Losing weight is a challenge. Maintaining lost weight is a whole other challenge.
According to Boston Medical Center, about 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. But nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
When I was younger I remember one time I lost ten pounds in a month. My stomach shrank a bit and I started to feel more confident.
Then by the second month, the weight came back.
This happens to many of us. We lose weight for a month, a year, or three years. Then one day we wake up and notice all of our efforts have gone out the window.
In the past four years, I've learned some ways to keep lost weight off. You don't have to be stuck in yo-yo hell for the rest of your life.
Find workouts you love
I can diet for long periods of time without falling off the wagon. By dieting, I mean eating whole foods that are low in sugar and dense in nutrients.
Working out consistently, on the other hand, is a challenge for me.
In the past few years, I've found ways to combat slipping up. Skipping workouts for two weeks is a distant memory for me.
The key is variation.
If you don't like going to the gym all the time, there are many free workout routines on YouTube.
All you need is a mat, towel, and water.
This is also great if you are uncomfortable working out in front of others. There’s literally no excuse for not getting in some physical activity every day.
Even if your leg is broken, you can still do core exercises.
That being said we all get lazy sometimes and that's ok. As long you can get back to working out fast.
I've found that other fun ways of working out like:
- Taking a brisk walk in the park while listening to business development podcasts.
- Enrolling in a fun spin class. There’s nothing like a positive energy filled instructor motivating you to do your absolute best.
- Dance or movement class. If you live in a city like NYC there are tons of world-class instructors at your fingertips. For years I've taken ballet from a former ABT principal.
Try not to beat yourself up if you miss a workout.
Planning ahead also helps with consistency.
I've found that if I plan my gym sets the night before, it's easier to get up and go. There’s no room for indecision.
Avoid cheat days
I love cake. I don't eat it all the time but it's one thing I’ll eat on occasion.
Instead of cheat days, I plan a day when I refuel. I'm free to increase my calories for the day without worry.
If I go out with a friend and there’s cake and it's not my refuel day, I'll probably still indulge.
Your weight loss journey is a lifetime so it's best to be firm but not strict with yourself (that’ll only lead to failure).
For years I was mostly gluten and dairy-free and watched my sugar intake. Now I eat some gluten and dairy on occasion. I try to keep my added sugar intake under 50 grams per day.
My boundaries with food are better. This will take time so be patient with yourself. If you have a sweet tooth, organic dark chocolate, fruit, and nut butter work wonders.
Support is the number one reason why I stuck to my weight loss efforts. My nutritionist guided me to healthy foods that I actually like.
Seeing someone weekly for a few years helped me in more ways than I probably realize. There are so many other ways to get support besides a nutritionist.
You can explore other options like:
- An accountability buddy
- Weight Loss/Health Coach
- Weight Loss support groups (Facebook has tons)
- In-person support group meetings
You don't have to do this alone.
Declaring that you are making a lifestyle change to others is a great start. Get support to back up your declaration.
You’ll be much more successful.
Make stress reduction a priority
Being busy in the West in glorified. For some reason, we think that being busy equals increased productivity leading to financial success.
This couldn't be further from the truth.
Another reason why I keep lost weight off is leading a peaceful life as much as possible. A few months ago I quit a stressful job I had for 6 years.
Almost instantly I started to feel better.
My sleep and diet improved. I had less resistance working out because I wasn't so tired and stressed.
My productivity in my online business skyrocketed.
I encourage you to cut out things in your life that bring you great stress. If your job is the culprit, perhaps its time for a change.
I was so scared to quit my old job. But as soon as I gave my two weeks, I found another one that’s much less stressful.
Now I'm on my way to quitting my new job and working my online business full-time.
We place tons of value on what we do for money. If your job is stressful long-term weight loss is much harder to achieve.
Skipping breakfast a great for weight maintenance
I’m a huge advocate of skipping breakfast. Most people that write about health and wellness are the opposite.
But skipping breakfast I’ve found makes weight maintenance a breeze. In fact, most days I'll have only one healthy meal.
When you skip breakfast you allow your body to remain in a fasted state. If you eat right after waking you start to burn the glucose from your meal.
If you delay your first meal, you allow your body to remain in a fat-burning state. Your body will always burn glucose before fat.
John Romaniello a fitness expert who is a huge advocate of fasting in his article, IF 201: A Look of The 4 Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Protocols says,
“ Caloric manipulation aside, fasting works incredibly well because of the effect that fasting has on your overall hormonal environment.”
Skipping breakfast gives you the best opportunity to lower insulin levels and allow for higher human growth hormone (HGH) production.
HGH paramount for lean muscle growth.
John also makes the great point that the fewer times you eat per day the less your insulin will be spiked.
He says, “ The elevated HGH in combination with low insulin is a deadly one-two punch to your body fat.”
The magic of compounding works well.
You’ll have a harder time gaining weight back if you fast daily or a few times a week (provided your diet is good).
Weight maintenance is hard in the beginning. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and know that failure is necessary for long-term success.
I wish you all the best in maintaining your lost weight year-round! Not only during swimsuit season.