Lots of people go on diets and successfully lose weight. But most people end up gaining it back again. Over and over.
Have you lost the same 15 or 20 pounds more than once?
Why is it so hard to keep the weight off once you’ve lost it?
Why Can’t I Keep The Weight Off?
Here are the common mistakes you might be making if you’ve had trouble keeping the weight off.
1) You lost weight in an unsustainable way.
If you lose weight with a drastic method:
- Extremely low-calorie diet (“starvation diet” or “crash diet”)
- Food elimination diet (completely abstaining from large categories of food like fruit, bread, desserts)
- Massive/obsessive exercise undertaking (hours per day)
then you don’t have a sustainable system for keeping the weight off.
Healthy eating needs to be something you can do long-term. Plans and systems that you can’t maintain are NOT habits – they’re distractions that you go “on”, then “off” again. Cue up the yo-yo diet roller coaster!
If the way in which you lose weight is unsustainable, then your results will be unsustainable.
Ask yourself this: “Can I see myself eating this way / exercising this way / living this way five years from now?”
If you answered “yes”, then you have a sustainable system. If you answered “no”, then you’ll need to get some sustainable habits in place.
2) You have foods that are always 100% forbidden.
If your plan is to swear off all your favorite foods forever, you’ll never succeed.
Because as soon as you “cave” once, then you’re mentally “off the wagon” and you go back to doing exactly what you used to do before you tried this “no more ____” thing. You have changed nothing.
Food jail can’t last.
And even if it could, why would you never want to allow yourself to indulge in some less-than-healthy treats sometimes? Healthy doesn’t mean “no treats ever.” Planning isn’t deprivation.
Any sustainable weight loss plan needs to make arrangements for indulgences.
3) You start exercising religiously, but don’t change your diet enough.
Exercise is necessary for good health, and it makes weight loss easier (and easier to maintain!).
But you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
For sustainable weight loss, your primary focus needs to be improving your nutrition habits. Exercise is important, but it can’t do the job alone. Food first, exercise second.
4) “White-knuckling” your cravings instead of getting to their root.
We all get cravings for things. But sugar cravings and stress eating are hardly ever about the food itself – they’re about what the food allows us to avoid. Food makes a great distraction from stress, fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, frustration, or whatever emotion you don’t really want to feel right now. But that distraction is temporary.
In order to manage overeating or stress eating, you’ve got to figure out what you really want. Because it isn’t food.
If you don’t uncover the root cause of your cravings, you won’t be able to stick to a sensible eating plan. Your “reptile brain” will always win out eventually. You’ll cover up all your uncomfortable emotions with food until you learn how to do something different.
Understanding your motivation to eat is the most critical aspect of sustainable weight loss.
There, I said it.
If you want my help keeping the weight off:
Contact me for help with sustainable weight loss!