When it comes to weight loss, shedding the pounds is only half the battle. While most diets are good at helping you lose weight, many of them fail to address how to maintain weight loss. Unfortunately this means that for those of us who do manage to lose weight, we almost always end up gaining it back.
Copeman Healthcare dietitian, Anya Skornyakova, discusses the difficulties and solutions to maintaining weight loss with 630 CHED’s Bruce Bowie.
Why is it so difficult to maintain weight loss?
There are a number of different reasons why people regain weight after weight loss on a diet. Diets usually tend to be strict and unrealistic. They tend to be difficult to follow and they often offer a quick fix rather than long-term weight management. They also result in rapid weight loss which is not sustainable long-term. So while people can often lose weight with these diets, they usually contribute to the majority of people not being able to maintain their weight loss. There is definitely a gap between the weight loss component itself and lack of guidance and support for weight management.
What do you think is the key to maintain weight loss?
At Copeman Healthcare, we as dietitians know that the key to long-term weight management is more than just calories in and calories out. It’s behavioral changes that we focus on. Behavioral changes are something that a person could do day in and day out that fits with their lifestyle. For instance having breakfast in the morning.
So you should never skip breakfast?
No, you should never skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. It provides a person with energy and kick starts their their metabolism.
Can you offer any tips to our listeners on how to maintain weight loss?
It is important to make long-term sustainable changes to behavior and lifestyle, and there are a number of different strategies to achieve this.
One of the strategies, like we said before, is eating breakfast, eating three meals a day and having light snacks as needed. Staying hydrated is another important factor as your brain often thinks it is hungry when it is actually thirsty.
Thirdly, documenting what you eat and drink can be a great tool. Food tracking can be a great tool for weight management as well as increasing awareness and accountability. Seeking extra support from a dietitian is beneficial too because, for some people, doing it on your own is just not enough.
Do you find sometimes that somebody will come in and you say, ‘you’ve got to cut out the sugary drinks’ and after they do that for a while they find they just don’t want them anymore?
Yes, absolutely. Because the taste buds do change over time, I’ve had numerous people who are able to cut down on their Coke or Pepsi or whatever products they like to indulge on.
As a dietitian, how do you help your clients with losing and maintaining weight loss?
At Copeman, we provide personalized nutrition programs for healthy and steady weight loss.
We start by assessing the caloric requirements of individuals and take into account their weight, height, age, gender and physical activity level. This allows us to develop a meal plan that is flexible and that is good for long-term healthy eating principles. Once the plan is implemented, we also provide ongoing support and regular check-ins either in person, by phone or by email. Through this ongoing support we can address the challenges and the successes that a person might have.