Mon, Oct. 14

Once the weight is gone, it's time to stick to it

Magdalena Romanska, Ph.D.

Magdalena Romanska, Ph.D.

So, you’ve lost all that holiday weight by now. Your fav snug clothes fit again, and you’re ready to face the summer hopefully more underdressed than over. That is, if you can maintain your weight loss success with all the summer barbecues and pool parties in your future.

The good news is that maintaining a moderate amount of weight loss is easier than maintaining a large weight loss. Our metabolism adjusts to new levels of burn so with a reasonable amount of daily exercise and clean nutrition strategy, you should have no problem preserving your weight loss.

After losing weight it’s important to remember to reduce your daily calorie intake accordingly. The less you weigh the fewer calories you need, even if you continue to work out regularly.

What you eat and how much you eat of it is 80 percent of the battle. Focus on lean proteins, which keeps your metabolism humming for many hours. Proteins also keep you feeling sated so you’ll be less likely to reach for some sugar-filled, weight-busting food.

Just as important, the more proteins we eat, the more muscle mass we build. And the more muscle mass we have, the more calories per hour we burn -- it’s a win-win-win!

In addition to lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, tofu, and tempeh, legumes should be a regular part of your diet. Peas, beans, and lentils keep the body satiated for a long time and they also stabilize insulin levels, which is important for your overall health for many reasons.

Men and especially women need to work out with weight regularly. I cannot stress how important this is for everyone. I’m always baffled when I see everyone spending all their time on dreadmills—oops, I mean treadmills -- while the free weight area is deserted. Cardio alone will not tone your muscles nor will it increase your muscle mass and metabolic rate. You must add weight training. And no woman is going to bulk up like the Hulk. You have the wrong hormones for that, ladies.

Plus, you don’t need to work out with heavy weights to get results. You do not need to be strong to start lifting. Start with a weight that is comfortable for you and so a lot of reps and multiple sets. When you’re ready, increase the weight by a few pounds. The more weight you add, reduce the number of repetitions and sets accordingly. It should be challenging -- you’ll feel the burn -- but not painful.

Exercise like weight training reduces stress and lowers the levels of cortisol and insulin, which make you hungrier and slow your metabolism. You can also control stress by getting a good night’s sleep and signing up for that yoga class. The result will be a leaner and meaner you!

Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio ( Visit her “Be Fit Fit” blog at

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