As I often say, losing weight and keeping it off are not necessarily the same thing. Most weight loss programs focus on weight loss without much, or any consideration for maintenance. Keeping the weight off requires a person to sustain health habits for life. Losing weight can be exciting, whereas keeping the weight off can be rather mundane.
Weight maintenance may not be so easy, but it’s also not complex. It requires total commitment to diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. The correct diet for maintenance of a healthy weight (which, by the way is not just a number on a scale) is one that is that is personalized to you. But in general, your diet will be abundant in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, while also low in processed foods and sugar. Essentially, your diet should consist of a lot of plant foods, sprinkled with lean meats, proteins and seafood, with some good quality fats. Rather than getting hung up on details, for most people it’s better to focus on dietary patterns rather than specific nutrients and diets.
Cutting calories does not need to be boring, and it certainly does not mean depriving yourself of nourishing and delicious foods. By focusing on nutrient-density in meals, it’s possible to eat MORE, but get LESS CALORIES. Many people mistakenly assume that cutting calories equates to eating diet foods and salads, but this is far from the truth. Your diet should be sustainable, nourishing, and pleasing to the palate. Nutrient-dense foods meet all of these criteria.
My criteria for nutrient-dense foods are whole foods that are full of nutrients, while also being low in calories for what they provide. Essentially, nutrient-dense foods give you a better bang for your buck. They contain numerous important nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and often times phytochemicals or important anti-oxidant compounds. Dietary patterns that meat this criteria are Volumetrics Eating Plan, Mediterranean, and DASH. You can glean from these diets, but experiment with what works for you and have fun.