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Weight Loss and Maintenance Strategies

Do you crave chocolates daily? Or, are you a food enthusiast who loves to have different cuisines every day? Regardless of any situation you face, you must gain weight if your eating habits are out of sorts.


Foods such as potatoes, red meat, and rice are rich in nutrients and induce a quick increase in weight, especially in teens and kids. However, it gets problematic and frustrating as none of your attire makes an optimum fit, and your physique becomes a mark of ridicule.

Weight gain can reach alarming levels with eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa and Binge. These diseases make you overeat in a short period, causing sore throats, tooth decay, dehydration, and other issues. Moreover, it can also cause an imbalance in levels of electrolytes, such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, causing cardiac arrest for some.


So, maintaining one’s weight is a critical factor in living a happy life. It can be managed easily through different methods, such as physical training, lifestyle modification, diet control, etc. Read ahead to find out more. 

1. Physical Training

Starting with an early morning walk or regular exercising is a great way to maintain a weight-reduction strategy for overweight adults. You need to develop a sustainable exercise program that should depend on your existing medical conditions, physical limitations, degree of previous activity, and individual preferences. The benefits of physical exercise are significant, and it can be done even if you don’t require weight loss. 


There needs to be an activity goal to keep one motivated with these exercises. For instance, you can keep a daily or weekly target of burning a specific number of calories if you target energy expenditure. Recent research has concluded that a person can increase the amounts of high-density lipoproteins with regular aerobic exercise of 10 to 11 hours per month.

Breaking up your daily exercise routine is also crucial in maintaining weight. For instance, if you exercise daily for one hour, try keeping the same intensity by making factions of 10 or 15 minutes. However, over a long period, it has been noticed that individuals who performed longer bouts were more successful in maintaining weight than those who went for short bouts.


Home exercising and training sessions are preferable for some, and it has been associated with a higher percentage of weight loss and regular exercise. Apart from that, combining different types of exercises, such as strength training and aerobic activity, has proved fruitful for individuals aiming for weight maintenance or loss. 


Similarly, outputs tend to improve significantly when physical activity is combined with dietary supplements.

2. Lifestyle and Behavior Modifications

Lifestyle and behavior modifications are linked to an individual’s eating habits, and a change within this habit through different methods is the primary function of this criterion. These changes, as mentioned above, are linked to a combination of factors, which include diet control with physical training or medical therapy with social support.

2.1 Some Essential Behavioral Techniques

A. Additional Methodology

· Eating only regularly scheduled meals

· Consuming meals only in a single place and leaving the table after eating

· Shopping through a list and on a full stomach

B. Reinforcement Methodology

· Select a reinforcing event, such as participating in an enjoyable activity or purchasing a unique item.

C. Cognitive Restructuring


· Working on outdated and false beliefs related to weight loss and maintenance and helping the individual identify specific triggers for overeating and negative attitudes towards obesity.

2.2 Eating Environments

Weight loss and management involves restructuring the environment that promotes overeating and underactivity. Homes, offices, workplaces, and the community are some locations where you can make dietary changes. Factors such as fruits, vegetables, nonfat dairy products, and other edibles of high nutritional value and low energy density can also be managed accordingly.

2.3 Habits and Changes

Here is a comparative study of eating habits and some modifications that can be made accordingly.

Eating habits that may promote excessive weight gain

  • Eating few or no meals at home.

  • Opting for high-fat, calorie-dense foods

  • Snacks from vending machines or snack shops

  • Consuming meals in restaurants that feature buffets or excessive food items


 Modifiable changes in diet

  • Prepare meals at home and carry lunch

  • Learn to estimate or measure portion sizes in restaurants

  • Learn to recognize fat content in dishes and items

  • Give up smoking and reduce alcohol consumption

  • Substitute low-calorie foods for higher ones

  • Avoid food streets while driving to your destination

2.4 Physical Activity Environment

The inaccessibility to a decent physical training center or a safe place to exercise daily is the factor that impedes the process of weight loss or maintenance. You need to fit physical activity into your busy lifestyle and seek to use whatever opportunities are available. 


Environmental changes for exercising include user-friendly worksite facilities, such as indoor walking routes and low-level aerobic classes. Availability of safe sidewalks and parks are used for alternative transportation methods like walking or bicycling. Similarly, establishing car-free zones can also enhance physical movement for individuals.

2.5 Nutrition Education

Nutrition education provides essential information about the scientific foundation of nutrition that enables people to make informed decisions about food, cooking methods, dining out, and estimating portion sizes. It also induces behavioral and lifestyle changes by informing about nutrition and its role in health promotion and disease prevention, sports, and lactating and pregnant women.

3. Diet

Weight management programs can be segregated into two classes:

  • Weight loss

  • Weight management


Dietary restriction is a critical factor of a weight reduction program. All diets proposed by experts include different forms of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat reductions. Some of the diets are given below:

A. Nutritionally balanced; Hypocaloric diets


This diet is composed of foods a patient usually eats but in lower quantities.


B. Meal Replacement programs


These programs are available to consumers at a reasonably low cost. As three meals a day is a regular schedule for an individual, it is also essential to maintain the daily intake of nutrients and one’s weight. Out of the three daily meals, two snacks consisting of fruits, vegetables, or diet snacks bars are recommended each day. 


These programs also help improve food patterns, including intake of micronutrients, nutrient distribution, and fruit and vegetable intake maintenance. In addition, improvements in blood glucose levels, systolic blood pressure, and reduction in plasma cholesterol have also been observed. 


According to long-term research conducted between behavioral modification programs and calorie-restricted diet plans, it was seen that individuals undergoing meal replacement programs maintained a small yet significant weight loss. 


Another research related to workers in high-stress jobs showed that those who actively participated in weight reduction programs and used meal replacements were found to lose and maintain weight effectively.

C. Unbalanced, Hypocaloric diets


These diets restrict calorie-containing macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). Some of them are:


C. 1. High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate diets


A daily protein intake of 0.54-0.9gms per pound of body weight is optimal for physically active individuals. The protein levels depend on your age, health, and type of work. For a typical high-protein, low-carb diet, you will need to check calories and fat apart from those mentioned (proteins and carbohydrates). 


These diets have been associated with decreasing fasting triglycerides and fatty acids and normalization of fasting insulin levels. They are also known to enhance glucagon secretion, a hormone that enhances fullness and suppresses appetite. More so, these diets lead to higher ketone production.

Foods to Digest


These are some of the foods which you can have on this particular type of diet:


  • Eggs

  • Fish (cod, shrimps, etc.)

  • Meat (chicken and turkey)

  • High protein foods (tofu, soy foods, edamame)

  • Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.)

  • Beverages (water, unsweetened herbal tea, unsweetened coffee, etc.)

  • Condiments (fresh herbs, spices, pepper, etc.)

  • Dairy (Greek yogurt and cottage cheese)

Foods to Avoid


  • Grains and starches (bread, rice, pasta, etc.)

  • Sweeteners (sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.)

  • Sugary drinks

  • High carb foods (french fries, fried chicken, pizza, etc.)

C. 2. Low-Fat Diets

Low-fat diets are one of the most commonly used ways for obesity. Experts recommend a fat intake of not more than 10% of total calorie intake for extreme low-fat diets. Although these diets reduce weight sufficiently, they are not suitable for long-term periods.


There is no specific way to follow a low-fat diet plan. Many individuals and weight loss centers use different approaches to reduce fat intake. For e.g., some use fat-free meal replacement shakes or low-fat frozen meals.

Foods to Digest


This is a generalized list of those foods which are low in fat.


  • Fruits and Vegetables (apples, oranges, leafy greens, carrots, etc.)

  • Low-Fat Dairy (fat-free yogurt, skimmed milk, low-fat cheese, etc.)

  • Grains, Legumes, and Pulses

  • Lean Proteins (skinless poultry, white fish, egg whites, etc.)

  • Low-Fat Sweets


Foods to Avoid


  • Full-Fat Dairy Products (Full-fat cheese, cream, etc.)

  • Sweets (cakes, muffins, chocolate, etc.)

  • Nuts and Seeds (walnut, almonds, flaxseed, etc.)

  • Fatty meals (meat, steak, etc.)

  • Oils (butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)

C. 3. High-Fiber Diets

Most low-fat diets are high in fiber, which reduces energy intake for an individual and can alter metabolism. It also helps in caloric dilution, improved gastric and intestinal motility, and enhanced satiety. 


The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 25-35gms of total fiber per day, with 10-15gms of soluble fiber or 14g of fiber per 1000 calories. However, as individual ages, fiber intake tends to decrease. For those over the age of 70, the recommendation for women is 21gms and for men is 30gms of fiber per day.

Foods to Digest


Following are some foods that are high in fiber quantity.


  • Beans

  • Broccoli

  • Berries

  • Avocados

  • Apples

  • Dry Fruits


Foods to Avoid


  • White Bread

  • Rice

  • Low-Fiber Cereal

  • Canned Vegetables

  • Dairy Products

4. Support Systems

Any kind of assistance provided in weight management programs is known as a Support System. These include emotional support, dietary support, and support services for physical activities. Some of the benefits are enlisted below:


4. 1. Counseling and Psychotherapy Services


Emotional and psychological therapy plays a pivotal role in weight management. It helps maintain balance and normal body functioning and restores flexibility. Physiotherapy involves a strict diet, fitness plan, and regular physical movement to reduce excessive weight. It also lets individuals remain on course with their fitness goals.


Apart from this, therapists help change the basic lifestyle of the patients and identify different food essentials required for a person, concerning their age and weight.

4. 2. Physiotherapy Exercises for Weight Loss

Physiotherapy involves procedures such as exercise and massage. Combined with diet control, this becomes a great fitness plan that any individual can follow easily.


Some of the exercises include:


  • Leg presses

  • Leg extensions

  • Cycling

  • Swimming

  • Squats


You must track the total calorie consumption for all these processes.


On the other hand, consulting services pertain to psychological issues, such as inappropriate eating routines, managing weight gain, and daily exercise plans. This intervention is less intense and strenuous than psychotherapy services. A counselor can provide these sessions either in individual or group sessions and should be well aware of all weight-related problems, such as binge eating and purging.

4. 3. Family Support

To maintain challenging situations and decisions, a family’s support is an essential tool for an individual. In the case of weight loss and maintenance, it provides significant assistance in helping the individual bear the agony of undergoing a strict diet plan or strenuous exercises.


A study noted that college dropout rates tend to be lower when a participant’s spouse is involved in the program. On the other hand, family members can also become obstacles, mainly when they express reluctance to change the food’s spices and to eat patterns.

4. 4. Internet Services

Web support is always available to individuals who are initiating or reducing weight. An essential role for weight management professionals is to review authentic and reliable sites. 

5. Prescription and Weight Loss Pills

Weight loss and management can also be neutralized through the use of drugs. Most of the drugs are used to suppress appetite or enhance satiety. To keep the weight on a certain level, these drugs are to be taken regularly. However, for safety purposes, the use of these types of drugs should occur only in the context of a comprehensive weight loss program.


These drugs can generally induce a 5-10% drop in body weight within 6 months of treatment, but the effects vary depending on the individual. For individuals having comorbid conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, etc.), weight loss improves these conditions. 

5.1. Some Common Drugs

Drugs tend to reduce dietary fats or refined CHOs. For instance, the drug Orlistat reduces the absorption of fat, which results in energy loss in the feces. Furthermore, weight-related drugs may also increase energy expenditure, namely Fenfluramine and Sibutramine. 


Ephedrine and Caffeine, which act on adenosine receptors, can increase metabolic rates, reduce body-fat storage, and increase lean mass. Most of these drugs act on adrenergic and serotonergic systems in the nervous system to regulate energy intake and expenditure.

5.2. Combinational Drugs

Some therapists and doctors advise combinational treatment. It is considered that this method is more effective than therapy with single agents.


Combinations, such as phentermine and fenfluramine OR ephedrine and caffeine, produce weight losses of around 15% or more of initial body weight compared to 10% or less with single drug use. However, fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine are no longer available due to reported side effects.


Governments have allowed dietary supplements to individuals in the weight reduction and maintenance field to demonstrate more safety. Dietary supplements include herbal preparations, protein powder preparations, and others. However, these products have not shown a significant weight reduction.

5.3. Common Weight Loss Supplements


Some daily weight loss supplements include:


  • Tea Burn

  • Java Burn

  • Garcinia Cambogia

  • Raspberry Ketones

  • Green Coffee Bean Extract

  • Glucomannan

  • Bitter Orange/Synephrine

  • Forskolin

  • Others

6. Surgery

This process is particularly kept for highly obese patients (those with a BMI of above 35 to 40). Behavioral treatments or drugs do not alter the obesity status of these individuals. 


One of the most common surgical methods related to weight loss is Gastric bypass. Following this process, a patient loses about 62 to 70 percent of excess weight and maintains this loss for more than 5 years.


Obesity surgery, however, is considered the last resort for weight reducers because of its short and long-term implications. Perioperative mortality is small but significant (0.3 to 2%) and varies inversely with the surgeon's experience. Other side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, electrolyte abnormalities, liver failure, etc.

How to Make a Structured Weight Loss Diet Plan?

Diet plans are essential to any individual who wants to lose or maintain weight. But at times, it can be a challenging task to accomplish. Below is a basic structure that you can follow to maintain your body weight.



Step # 1: Check your optimum weight with regards to age and height

This is one of the essential steps to look into when you want to lose weight. Before starting with a diet plan, you need to align the average weight that a person your age possesses and keep your plan close to it. This will help you maintain your daily routine tasks and diet and exercise.


Step # 2: Which diet plan will you follow?

Once you have checked your weight following your age and height, you need to see which diet plan you will likely follow. Will it be a low-fat diet plan, high-protein, low-carb diet plan, or others? Before attempting, make sure you consult a specialist on this.

Step # 3: Make a meal plan chart

Now you need to analyze the different types of edibles that you can have for a comprehensive meal plan. Make sure that you are undergoing/not undergoing any disease, like hypertension, diabetes, etc. If you are, then your food and beverage items will be modified. It is preferable that you should make a 3-meal plan, i.e., breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ensure that the foods you select are relevant to the type of diet plan you make.

Step # 4: Maintain your exercise schedule

After managing your diet plan and edibles, make an exercise schedule. This will ensure that the food you intake is adequately consumed through a structured output session. Mind that this exercise will be apart from the routine work and energy loss you undergo. 

Step # 5: Sleep well

A regular sleep routine program is one of the essential areas you need to address. Abnormal patterns will keep you in a different mood, causing variations in your diet and exercise routines.

Step # 6: Check your weight at periodic intervals

After finalizing your routine, try checking your weight daily, weekly, or monthly. Enjoy the weight loss program!

Tips to Maintain Weight


  • Use fitness apps on mobile

  • Have weight loss meals

  • Reduce screen time

  • Stay hydrated

  • Cook well

  • Have weight-maintaining beverages (green tea, herbal tea, etc.)


So, now you know how to go about losing weight? We hope the processes remain fruitful for you with the weight loss and maintenance strategies discussed above. 

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