Weight loss management is about keeping the weight you’ve lost off for the long term, which is often harder than losing the weight in the first place!
Here are some alarming statistics for you…
85% of people who lose weight put all the weight they’ve lost on again – and then some – within five years. 75% of them in the first 12 months. Less than 1 in 20 maintain their new weight for more than a year.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, dieting doesn’t work…in fact,dieting makes you fat!
Strange, but for most people true.
Having said that, some people do lose weight and keep it for good. So why is it that for most people dieting is a constant roller coaster of weight loss, weight gain, weight loss…?
Why does dieting for many ultimately end in failure? And what can you do to lose weight forever?
Weight Loss Management – The Problem With Diets
One of the first questions we ask our clients is, “Have you been on a diet before?”. Normally followed by, “Why didn’t it work for you?”Why does the weight go back on again? Why is long term weight loss management so difficult?
We could count on two hands the people that had never dieted before. The answers to both questions are illuminating and depressingly familiar.
Many are the people that have recounted tales of getting down to their target weight and feeling fantastic. Stepping on the scales and seeing exactly what they wanted to see.
Putting on that pair of jeans, that dress, that pair of trousers…the ones they hadn’t been able to get into for years.
Being showered with compliments by friends and family, work colleagues, people that they hadn’t seen for ages telling them how much weight they’d lost and how great they look.
Whatsmore, they no longer crave the sweets and stodge they used to gorge on
Their commitment to maintaining their new weight is unwavering. To their new healthy eating and exercise regime. To their long term weight loss management goals…
But then, oh so gradually the weight begins to creep back on.
Maybe a piece of chocolate at first, a few french fries, a slice of hot buttered toast, a bacon sandwich, and before they know it they’re back where they started.
Looking in the mirror at the fat body they thought they’d lost for good.
For most dieters this is the depressingly familiar cycle that occurs again and again at regular intervals throughout their adult life.
Successful weight loss management in the long term being tantalisingly out of reach.
One of the most interesting answers I got from a client that had successfully got down to their target weight sums it up for me.
I asked her whether she was going to go out and buy a new wardrobe now that she was 40lbs lighter.
Her response, “No, I’ve still got the clothes from the last time I lost weight.”.
She had her fat wardrobe and her thin wardrobe.
And a few wardrobes for the stages in between.
Why is Long Term Weight Loss Management so Hard…?
The answer to that question is different for everyone, but common themes emerge…any of these apply to you?
Losing Weight Too Fast
We all want it tomorrow and the way of the hare is almost invariably preferable to the way of the tortoise.
Slow and steady does it and wins the race every time in the long run.
Quick weight loss diets promise much and deliver little. Yep, you may lose some weight but it goes back on again just as quickly.
Steer well clear of any diet that bans specific foods or food groups. Do you really think that you can exist on cabbage and cottage cheese. That you’ll never eat bread or pasta again, never drink another glass of wine?
What about detox diets? My hairdresser is always on a detox diet…after this holiday, that “big weekend”. Her backside is the size of a house (hope she’s not reading this!).
Deprive yourself of something and you want it all the more. Healthy eating for weight loss management and maintenance is about balance, not abstinance!
Disruptions to Your Routine
I wish I had a buck for every client that said something along the lines of…
“Well, I had a few friends to stay for the weekend so I went out and ate a curry, had a few drinks and thought sod it, I’ll get back to my healthy regime next week.”
Problem is, for most people next week becomes, next month, next year.
Getting out of your weight loss management and maintenance regime into a eat, drink and make merry mode is a hard one to reverse.
Constantly changing circumstances – we’re real people after all with busy lives, not contestants on Big Brother, play havoc with our routines.
Two clients spring to mind. One a sales rep, the other an operations manager.
Both found it hard to get into a routine, so crucial to successful weight loss. To their credit they managed it and lost most of the weight they wanted to.
Their routine made it even harder to keep it off.
Entertaining clients, eating out in restaurants and dining on fatty, carb-laden foods, drinking lots of alcohol, breaking their exercise routine…
They both vowed to get back into their weight loss management routines but never seemed to make it.
Ditching Your Exercise Routine
Exercise is not just for weight loss, it’s for life.
Work pressures, the demands of family life, stress, sleepless nights…there are many excuses to miss a workout.
Stop exercising and the weight will creep back on.
If you want to keep the weight off for life, stick with your daily exercise routine.
We often ask new clients why they want to lose weight. The answer is often a wedding, a holiday, a special birthday do…
The problem for most people is that once the event has passed, the motivation and enthusiasm soon wane and the weight piles back on.
One of the biggest challenges to weight loss are vacations.
Weight loss management and maintenance is often most severely tested when you’re on vacation, holidaying on a diet of booze and banquets.
Great fun, but the pounds will soon pile back on. It’s incredibly difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan and exercise regime whilst surrounded by food and alcohol.
Christmas and New Year, indeed any festive season is a good excuse to indulge and indulge we do! Most gym memberships are sold in January and the run up to the summer holiday season as a result!
You’re determined not too put on too much weight during your pregnancy, to eat sensibly and healthily but for all your good intentions once that bump appears you look fat.
You feel fat. You act like a fat person and eat everything in sight.
“I’m fat, what does it matter, I’ll lose the weight when the baby’s born.”
Weight loss after pregnancy is tough but achievable.
Limit your weight gain during pregnancy to a healthy 28lbs or so and it will soon come off once junior is safely delivered.
When was the last time you weighed 120lbs? When you were 18?
Do you really think that you’re going to weigh that again as a 40-something busy mother of a couple of kids with a hectic, action-packed life?
Set your target weight too low and you’ll spend the rest of your days vainly trying to get there and if you make it, in a desperate battle to stay there.
Weight Loss Plateaus
Or should that be plateaux? Anyhow, many people hit a plateau at some point, when the steady weight loss they had experienced slows to a halt.
Days, weeks, even months pass and still the scales stay stubbornly static.
After a while and a few despairing, “What the hecks!”, you’re back on the chocolate and chips and your weight loss management goals are out the window!.
Some people love being on diets. They feel virtuous and feel they can excuse the excess pounds because they’re doing something about it.
They love talking to people about the latest program they’re on…
Which celebrity has tried it, how successful their best friend’s cousin’s husbands’s wife’s mother was in losing the 30lbs on this diet that she’d failed to lose on every other diet.
Consistent failure in their weight loss management efforts gives them an excuse to try yet another popular, trendy diet that the latest, bright young thing was on in the gossip magazines.
Subconsciously, trying to lose weight is much more fun than actually losing the weight. You can have your cake and eat it.
Increasing Your Portion Size
OK, I’ve lost the weight, now I can go back to eating big plates of food. No, no, no… portion control is a crucial habit for successful weight loss management.
Big plates of salad are fine…big plates of spaghetti carbonara are not!
Binning the Food Diary
Keeping a weight loss tracker is great way to monitor your weight loss. It’s also a great way to manage your new eating habits to make sure the weight stays off.
A food diary has proved to be the number one weight loss management tool for many of our clients.
Back to Your Bad Old Habits
Successful weight loss management relies on changing the habits, routines and choices that made you fat in the first place. You need new solutions to old problems to keep the weight off.
Most diets don’t teach you how to do this.
The combination of a healthy weight loss plan, exercise and thinking and acting like a slim person are the keys to permanent weight loss.