The biggest challenge most people have when it comes to weight loss, is actually being able to keep it off and maintain it with ease long term. It is very sad to see somebody work so hard to lose weight, whether it’s 10, 50 or 100 plus pounds to then see all the hard work start to unravel as they regain some or all of the weight.
What is Maintenance?
Let’s clarify what I mean by maintenance. Healthy maintenance doesn’t mean maintaining a number on the scale while having to be extremely rigid with your food choices and never being able to relax about it. If a person is constantly worried about their food thinking that if they have that one item they’re going to start putting weight on, and can never allow themselves some flexibility and moderation – then that is NOT maintenance. Living life like that is not a lifestyle that’s enjoyable and for that reason not sustainable so the odds of maintaining weight are low
Ideally, most people want to get to the point where they are confident that they can maintain their weight. They feel great and they are happy with their weight and body shape but also able to enjoy a lifestyle that allows for flexibility in their choices.
Ultimately they really want to get to the point where thinking about food and weight and everything around it is no longer front and center in their life.
This is reaching the point of Freedom In Your Body where you feel free in your body, free in your mindset and free in your lifestyle. This is true life long maintenance.
It is completely possible to achieve Freedom In Your body but it is a process to reach this final state. Below is a summary of the key pillars that you need to have in place to achieve Body Freedom so that you are able to maintain your weight with ease.
Key Pillars to Maintenance and Body Freedom
When people are successful at losing weight they have usually established certain routines that supported their success. Often though what happens when people get to maintenance is they let go of these routines. Ideally when maintaining weight and living a healthy lifestyle you want to have well established healthy routines at least 80% of the time. This makes it much easier to maintain weight, it is healthier and it requires a lot less mental attention because you know what you need to do. It’s actually more liberating because these routines have become habits that are second nature so that you don’t need to think about it. Once you have these routines well established then you can allow for more wiggle room and flexibility the remaining 20% of the time and be able to thoroughly enjoy the occasional indulgence and not be worried that you will lose control and gain weight again.
Also recognizing with routines, that if there are any significant changes to your lifestyle, such as a job change, moving, “a pandemic”, then you must take that into account and mindfully assess your healthy routines to see if they will be impacted by the lifestyle change and make a plan to adjust for them accordingly. For example I’ve seen some people retire and suddenly the routines they had around food prep for lunches at work and planning dinners ahead of time stop. Next thing you know, they’re not eating as well as they were without realizing it and then they start to put weight on. Many people experienced this challenge with the changes to their daily routines during the past year with Covid. They didn’t take the time to mindfully adjust their eating habits especially with being more sedentary and the result has been weight gain.
Another routine that many people stop doing after losing weight is they stop weighing themselves on a somewhat regular basis. During maintenance it is not necessary to weigh yourself daily but certainly checking in with the scale on a somewhat regular basis prevents any unpleasant surprises. It is much better to catch your weight climbing when it is just a few pounds and not 10 lbs. Do you realize that clothes often don’t begin to feel tighter until there is a 10 lb gain.
Clear Strategies for Course Corrections
As you enter maintenance make sure that you have very clear and easy strategies that you can implement to make course corrections so if you do see an upward trend you have the plan and clarity to knock off those few pounds within a week or two and stop the weight increase. It is much easier to turn things around when it’s just a couple of pounds. I find a lot of people struggle with mindset and strategies to make these small corrections. They’re so used to being on a diet or off a diet that when the weight starts to climb, they don’t always know why, because they haven’t been paying attention or they really don’t know how to turn it around without going on a full blown diet again. Unfortunately though when they want to lose the weight but still have a maintenance mindset, they’re not doing enough to turn it around or they’re only committing 60 percent to the process. So they have a few good days and then go off track on the weekend and the result is they don’t lose the small gain and eventually they add on more weight.
If you need to trim down a few pounds then just go for it and don’t let it drag on. When it drags on, you get bored, you get tired, you get frustrated, you’ll lose interest, and then the weight will start climbing. So make sure you have simple clear strategies in place for course corrections to handle the small gains that can happen. This is why I find using intermittent fasting for weight loss is really ideal. When used properly to lose weight you have trained your body to be fat adaptive (use fat for fuel), so you can wake up that fat burning system very quickly on an as needed basis. The result is you can very quickly shed those a few pounds and then you’re done and you get back into your 80/20 maintenance mode.
Be Aware and Honest
When it comes to maintenance with weight it’s not rocket science but it’s about being mindful of the little details which can easily fall off the radar and that’s when people get themselves into trouble.
Be honest with yourself and recognize when you are incontrol of yourself, making mindful, conscious choices and when you are not in control, especially when it comes to situations or food that in the past has been in control of your behaviour. Ask yourself if you could just as easily not have that food item or would it be very difficult to walk away from it so in other words something else is driving your desire that food. There’s a big distinction to be made around what’s motivating you to desire certain foods. So be honest with yourself. Check in, create the routines and you can be fine.
It is completely possible to maintain your weight and have a lifestyle that includes flexibility and some of your favorite indulgences just get those routines established, have clear simple course correction strategies and be very honest with yourself regarding your mindset when indulging.
Having the right support to help you when it comes to maintenance is very beneficial. Most of us don’t change habits easily and not just around food, but generally speaking, it’s probably one of the hardest things for people to do. And so getting support around behavioural change will make a big difference. That is how these behavioural changes become permanent and not just temporary. Anybody can white knuckle their way through a diet or weight loss program but if they never really deal with some of the issues that are driving their unhealthy behaviors and habits there is a high likelihood their success will be temporary and they will gain the weight back again.
If you are tired of the up and down with weight and you really desire the longer term vision, achieving body freedom where you are able to maintain your weight and you’re not just looking for a quick fix, then I highly recommend that you reach out to me.
You can book a complementary phone consultation with me using this link, https://www.drsherbovay.com/complimentary-consultation/ or access it from my website, www.drsherbovay.com.
During this call I will get a better sense of what your challenges have been with losing weight and maintaining it, both from a body standpoint and a mindset standpoint. Then I can offer you a lot of clarity around what it is that you need to be able to kind of turn this situation around to be able to lose weight and what you need in place so you can also maintain the weight and enjoy Freedom In Your Body and Lifestyle.