If you’re close to or at maintenance and are afraid you'll regain your lost weight, today's post is for you. If you’ve regained weight after dieting in the past, this time can be different. At any age, and no matter how many times you have lost weight in the past, it is possible to lose your excess weight permanently and stop yo-yo dieting.
Continuing the healthy habits that got you to your goal is essential. Continue drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, eating when hungry, and avoiding overeating. Pay attention to any eating due to uncomfortable emotions, urges, or just because everyone else is eating. It is essential to continue eating intentionally and to pay attention to your thoughts about food, eating, and the scale.
Continue to make a daily plan for at least 2-3 months. If you are easily maintaining your weight, then try making your plan only 3 or 4 times a week. If you’re still losing weight, add a few bites to each meal and monitor your weight. Make small changes slowly, and pay attention to your energy and feelings.
Maintenance is not an excuse to stop everything you have been doing during weight loss. That is the quickest way to regain your weight. Also, make sure you’re happy with your goal weight. You want to have a “lifestyle weight” where you have energy, like how you look, and live the life that works for you. Your “lifestyle weight” may not be your high school or pre-pregnancy weight. If your original goal weight is not sustainable, you can see what changes are necessary to live your desired life by continuing to plan and track. Many women are more comfortable having a maintenance “range” of 5 to 10 pounds rather than a specific weight. A range allows for different weights after holidays, vacations, or certain times of the year.
I recommend weighing yourself frequently so that you can make some small shifts if your weight starts inching higher. Don’t let your life “happen” to you - be intentional with what you choose to do. What do you believe about yourself at your goal weight? Do you think that you can do what is necessary to stay there?
Who are you if you’re not actively dieting? If much of your life has been spent dieting, it may take a while to become comfortable with the woman who no longer diets and knows how to eat intentionally. Remember that just because you have a thought, that thought is not necessarily true. Don’t be afraid to talk back to yourself. Most women who successfully maintain their weight believe they can do things differently this time, and they keep evaluating and monitoring. They pay attention to why they eat and practice visualizing how they want to behave at parties, on vacation, and when they get together with friends. They know how to cope with challenging emotions without eating. They prioritize their health and feel good about their bodies.
Most importantly, you do not have to be perfect to maintain your weight. Maintenance can be easy if you eat to "enough" most of the time and rarely eat for reasons other than hunger.
Coaching can help if you're still obsessing over your food or the scale, don’t feel confident that you can maintain your weight, or do not feel good about yourself in your body. You can arrange a coaching call with me at: https://calendly.com/coachbarbarakatz/60min