It’s important to start early on in the weight-loss process to insure weight-loss maintenance once you’ve lost the weight.
The statistics for maintaining weight loss are abysmal. They run as high as 80% of people who lose unwanted weight do not maintain their weight loss. And many of these people not only gain all the lost weight back, but they gain additional weight as well.
So start early in the weight-loss process to build in weight maintenance strategies. You can begin to think about the problem of weight-loss maintenance before you undertake any weight-loss steps. Although this might seem counter-intuitive, it’s not really. Giving lots of thought to how you will maintain your weight loss will enable you to do things during the weight-loss process itself that will help you with weight control later on.
The weight-loss methods you choose should have a lot to do with good weight control. You might not want to choose too strict diets and liquid diets because they won’t give you the practice you will need for controlling your weight after you’ve reached your goal weight.
And how will you prepare yourself for not being on a diet for the rest of your life? After dieting and weight-loss, there is no need to keep to a diet that is meant to help you lose a lot of weight. You’ll be on your own more, with the freedom to choose what you’ll eat and how much you’ll eat. When will you learn these things? If you wait until the weight-maintenance phase, you’ll have to learn right in the very situations that you will need to deal with. It’s better, of course, to have learned how to deal with these matters before they occur.
Practicing these weight-control skills while dieting gives you the preparation you need for later. While they are called weight-control skills, they really have to do with you and your self-control. So let’s call them self-control skills, for that’s what they really are.
One opportunity to practice the self-control that’s needed for weight-loss maintenance is when you cheat on your dieting plan. How you learn to handle your feelings, your thinking, and your behavior around a diet cheat is most likely how you’ll use what you’ve learned to modify your off-diet eating patterns after you’ve reached goal weight.
These are only a few ideas for preparing early and often how to maintain the weight you will lose. For more specific strategies go to the Reading Room, which is to the right of this blog post, or you can read about maintaining lost weight in Psych Your Diet: A Daily Dose. Volume 3. Psych Yourself to KEEP IT OFF.