How to maintain weight loss? If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Statics tell us that more than half of weight lost is gained in 2 years and about 80% is regained in 5 years. Therefore, only 1 in 5 people are successful at long-term weight loss. That’s discouraging! What do we need to change to maintain weight loss?
Why Weight Loss is Difficult
First of all, let’s understand why weight loss is so difficult. If you look around, you have all the answers. We are inundated with ultra processed foods in a stressful environment. Plus, most Americans are sedentary. In addition, we have cultural customs, family traditions, social influence, environmental cues, and some genetics all working against us.
How can we expect to lose weight let alone maintain it? You might have tried many diets, yo-yoing from fast weight loss to regaining it all back. Unfortunately, this damages our metabolism, triggers hunger hormones, and makes weight loss even more challenging in the future.
What Does Successful Weight Loss Look Like
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page with weight loss before we tackle maintenance. In order to lose weight, we need to do some basics such as portion control, limit dense calorie foods, ample exercise, lots of fruits and vegetables, consistent eating habits, etc. Although we know these, it’s not always easy to apply given the demands of life and easy access to high calorie foods. Nevertheless, this is our starting point.
The Key to Maintaining Weight Loss
As with most things in life, success starts with our mindset. My clients who are the most successful are the ones who believe that they can sustain weight loss. In psychology, they call it self-efficacy (“an individual’s belief in their capacity to act in the ways necessary to reach specific goals”).
Also, those who are better at self-regulation, self-monitoring, and those who persevere despite setbacks maintain success. In summary, we maintain weight loss by believing we can, monitoring our body, and focusing on our positive accomplishments (versus negative defeat).
Lastly, we have to be OK with momentary discomfort. For example, we choose exercise over stress eating or resist the lure of “attractive” foods. We cannot jump at reward eating. Success = turning initial discomfort to a mindset of ease and habit.
Support is Key to Success
Making lifestyle changes all at once can feel overwhelming especially with all the conflicting noise on the internet. Humans are hardwired to need support; seek it both personally and professionally. Get a free 30-minute phone consultation. See if this is the right match for you by addressing natural weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, nutrition, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck. See what others are saying on Google and Yelp.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA