It was in 2004 that I officially reached my goal weight. I had lost a total of 150lbs! This had taken me several years as I would lose and gain in what seemed like a never-ending cycle. But this time I knew I would never gain the weight back again. I had never felt better in my life.
Maintaining my weight lasted about a whole week. I went on vacation and decided to enjoy every food option available to me. When I got home 7lbs heavier I thought for sure I would get right back on my plan and lose what I had gained. That did not happen. And soon I found myself back on my never-ending cycle of gaining and losing weight.
Research suggests that roughly 80% of people who shed a significant portion of their body fat will not maintain that degree of weight loss for 12 months. According to one study, dieters regain, on average, more than half of what they lost within two years. Well, that is discouraging! But what about the other 20%?
As I come close to reaching my goal once again, I wanted to make sure I had a plan in place to maintain my weight loss. I decided to research the 20% who were successful in keeping the weight off. Here are 10 habits that most people have in common who have successfully maintained their weight loss:
- Change your lifestyle: People who have maintained their weight loss learned that what they were doing was a lifestyle change. It was not just a diet.
- Be consistent: These people have developed certain disciplines and made them a part of their life.
- Plan and prepare: Having a plan is always the key to being successful. You have to have a plan when you are losing weight as well as when you are maintaining. Planning your food and preparing for your week will help keep you on track.
- Don’t restrict foods: If you lost weight from a strict diet you will probably find it hard to maintain. Finding a plan that allows you to eat all foods in moderation will help you stay successful in the long run. Look for healthy alternatives to foods that you struggle to eat in moderation.
- Eat breakfast every day: Eating a high protein breakfast every day helps your body stay satisfied and you will less likely gorge on foods later in the day.
- Weigh yourself weekly: Weighing yourself regularly keeps you accountable. If your scale is up then you know you need to make some modifications to your plan.
- Stay connected with a support group: People who have successfully maintained their weight loss stay connected with people who encourage and support them. This can be done in person or online.
- Stay active: It is so important to move your body for your overall health but it also keeps you burning calories which helps with maintenance. Whether you go to the gym, are involved in a sport, or just walk around your neighborhood, staying active is another key to your success.
- Recover from relapses quickly: Knowing you will indulge every now and then is ok. It is a part of life. Just remember to get back on track quickly. Too many days of overeating could lead you down a path that might be hard for you to recover from. It’s never too late to start again.
- Believe in yourself and don’t give up: Successful people believe in themselves. They think positively, work hard, and get back up even when there are setbacks. Always go back to why you want this in the first place. Remember your goals and dreams.
To be honest, I wanted to say that I hope to put all of these habits into practice once I reach my goal. But I have learned the importance of renewing your mind and being positive. Instead of hoping, I look forward to being a part of the 20% who are successful at maintaining their weight loss.