Maintaining Success

There 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.

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.