The transitional phase will provide you with a gradual move away from the meal-replacement nutrition which makes up the most of your program in the active weight loss phase, and toward more “ordinary” foods. Your diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, fowl, and fish. During this phase one should continue to use and enjoy the shakes, bars, smoothies, puddings, and soups that have represented the bulk of your intake during the active weight loss phase, but now they will constitute more as a small snack rather than a meal.
By now you will have transitioned to a good deal of regular grocery foods, and you have learned how to use portion control that permits you to eat almost anything. Also, you have gotten into a comfortable rhythm with your exercise program. It can be highly desirable during the maintenance phase to enjoy the benefits of the occasional use of bars, smoothies, shakes, soups and puddings you used earlier. They provide a high quality of nutrition, but while they cannot be used indiscriminately. Remember, calories count, they are seen as substitutes for a traditional snack you might otherwise eat.
The Importance of Exercise:
Diet and exercise are inextricably bound together in formulating a successful weight loss program. A person can burn calories doing everyday tasks, but a planned exercise regiment adds further calorie burn each day and coupled with the reduced caloric intake makes the weight loss engine go. Exercise alone cannot compensate for excessive calorie intake, but it is an important adjunct to weight loss, and it makes you feel better.
Exercise can take many forms, generally it is advisable to begin with low impact, low intensity exercise (such as walking, easy swimming, etc), along with light weight training. There are many ways to achieve this by making simple everyday adjustments to one’s lifestyle, such as walking up a couple of flights of stairs at the office instead of taking the elevator, getting off the sofa instead of asking your spouse to bring you something, and don’t fight to get the nearest parking spot to the store. As you feel comfortable with these changes, you can begin a more intense physical exercise program with the consultation of your doctor. The benefits of a proper exercise program will become rapidly apparent; you will feel better, you will look better, and you will lose your weight more rapidly.
The amount of calories used in exercise is greatly dependent on the intensity and the duration of activity, also on the state of fitness and weight of the individual who is performing the activity.