I recently came across an article about weight loss maintenance. It had some helpful and common tips that I thought could be beneficial to share, but I also wanted to use it to highlight how difficult it is to maintain weight loss, especially for people who have struggled with weight or food issues for most of their life.
According to the article, 65% of people who lose weight end up returning to their pre-dieting weight within three years. (Other studies have suggested that the number may be even higher.) The biggest reason is probably because people see dieting as a means to an end and not a permanent life change. Once they hit their goal weight, they revert back to the old habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. According to the “experts” in the article, these are the best tips for maintaining weight loss:
- Start your day with a workout.
- Maintain a food journal.
- Do not skip meals.
- Plan your meals weekly.
- Prep meals in advance.
- Eat breakfast every day.
- Choose exercises with maximum benefits.
- Time Your meals.
- Be aware of liquid calories.
- Be consistent.
Most of these are great, common sense tips, but I think the most important thing to remember is that for many of us, maintenance will never be entirely simple. If you have struggled with your weight for a long time or have had long-lasting issues with food—like me—you may need to accept that keeping your weight under control will always be something you work on every day.
The best thing you can do is find a healthy lifestyle that works for you—something sustainable that doesn’t feel impossible to abide by day after day. It might be counting calories, avoiding certain trigger foods, intermittent fasting, group or individual therapy, pursuing a sport or athletic goal…Just something that doesn’t feel completely contrary to who you are and what you enjoy. And then try to keep an awareness of how you are living. Check in periodically and honestly assess how you’re doing. If you’re struggling, maybe try something new. The real danger is just going on autopilot. Because if you are like me, your autopilot feature is permanently broken, and will always eventually steer you right into a mountain.
What is your number one tip for maintaining weight loss?