Monday, February 28, 2011

Ask Us Anything: How Can I Maintain My Weight Loss?

"Last year, I lost 15 lbs. for a friend's wedding through diet and exercise (walking for 30 minutes each day).

For the past few months, I've maintained my target weight but have been eating poorly at night and have given up exercise altogether. I'm surprised that I haven't yet gained the weight back.

Has my metabolism increased? How can I make sure that I keep the weight off while allowing myself to eat junk food on occasion?"

Registered Dietitian Jennifer Turesky Responds:

Registered Dietitian Jennifer TureskyFood provides the body with calories or "energy."

You have not yet gained weight because to gain one pound, you must take in an excess of 3,500 calories (by consuming more calories than you use for energy). Likewise, in order to lose a pound, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you take in.

There are multiple ways to reduce the number of calories you consume every day. You can consume smaller portions, use lower calorie ingredients (baking with applesauce vs. oil) or change the preparation method when cooking (baking vs. frying). Physical activity, including walking or resistance training, is one way to assist in creating a calorie deficit.

Tracking the calories that you consume and burn will help to keep you accountable for what you are eating. There are many apps that make it easy to input the food you've consumed and the calories expended through physical actvity.

— Jennifer Turesky, Registered Dietitian

Jennifer provides nutrition counseling at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo and leads a 12-week LIFESTEPS© program to help adults change their eating and physical activity behaviors.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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