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12 Tips on How to Keep Weight Off After Fasting

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD December 18, 2022

So, you’ve finally reached your ideal weight. Hooray! Now comes the easy part – weight management. But is it really so easy?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a time-restricted eating pattern consisting of fasting and eating windows. It has been linked with a myriad of health benefits, however, it gained popularity as a weight loss tool.

So, how do you lose those extra pounds while intermittent fasting? When you don’t eat for a certain amount of time, your body has to start burning fat for energy instead of sugar. This process is called ketosis. It can be triggered as soon as 12 hours of fasting.

Unfortunately, some people stop practicing intermittent fasting after they’ve reached their ideal weight. Sooner or later, they find themselves gaining weight they’ve fought so hard to lose.

The key to keeping weight off after fasting is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that suits your individual needs. Let’s have a look at our 12 tips to help you keep the weight off even after stopping fasting.

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1. Maintain a Minimal Fasting Regime

Many people fast for 12 hours entirely by accident. 12 hours is enough for your body to start burning fat for energy instead of sugar. In the long run, intermittent fasting can help you lose and manage weight. Some people report that it has helped them regulate food cravings and stop mindless snacking.

You can maintain a minimal fasting regime (12:12) by simply not eating anything a few hours before bedtime. For example, start fasting at 8 P.M., sleep at 10 P.M., and wake up at 8 A.M. This way, almost your entire fasting period will happen when you’re sleeping. Sounds doable? To make this even easier, make sure to track your fasts on the DoFasting app.

2. Exercise for at Least 30 Minutes per Day

Chances are that when you were aiming to lose weight, it was much easier to go to the gym and do your workout. You had a goal and were working towards it. Perhaps now that you’ve reached it, you’re feeling a little lost and demotivated.

It’s important not to abandon this healthy habit. Daily exercise greatly contributes to a healthy body and mind. Especially if you spend most of your day sitting.

More often than not, exercise can feel like a chore. Even more so if you’re doing something you don’t like. Instead of just hitting the gym, try to tailor physical activity based on what you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things such as running, cycling, swimming, or even something as simple as dancing.

3. Lift Weights at Least Twice a Week

Lifting weights is a type of strength training that builds muscle and increases your metabolism. What’s more, research suggests that a lack of strength training can actually decrease your metabolic rate. This means your body will burn fewer calories and make it more difficult to control your weight.

You can do strength training at home or a gym. However, if you’ve never lifted weights, it’s best to go to a professional where you can learn the ropes without injuring yourself.

4. Add Protein to Your Diet

Protein is a macronutrient essential to a healthy diet. According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), you should have at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.

Numerous studies have shown that a high-protein diet can help to lose weight and increase satiety.

Remember that meat is not the only source of protein. In fact, animal protein is high in cholesterol and saturated fats making it hard on the heart and kidneys.

Mix things up and choose plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans, and tofu. Check out this list of lean protein sources when you run out of ideas.

5. Limit Your Intake of Refined Carbs

To put it simply, refined carbs are carbohydrates that have lost all of their nutritious value due to heavy processing. Refined carbs include refined sugars and grains. The ones that usually end up on your table are white bread, white rice, and white flour, as well as store-bought junk food such as cookies, chips, and sodas.

Consuming refined carbs can seriously hinder your weight loss progress. Not to mention that they greatly contribute to the development of insulin resistance and obesity.

This doesn’t mean that carbs themselves are bad for you. Instead of refined carbs, choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

6. Make Your Own Snacks

Some people eat healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, however, completely let themselves go when it’s time for snacking. Unfortunately, most store-bought snacks are just empty calories that contribute to weight gain.

By making your own snacks, you can turn almost any junk food into a healthier alternative. Satisfy that sweet tooth with a batch of sugar-free cookies or, when in a hurry, stir up your own low-calorie milkshake. In fact, you can probably find some healthy snacks in your fridge right now.

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7. Eat Plenty of Vegetables

You should continue to make healthy food choices even if you stop fasting. This means getting enough carbohydrates, protein, and fat as well as vitamins. Vegetables can provide you with at least half of these benefits.

They’re generally low in calories and high in fiber. Fiber-rich food can make you feel more full for a longer period of time and, in the case of vegetables, without the cost of high calories.

Eating vegetables doesn’t mean you need to crunch on a piece of carrot. It’s easy to incorporate vegetables into your meals. Scour the internet for 5 minutes, and you’ll have a list of easy-to-make recipes based on a variety of vegetables.

8. Track Your Food Intake

By stopping intermittent fasting, you’re probably stopping other habits that have helped you get to your weight loss goal. What you may be forgetting is that some of these tools can be useful in weight management. One of them is a food diary or, simply put, a calorie tracker.

It will give you a general overview of what you eat in a day and help you identify your eating habits and areas you need to work on.

Technology has made it easy to track your food. If you’re more old-school, you may prefer to get a physical journal and record your food experience by simply writing it down.

When you track your calorie intake, make sure to include meals, snacks, and beverages. You should also log them as soon as possible, so you don’t forget.

9. Drink Plenty of Water

It probably comes as no surprise that drinking enough water is key to a healthy body. There is a reason why the human body starts to shut down just after 3 days without water. It’s crucial for powering your bodily functions, such as body temperature regulation, electrolyte balance, and blood pressure management.

Water also plays an important role in weight loss. Research suggests that drinking the recommended amount of water on a daily basis can boost your metabolism by 25%.

If you have the inclination to overeat, try preloading your stomach with water. This way, you will feel fuller sooner and prevent overeating.

At the end of the day, you should listen to your body. Your water intake need may change according to your activity levels and environment. If you’re struggling to drink adequate amounts of water, try to track your water intake, keep a water bottle with you at all times, and add a slice of lemon for a better taste.

10. Control Your Stress Levels

Studies have shown that stress makes you crave highly-palatable foods, commonly known as comfort foods. Highly-palatable foods usually fall into the category of processed foods that are high in sugar and fat, which most definitely contribute to weight gain. They have little to no nutritional value and, in cases of emotional eating, mainly serve as temporary stress relief.

Stress is a natural reaction and sometimes, there are no ways to avoid it. However, some practices can help you manage your stress. For example:

  • Connecting with people
  • Having a regular self-care routine
  • Practicing deep breathing
  • Meditating
  • Journaling

Prevention is key. Be aware of your stress levels and act before those old habits start kicking in.

11. Stay Aware of Your Progress

More often than not, people stop tracking their weight after reaching their weight loss goal. You’ve done the work and lost the weight. What else is there to do?

Maybe you need someone or something to keep you accountable. There are several ways to do this. Probably the easiest way to keep yourself accountable is to use an app such as DoFasting. After losing the unwanted pounds, you can log in your current weight and check in on a weekly or monthly basis.

A pound here or there won’t do you any harm, but obsessing over your weight can affect your mental health. Treat tracking more as a check-in with yourself. This way, you will be easily able to catch yourself if you start slipping back into your old weight and make lifestyle adjustments as you go.

12. You Will Have Setbacks – Be Prepared for Them

Weight loss is a bumpy road. Slipping up is okay and completely normal. What truly matters is your response to these setbacks. Extreme dieting should never be the answer to gaining a few pounds back. Instead of focusing on short-term solutions, devise an action plan to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Plan and prep your meals, track your calorie intake, work out regularly, and form other healthy habits to fall back on. This way, a slip up here or there won’t take you by surprise, and you’ll be able to react accordingly.

Reasons Why People Gain Their Weight Back

Gaining weight, seemingly without a reason, can be extremely upsetting. Especially when you’ve put in a lot of effort to lose weight in the first place. Diet and exercise are crucial parts of weight loss, however, there are other factors at play.

Here are 4 reasons people gain back their lost pounds after stopping intermittent fasting.

Extreme calorie restrictions

Calorie restriction is probably the most common way people try to lose weight. And they’re not wrong. Restricting your calorie intake is crucial to reach your weight loss goals. However, everything you do must be mindful.

Therefore, if you treated intermittent fasting as a diet during which you cut your calorie intake in half, you will most likely see those lost pounds come back.

One of the main reasons for this is slowed metabolism. Research suggests that low-calorie diets contribute to a decreased metabolism which can linger long after you’ve increased your calorie intake. What’s more, calorie-restrictive diets often result in regaining even more weight than previously.

Not to mention that extreme calorie restriction can negatively impact your overall health.

Seeing fasting as a quick fix

One of the core mistakes that people make is treating intermittent fasting as a diet.

On the contrary, intermittent fasting is not a diet that you need to follow for a certain amount of time to see results. If you decide to dip out after you’ve reached your ideal weight, be prepared for the consequences. One of these consequences is weight gain.

In fact, if you treat IF as a diet, you will most likely fail in the long run. They say that diets don’t work for a reason, after all. The simple fact is that they’re unsustainable and will have you falling back on your old eating patterns.

Instead of looking for quick fixes, you should focus on building healthy eating habits that will stay with you for life.

Lack of consistency and sustainability

Numerous studies have shown that consistency is key to losing weight and keeping it off.

As discussed earlier, intermittent fasting is a time-restricted eating pattern. This means that, at its core, intermittent fasting provides you with an eating schedule. This schedule kept you eating at the same time every day or, in other words, kept you consistent.

Chances are that when you stop intermittent fasting, you also stop eating consistently. This consistency refers to the time of your meals, but it also takes into account what you eat. Once your schedule is gone, you may not feel so inclined to eat healthily. Your “diet” is done, after all.

Not getting help

Nowadays, information about weight loss methods is just a few clicks away. It’s so easy to find out what works and what doesn’t by reading other people’s success stories.

What’s so inspiring about success stories? The best thing about weight loss journey stories, whether they are successful or not, is that you share your experience with someone and, in a way, keep yourself accountable.

You don’t have to do this alone. Finding a support group or an accountability buddy is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and, in turn, a healthy weight. Something about being watched makes us motivated to perform well. If you can’t find a person or a group to help you with this, try an app instead.

Take a
1-minute quiz

and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!

How to Keep Weight Off After Fasting: Key Takeaways

Intermittent fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss and weight management. However, if you’ve decided to abandon this practice, make sure to keep your physical activity levels up, manage your stress, and track your progress.

Regarding your diet, make sure to eat as little refined carbs as possible and increase your plant-based protein intake.

Remember, what works for others may not work for you and vice versa. It’s important to experiment with different foods until you find what suits your body and mind best.

Author

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

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