How I Lost Weight and Managed to Keep It Off

Getting rid of the extra pounds is a difficult task, not getting them back is never a challenge.

How can I lose weight and keep it off naturally

One of the objectives of all diets is to get rid of all those extra pounds, however when you have managed to achieve this comes a greater challenge. How to maintain my weight? Now that I managed to lose weight.

Losing weight and gaining it immediately after finishing the weight loss plan is a classic that leads to demotivation. First of all, we have to ask ourselves what kind of diet has been followed, because if we are talking about some so-called miracle diets, which promise to lose a lot in a short time, it is possible that by abandoning them you will gain even more weight than you had at the beginning.

That is the dreaded rebound effect, fruit of a diet comes to exclude food groups, such as carbohydrates or fruits, and that are monotonous, incomplete and generate anxiety without changing the wrong habits.

"When a diet doesn't educate and forces people to take products and substitute meals with foods that are far from a balanced meal, what you get is that, when you finish that strange diet, you go back to the bad habits of before because we haven't been taught the keys to not gaining weight again", explains María Astudillo, biologist and expert in nutrition.

And those keys are to have followed a balanced diet in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids with a variety of foods, to have done five daily meals that avoid the anxiety of reaching the main meals with accumulated hunger; to have controlled the amount of the portions; and, among other habits, to have helped to burn fat with the practice of regular exercise.

What a maintenance diet look like?

Maintaining weight means having learned to eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet before, where there are no forbidden foods, only correct frequencies and quantities. That is why the type of food does not have to change in this new phase.

"It's practically the same thing, although the difference may be in increasing the rations a little so that the weight remains stable and you don't continue to lose weight. It also changes the feeling of having more freedom, of not feeling so self-conscious," says the nutritionist who created the Alea method, based on the Mediterranean diet and on teaching habits in any personal and social circumstance.

"In this diet to lose weight the frequency in which we recommend complex carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potato or legume) is the same as in the maintenance diet, the key is that when the person wants to lose pounds he or she takes less," he says.

"For example, on a 1500 calorie diet, the legume ration would be 60 grams, and when maintenance comes we raise it to 80-100 grams, depending on the person, physical activity and age.

But the way you cook is also important. Maintenance allows us certain licenses but does not mean that we change the habit of treating food grilled, baked, cooked...rather than fried. "We can make a great pasta dish with vegetables and half the calories of cheese or sausage. There are also foods on the light market, such as cheeses, which have greatly improved their taste and provide less fat", the specialist advises.

2 or 4 pounds up or down

Staying put doesn't mean having an immovable weight. It is normal for all people to fluctuate between 2 and 4 pounds depending on hormonal and social factors. What we must avoid is that the grams are rising progressively.

Our body is made to accumulate fat reserves to survive in case of food restriction, a genetic inheritance from our ancestors.

"When we start to lose weight with a diet, the body detects a situation that it does not like and prefers to accumulate in case a famine situation comes and we can survive. This is why compensatory mechanisms, lipogenesis, are set in motion, which stimulate the creation of fat. That is, if you overdo it, the excess will accumulate before you start the diet," explains María Astudillo.

But once stabilized and reached the goal, in the period of maintenance you can not forget the learned guidelines and go from a healthy diet to one with excess of sauces, fats and sweets and, above all, to increase the size of the portions and snack. The weight would go through the roof.


It's about achieving a "philosophy of eating" that normalizes our diet to maintain a healthy weight.

These are some of the recommendations for adjusting a maintenance diet that María Astudillo also explains in her book "La dieta Alea" (Editorial Zenith):

Eat varied and moderate: include foods from all groups and at the right frequencies.








See also: 1200 Calorie Diet Menu and Meal Plan

Cooking with little oil: Use olive oil but with head. Between 2 and 4 tablespoons a day for different foods is the right measure.

Control your weight once a week or every two weeks: without it becoming an obsession you must take control to stabilize your weight.

Compensation: If we have gone too far, we must know how to compensate with lighter meals in the following days. "But it can be a double-edged sword because some people who don't know how to compensate end up doing stupid things, for example, not eating anything before a banquet and arriving so hungry that in the end they eat twice as much," warns María Astudillo. That's why it's important to dose your lunch or dinner out of the house, your candy or any other extra.

It uses light, skimmed, low-fat products and reduces alcohol to occasional, moderate consumption.

Drink water: it is the only liquid that is not fattening and is basic for the constant hydration of the organism.

Exercise regularly, even if it's only a 30-minute walk a day: it not only helps keep the weight off, but also helps improve mood and control illness.
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