’re looking to maintain weight loss but don’t want to spend long hours jogging or in the gym, your best bet is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It requires a fraction of the time of traditional steady-state cardio.
HIIT is adaptable to many activities. You can run, cycle, swim, do calisthenics, or use a rowing, stair climber, or elliptical machine.
Warm up for three to five minutes doing your chosen form of exercise slowly.
Then do the exercise at the highest intensity you can for the next minute.
Slow down for a minute or two to catch your breath. Then go hard again for another minute.
Repeat this process five to seven times. Afterward, do the activity slowly for at least two minutes to cool down.
The idea is to push your body for a brief burst, and then allow it to recover. HIIT allows you stay in great shape even when you don’t have time for a long workout.
Editor’s Note: Learn how you can shed pounds of body fat—without cutting back on the foods you love.
Discover how to unlock your fat-burning potential HERE.