Maintaining - Mission Impossible
by Stephanie Edwards on Tuesday, May 10, 2016
THIS WEEK STEPHANIE FROM IDEAL HEALTH IS MY GUEST BLOGGER. SHE HAS HELPED MANY PEOPLE BECOME A WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS STORY. MAINTAINING A PROPER WEIGHT IS ONE COMPONENT OF LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE.
MAINTAINING – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?
Let’s face it, weight loss is simple math. Use more calories than you consume and the weight will come off. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Even with the Ideal Protein protocol, nearly one-third of my clients are back where they started within three years. For long-term success, there need to be changes in habits and behaviors. Losing weight is a goal, not a behavior. If my clients are successful in making such changes, then their weight loss is automatic and maintained.
Too many of us think that we can lose the weight and then move on. Diet and exercise are only non-medicinal treatments for weight loss. Like treatments for diabetes or high blood pressure, weight maintaining treatment is necessary to keeping weight off and should be a lifelong endeavor.
Make diet and exercise changes realistic and adopt a regimen that will realistically fit in with our lives. If you decide to eat healthy and walk 3 miles every day, then you should make that part of the weight management treatment and stick to it. If your life changes and this no longer works for you, find something else that will. This will avoid setting yourself up to fail.
Although many of the following “helpful hints” seem obvious, sometimes we need to hear them again.
- Write down what you eat. Keeping a daily food journal is highly effective because it helps you be more accountable. What you think you eat and what you actually eat can surprisingly be very different.
- Eat Regularly. Skipping meals (especially breakfast) is a guaranteed way to gain weight. Eating small meals and snacks at regular intervals during the day will reduce your hunger and prevent you from overeating.
- Eat Slowly. The faster you eat, the more you will tend to eat. If you slow down and savor your food, it will give your body time to feel full reducing the amount of calories you will consume in one sitting.
- Enlist your family, friends or a health professional for support in your ongoing work towards long-term weight maintenance.
As my clients can attest, weight maintenance is just as challenging as weight loss.
Although, our bodies naturally fight us during weight loss and even after, there are strategies (like the ones mentioned above) that we can implement to help minimize weight regain. I feel it is important, that you start preparing for the maintenance phase from the beginning; and view the weight loss phase not as a “quick-fix”, but as a lifestyle change. You are trying to create good habits that can and will last you a lifetime. I am certainly not telling you that you are never going to have your favorite dessert again, or potato chips, or the celebratory birthday cake. But to be successful in maintaining your weight means choosing which calories and treats are worth it to you and be more conscious of choices. Is the dinner roll really worth the extra carbs, or would you rather save them for something special? To me, successful weight loss and maintenance requires planning, but it also requires that we celebrate our treats by savoring them. When slip-ups do happen (and they will), cut yourself some slack and be vigilant about getting back on track for a few days. Maintenance is a very active process. If you are not tireless in your commitment it requires to be successful, you will regain the weight.