Achieving your goal weight is a major milestone but sustaining your achievement can be one of the most challenging hurdles. The good news is that the Medifast California program has created safeguards to help ensure your long-term success.
The Medifast California community values exercise as a critical component of weight loss maintenance and improved metabolism. The great health benefits of regular exercise include better control of your blood sugar, which means better protection against diabetes. By regularly stretching those limbs and strengthening those muscles, you can achieve a healthier heart, better balance and flexibility, improved strength and endurance and reduced stress.
Being part of a dedicated health community is an important and often overlooked strategy for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. An interesting study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California’s Department of Preventive Medicine occurred over the process of four days and involved 117 adults who carried smartphones. Prompts were delivered to the research participants’ phones eight times a day, asking them to respond to several questions including: “what they were doing, who they were with, whether or not they were outdoors and in what type of environment and how happy they were.” For participants who engaged in physical activity, they consistently reported feeling happier when they exercised with others compared to when they worked out alone.
If you are in the early stages of your journey with Medifast California and have not been exercising regularly, we recommend communicating with your physician and waiting 2-3 weeks before starting the exercise program of your choice. It is important to start any new exercise activity gradually, allowing your body time to adjust. Many Medifast California community members find that walking is the most convenient physical activity to incorporate into their busy schedules; however, if you already had an established exercise regimen prior to getting started with Medifast California, then we recommend reducing the intensity and duration of your regimen by half for the first couple of weeks. This will allow your body to adjust to its new calorie level. After that time, it is safe to increase your exercise back to your preferred intensity. The most important thing you can do is pay attention to your body and how it reacts during your workouts. If you ever feel lightheaded or tired, always take a break and resume when you feel ready. While on the Jump Start Plan, vigorous exercise should be limited to about 45 minutes each day (and remember to drink plenty of fluids during your workouts!).
Enjoy cycling to help keep the weight off? A study published in the International Journal of Stress Management measured the reactions of individuals who exercised on a stationary bike over a 30-minute period. Participants who didn’t cycle alone reported feeling more calm following their workouts than those who did.
If you’ve struggled in the past to stick to an exercise regimen on your own, healthy competition is also a benefit of participating in a community. In fact, research shows that seeing others keep the weight off can serve as a positive motivator for sustaining your own results. It can be fun to surround yourself with other like-minded people doing the same activity as you are, like taking a Zumba class or forming a running group. In fact, if you love running or have always wanted to be healthy enough to try a marathon, the Medifast California Healthy Strides Race and Fitness Series is a great incentive! Join us at an upcoming event in Northern or Southern California to celebrate your personal achievements. There are several races coming up in 2016, so you will have ample opportunity to get in on the fun. Registration is easy—simply follow the link above to learn more!
And while groups help to motivate you keep yourself accountable for staying on track during this critical phase of your weight loss journey, you have another partner and support group as well—our Certified Counselors. You know how easy it is to talk yourself out of that morning jog or evening stroll but by working with your counselor you are never alone in sustaining your healthy lifestyle. Our Certified Counselors can also help you keep fit and feeling healthy through the Medifast California Stay Fit Maintenance Plan. Through the process of gradually reintroducing all vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy and healthy whole grain items back into your diet, Medifast California community members learn portion control, behavior modification and practical tips to eat healthy for life. These skills are critical to forming healthy habits that support long term weight loss success!
2016 has just begun, and at Medifast California, we look forward to helping you keep the weight off by making healthy decisions all year long.