So you have done all the hard work and lost weight. You've gotten down to weight you feel healthy and comfortable in and now you wonder . . . How am I going to keep it off?
This is something that is just as important as losing the weight - maintaining it.
I've had quite a few clients that have come to me at their wits end after various attempts to lose weight. They have said that they have been able to lose the weight, but it is the keeping it off that they struggle with the most. I asked them to run me through their stories and they all go something along these lines -
1. Deprive themselves for a few months and lose the weight
2. Get excited because they had lost all the weight and then instantly go back to eating what they were before and not keeping up with their healthy lifestyle and exercise.
3. The weight creeps back on. And generally they put on more than they lose.
4. Which then leads them to despair as they then start on another cycle of yo-yo dieting and trying to lose that weight.
I can empathise with my clients. I have been there and through this cycle of dieting which for most people seems like it's never going to end.
Here are the most important things to remember when you embark on a weight loss journey and how you are going to end the cycle of yo-yo dieting once and for all.
1. Don't deprive yourself
I know a lot of clients feel like they have to cut things out of their diets to be able to lose weight and be healthy. What I try and teach them is to not look at what you're missing but everything that you are able to add in to your diet. Just like when I have a client that is gluten or lactose intolerant. Yes, I educate them on all the foods they are intolerant too so they know what to avoid, but I also give them sheets of foods that they CAN eat. Focusing on positive (things they can add to their diet) instead of things they need to reduce makes it seem a lot better and easier and not as if you are taking things away from them.
2. Don't start something you won't be able to keep up.
Another tip that I always say to my clients is don't start something that you won't be able to keep up. Always make changes that you know are going to be sustainable and stick long term. Don't just do something because you think it is going to help you lose weight or because you think you should. Eat healthy food because you actually like it, exercise because you love how you feel afterwards not just because you feel you should.
3. Make numerous small change over time instead of one big change
The smallest changes over time are the ones that lead to the long term big changes. For example - Instead of saying, i'm going to cut out all gluten, dairy, chocolate, sweets out of my diet all today, start saying things like. I'll have an extra cup of vegetables each day and another piece of fruit, getting off the bus 2 stops earlier and walk that extra bit, taking the stairs instead of lift, switching your morning coffee for a tea are all going to add up over time. These are also the changes that you are going to be able to stick too and create habits out of.
4. It's how you handle the setbacks that matters most.
Some days are going to be less than perfect. Some days you are going to have to stay back late at the office, going to miss you exercise session, going to have to make a quick dinner as you get home from the office late.
It is how you handle these days that is going to set you up for long term success. It's realising that it's not the end of the world if you miss one exercise session. There are 365 days in the year, not exercising one day is not going to be the make or break for your weight loss or health. It's what you do the other 364 days that is going to have the biggest impact. It's how quickly you bounce back and get back into healthy eating