How to Maintain Weight by Watching Your Calories
There are an overwhelming number of articles, programs, diet plans, and pro-health guidelines on how to maintain weight. While one such article directs you to avoid carbs and fats in favor of proteins, or to reduce any of such calories in your diet, another will tell you to reduce all calories. It would be understandable if you felt overwhelmed, confused, and even ignorant of the divergent and often confusing advice you get on calorie rationing. Predictably, on an average day, you will see numerous proposals on how to maintain weight, regardless of whether you are in a social media platform or on a blog.
You may be tired of being told of a new and perhaps revolutionary calorie plan for managing your body weight. There are so many calorie-based drugs and formulas out there, some of which bear no logic or practicality. Understandably, what you need to learn about how to maintain weight is not yet another proposal or recommendation. You need to know the science-based foundation upon which your calorie intake should be based. You need to know how to deliberately and strategically manipulate your calorie intake to yield specific effects on body weight. What you need is a firm understanding of how to maintain your weight by watching your calories. This brief article will serve this precise role, by highlighting the five golden rules of maintaining your body weight at optimal levels of both health and fitness.
The Five Golden Rules of Calorie Intake for Body Weight Management
We start with a need to consolidate a fact-based understanding of how calorie intake can be based on specific body weight outcomes. When you understand the why, then you will understand the how. Only then can you decide, choose, or develop a customized calorie intake plan suitable for your objectives. These golden rules captivate the science behind the calorie effect of body weight management.
Rule 1: Establish your Ideal Body Weight
So many people know that they should lose their current body weight, but rarely know by how much. The most frustrating response a health and fitness coach receives from nearly all his or her trainees, is when they ask a client for their ideal body weight. Measured by Body Mass Index (BMI), each individual has a specific weight for a healthy body based on their torso masses divided by the overall height. You will be wrong to start thinking about how to maintain your weight, when you are not even sure what body weight you should maintain. It might even be below or over the ideal body weight, and should therefore not be maintained. The first rule of managing body weight is not determining which calories to increase or reduce, but the ideal body weight to sustain.
Rule 2: Compare the Calories You Consume and Those You Burn
After knowing how much you should weigh for optimal health and fitness, the next question is to determine how much you weigh currently. Only then will you accurately and appropriately determine whether you need to add to, maintain, or reduce your current body weight. You should therefore determine how many calories you should eat and compare these calories with the ones you burn each day, and do so accurately and realistically. If you are engaged in a physically active lifestyle, you should know that physical activity is the single most effective means of consuming calories. As such, to maintain the ideal body weight, is to ensure that your body burns as many calories as you consume. You must always retain this comparative calorie balance.
Rule 3: Respond to Reality and Create a Long-Term Calorie Intake Plan
Once you know how much you should weigh, or the body weight to maintain, and understand the comparative calorie balance, the next step is to establish a long-term response to the reality. You might for instance realize that your current body weight is ideal for optimal health and fitness. Then, your calorie intake must therefore match with exactness, your calorie burning rhythm and the current body weight will be sustained.
If however you need to reduce your current body weight to attain your optimal BMI, you need to consume less calories than you burn. Similarly, to add on your current body weight until you gain the optimal BMI, you need to consume more calories than you burn. It is therefore the third rule of calorie intake and weight management to ensure that you follow a healthy diet plan alongside a physical activity schedule that yields the exact calorie ration or balance you need to maintain optimal body weight. By so doing, you will have responded to the realistic calorie needs of your body for a long-term effect.
It’s important to note here, that the long-term effect is one of the most significant factors of successful health. Losing weight, and maintaining the ideal BMI is not a short-term fix. Achieving such a goal mandates foresight, strategic planning, character and habit formulation, as well as patience and persistence. A short-term mentality on how to maintain your weight often yields negative effects and future regrets, since it motivates the use of quick-fix drugs, drastic diet changes, and even surgical interventions to achieve a weight that one cannot sustain permanently.
Rule 4: Adapt Your Lifestyle
Perhaps the most important rule on how to maintain your weight at optimal levels is the very foundation of body weight. Lifestyle is a long-term commitment to your goals, and body weight is the product of a lifestyle. What you eat, when you eat, how often you eat are some of the determinants of your body weight, just as your exercise frequency, intensity and focus. At the core of maintaining body weight is the question of your lifestyle. As such, one of the most critical rules of maintaining ideal body weight is aligning your lifestyle to reflect your calorie intake and burning balance. Some of the most essential tips in lifestyle adaptation in weight management include:
- Build a discipline of restricting certain foods based on their calorie profile
- Always schedule your meals for the day beforehand
- Ensure that all your eating times are regular and consistent
- Condition your body to eat and enjoy a diet portion for its value, rather than as a result of obsessive cravings
- Plan your diet rather than consume what is available or desirable
- Replace calorie-rich foods with vegetables and fruits
- Always avoid processed or fast-food items
- Stop eating as a response to stress and replace stress relievers with healthier alternatives such as exercising or yoga
- Make it a custom to measure your body weight severally each week and compare the results with your ideal BMI
- Focus on the eating process, eat slowly and keenly, feel the impact of consumption, enjoy the pleasures of smell and taste and avoid distractions (the TV, driving, or work) while eating
- Learn to stop eating just before you are full, never leave the plate empty, and trigger your brain to avoid eating temptations. Eat not because there is, but because you need to
Rule 5: Break Down the Long-Term Calorie Intake Plan into Short-Term Objectives
The final golden rule of calorie intake for body weight management is creating short-term plans that progressively lead you to your long term weight management goal. In most cases, athletes who employ a slow but sure pace when transforming their lifestyles and diet regimen for weight management, succeed. As mentioned above, lifestyle changes that yield permanent weight management habits do not emerge from quick-fix therapeutic or pharmacological intervention.
Losing body weight starts with the loss of that first pound, replacement of a delightful steak with fruits, intake of water to replace the fat contents, and the gradual adaptation to positive health behavior. It takes time, perseverance, persistence, commitment, and resilience to attain permanent body weight. As such, at the core of any proposal on how to maintain your weight should be the ability to create step-by-step plans that accumulate to the attainment of the overall goal. Translating the long-term goal to short-term goals serves several roles in health and fitness programs, some of which include:
- Creating a series of actions that soon become habits, then behaviors and ultimately character in weight management
- Generating increasing levels of motivation when each goal is achieve
- Boosting confidence, mood, and commitment for a healthy lifestyle with easily-achievable objective
- Providing systematic tools to keep track of your weight management progress, accompanied by journals, regular weight measurements, and periodic performance assessments
In conclusion, any plan on how to maintain your weight by watching your calories, should be based on the golden rules of weight management. The plan should first establish your ideal body weight, then help you compare the calories you consume and those that you burn, then trigger you to respond to reality and create a long-term calorie intake plan, enable you to adapt your lifestyle accordingly, and finally help you break down the long-term plan into short-term objectives. The process of counting calories for each diet portion and measuring your body weight can quickly become both tedious and discouraging. This however, will only accrue if weight management is not established as part of your lifestyle, when the daily activities are not aligned to a long-term goal, and when quick-fix solutions appear more attractive. Obey these five golden rules, and you know exactly how to maintain weight at its ideal level, by strategically managing your calorie rationing.