Tag Archives: weight maintenance

Everyday Insights from the Weight Loss Journey

There is so much wisdom in my midst!  I pulled out these tidbits from past e-mails from clients and group members:

Just listing the positive things made me realize that although my eating was off for a week, I was still moving in the right direction.  As someone in our group once said:  “Progress, not perfection”.  I’m not the same person I was two months ago . . .  or five months ago.  I’m progressing.   Moving forward…

(Regarding new weight loss fads)  It’s frighteningly tempting to want to jump on these bandwagons even though you KNOW in your heart, it’s never a simple fix.  If it were…

(Regarding a weight plateau)  I am going to capitalize on this phase because I know that these things sort of “wave in” and “wave out” and there will come a time in my future when I may have to put it in neutral for a little bit until it passes.  It’s nice to have a year’s worth of history so that I will recognize it for what that is and be able to respect it without going “off plan.”

Insight that is learned through continued practice is life-changing.  We all have it in us – genius!


Advertisements

Maintaining Weight May Help You Lose It

It is really hard to make lifestyle changes!  True behavior changes do not happen at light speed.  The reality is that most people change at a snail’s pace, and the process of moving forward is regularly interrupted by little “side trips” or even backtracking adventures.

I also see people reach a weight goal, and then the mystery becomes, “How the heck do I maintain?!”  Without learning this crucial skill, re-gaining is inevitable.

A recent study looked at the weight loss journey in an out-of-the-box way, and I believe it makes a lot of sense behaviorally.  Why not practice a few healthy habits while maintaining (without the pressure of losing weight), get the hang of that, and then make small changes to create weight loss?

The study looked at 267 mostly obese women.  Half were told to maintain their weight for 8 weeks while they worked on learning skills toward a healthier lifestyle.  Then they followed a 20 week weight loss plan.  The other group just followed the weight loss plan.  Both groups lost a similar amount of weight, but the group that practiced maintaining kept twice as much weight off.

You may ask, “Why would I want to learn to maintain?  I do that all too well.  I have that mastered.”  Well, if you truly do have that mastered – in other works, you are fairly consistent with your habits, without big highs and lows of food and/or exercise, and your weight does not vary much – then you probably don’t need to learn it.  You already have a sense of cause and effect.  You know that if you change that established pattern significantly, you will change your body.  You know that your weight will go up and down a couple of pounds as part of normal life.
Great!  You are in a good position to make well planned changes to your lifestyle that are realistic.  You will have some degree of logic about the process – what you must do and what you will get if you follow through.

But what if you are like so many people who deprive and binge cyclically, or work out like a madman/madwoman and then quit altogether?  In that case, there is little logic.  You may be maintaining over time, but it feels chaotic.  Habits are not stabilized, so weight will yo-yo up and down, even if average weight does not change much.  That is a very powerless position to begin making changes.  There is chaos in the process, so there will be no logical formula for maintaining weight.

Although it was a short study, it just makes sense.  If change is hard – IT IS – and if it takes a while to make new habits stick – WHICH IT DOES – then this may be a new approach that works for some people.  I would be willing to bet that it will be most effective for individuals who feel most confused about the process in general.  It’s certainly worth a shot if you are frustrated and confused, because it takes a little of the pressure off when there is no urgency to see the scale number go down.

So . . . IS a calorie a calorie or not?

Let’s take a look at the latest published study regarding the effects of 3 different eating plans on maintenance of weight loss.

Study Details

Twenty one overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, adults first went through a weight loss phase, all of them losing 10-15% of their initial weight.  This was followed by a 4 week standard maintenance plan, the same for all participants.

The study then had each individual follow three different diets for one month each (in random order), with followup to keep calorie levels appropriate for maintenance.

Researchers found that those on a low carb plan (10% carb, 60% fat, 30% protein) maintained weight  eating more calories than those on a low glycemic index diet (40% carb, 40% fat, 20% protein) or a low fat diet (60% carb, 20% fat, 20% protein).  The difference was statistically significant, with about a 300 calorie difference in total calories burned between the very low carb diet and the low fat diet.  The low glycemic index diet resulted in maintenance metabolism values between the other two.

What does this mean for you? Continue reading

Attitude is Key for Maintaining Weight Loss: Do Ya Think?!

There is no substitute for a positive attitude and confidence!

While leafing through my latest professional journal, I was happy to see research support for what I think is so important – the attitudes and behavior skill-building needed to maintain weight loss.  Let’s not forget how easy it is to lose weight relative to how hard it can be for many people to maintain the loss.  If long-term strategies are viewed as optional (“I’ll figure that out once I lose the weight”),  aggressive short-term efforts usually end in weight regain. Continue reading