Maintaining Success

measuring-tape-heartThere are some bleak statistics out there. One study states that 83% of people who diet gain it all back plus more within two years. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your body is actually a relatively simple task. It's a short-term assignment filled with lots of eating less and lots of moving more. It's when the dieter shifts back to "normal" living that diets fail. And they almost always do. Here are my thoughts on keeping it off. Lose it Slow If you try to lose 6 pounds per week like those Biggest Loser contestants you most certainly will fail. The show is quite tight-lipped about how well their contestants do after the show but the first season's winner gained it all back plus. Rumor has it that more than 50% of the shows contestants went back to their bad habits and their fat pants. benson If you lose slowly you are actually only making minor adjustment to the life you already have. Maybe a little more veggies on the plate and hold off on some butter. Maybe you get used to the habit of parking at the far end of the parking lot and taking the stairs and they're just part of what you do without even thinking. These little changes will stay with you because after a while you don't even think about them. Maintain with your Community You need to integrate your weight loss into your life, if you said no to all social invitations for six months while you did calisthenics in your living room you are destined to pile the pounds back on. Incorporate fitness time with your family, make "workout dates" with your friends. Develop a social network in the gym you belong to. All these things will keep you hooked into your fitness routine when you finally hit your goal weight. The worst thing you can do is shove your exercise regimen in a closet to collect dust! Embrace your Julia Child Study after study states that one of the easiest way to maintain weight loss is to cook for yourself. It is almost impossible to estimate calories when you're ordering at a restaurant. I can't tell you the number of times I ordered steamed veggies at a restaurant only to have it arrive at my table with a big dollop of butter dripping all over it. When you cook at home you control serving size, fat calories and salt intake, all items that can be way over the top at your local restaurant. I used to pride myself in the fact that I cooked "once a quarter." Now I pride myself on my steak tips which are way better than anything I've eating in a restaurant. That plus I know I'm only serving myself 4 oz. of steak tips with a minimum of marinade, not the 10 to 12 oz of butter dripped hunks of meat at Chez Moo. The fact is, the hardest part about losing weight is keeping it off. We need to think of lifestyle changes which gradually drop our weight back into normal ranges that keep us healthy. What do you do to keep your weight off? Would love to hear your comments. Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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5 Responses to Maintaining Success

  1. Emily Jones August 31, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    I love this blog post! I completely agree with everything you have written. I tried a drastic elimination diet several years ago and lost a bunch of weight, and it just came back on about 5 years later. Over the last 4 years, I have instead been making slow changes and healthier choices. I already did all my own cooking, but used to cook with lots of fat and make lots of baked goods. I have slowly moved into whole foods and cut out frying for all but a couple of times a month, if that. And just 3 months ago, I took up running for the first time in my life. Over these 4 years I have lost probably 75 pounds. I still have about 40-50 more to go to get to target BMI, but I feel like the changes I have made are permanent. It is so true that small, constant changes, and good, honest work will last a lifetime.

    One more thing to add, I find keeping a food diary the single most important tool to keeping calorie intake in check. I definitely eat better when I know I will have to add it up at the end of the day. It also helps me to review my food choices, and make sure I am getting enough balance in my diet, with produce and other things. I would recommend a food diary to anyone who is serious about losing weight.

  2. Lisa Johnson August 31, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    Emily, great comments. I agree with you, journaling is an excellent way to keep calories in check. In fact researches with the National Weight Loss Study have suggested that as one of the ways to maintain weight loss. (Another post coming up this week!).

  3. Emily Jones August 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    […]Lisa Johnson over at Lisa Johnson Fitness has a great post about making small changes[…]

  4. Diane September 1, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    Agree 100%!

    It’s crazy, but we keep on telling people these same three things, and yet, they still follow the ‘have a bikini body in ten days’ pot of gold.

  5. Dea September 1, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    As impatient as I sometimes get, you’re completely right about the slow loss, the small changes. This was a good reminder – thank you! :)

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