“It’s ironic that we focus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”
Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline. Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase. This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!
The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:
*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss: growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).
*Follow a structured pattern of eating: Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.
*Don’t swear off dessert entirely. Use the 3-bite rule.
*Avoid banking calories: It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper. This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.
*The Scale: Weight yourself twice a week.
*Go back to basics: If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).
*Remember the CONCEPT of eating: “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”
*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day. Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.
*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.
*1st Tier Vitamins: Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)
2nd Tier Vitamins: B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).
*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.
*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.
*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.
*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.
*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).
* Concentrate your workouts: quality is more important than quantity. Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.
*Pick activities you enjoy: If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT). If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.
*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.
*Surround yourself with supportive people.
*Reward Yourself: It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food. For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.
Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss. Ultimately, no one can do this but you. We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you. If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.