Staying Focused on Long-Term Weight Loss Success...

Let’s face it, if you have some weight you are trying to lose, this is probably not the first time you have attempted to lose it. Put another way, you may have lost and regained the same 20lbs over and over. I hear about this lose-regain cycle from clients a lot. In fact, I would venture to say that most clients would agree that it is, actually, not that hard to lose weight. The first few pounds come off fairly easily when you start a weight loss plan. You are motivated. You have made a plan. You bought the diet groceries and renewed the gym membership! You start off with a bang and those first 10 lbs melt off as you follow your diet and hit the gym 5 days a week. Why can’t that rapid weight loss continue all the way down to your goal weight and why won’t those pounds stay off once you lose them? The answer is that your weight loss plan might be focused on a short-term play, instead of a long-term plan. Here are a few ways to make sure that the next time you lose those recurring ten pounds, they stay off!

  1. Make sure your diet plan is founded on basic science: Step 1-put down the grocery store magazines and forget about the confusing fads they recommend. Remember that the foundation of weight loss success is built on “Calories in=less than calories out”. Burn more calories than you eat-Simple! Forgetting this rule and getting side-tracked by other diet schemes is a surefire way to regain the weight you have tried so hard to lose.
  2. Develop a sustainable and structured diet: Although variety is the spice of life, too much variety in your diet can add calories in unpredictable ways. Structure your daily diet as much as you can. This means eating nearly the same thing every day. Choosing one or two options for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches is a great place to start. Those meals are not usually socially influenced, so you can control the menu yourself. Dinners can be a challenge, as they are frequently eaten with others and therefor give you less dietary control. No problem though, because, as long as you have eaten your “go-to” healthy foods throughout the day and, if you eat sensible portions at dinner, the scale will stay in free fall mode!
  3. Find a weight loss partner: Make it a team project to lose weight. If you have a friend that has also been on the weight loss roller coaster, combine your efforts and give each other some accountability. Beware though, you may be the person with the best weight loss strategy, so you may have to take the lead in developing the team plan for diet and exercise.
  4. Find an easy way to exercise: While you may be willing to drive a half-hour to the gym everyday when you are hyper-motivated, that inconvenience could put a halt to workouts as your hyper-motivation wanes. Look for the parks and gyms that are closest to your residence or your work and know that when you optimistically first start your workout routine, you’ll frequently overestimate your long-term ability to make special efforts to continue your gym visits. Think about what you can do for exercise in and around your home. I really like exercise bands and recommend them to a lot of clients for indoor strength training (See here) Make sure that you have climate-appropriate clothing so you can go on daily walks/jogs around your neighborhood. Remember that the more convenient your workouts are, the more you will do them and that consistency and sustainability is what is going to keep the lbs off!
  5. Increase the intensity of your exercise as you get fitter: The same workouts that had you melting away 30lbs ago is not going to have the same effect now. Your slimmer body and increased strength and endurance will allow you to have workouts that would have blown your mind previously. You need to take advantage of your increasing athleticism to keep morphing your body into its fittest version. Finding a good athletic trainer to check-in with periodically can really help you with this. As an athletic trainer myself, I have often seen clients that were still working out using the same treadmill speed and same dumbbells that they used a year ago…that is not going to cut it if you want to push passed weight loss plateaus. If your weight has changed over the last year, then so should your workouts! Keep pushing the intensity up and you’ll find the scale will keep going down.

Keep running towards your weight loss goals and call us if you have any question! 949-722-7662

-Sean M.

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Sean is a registered dietitian at The N.E.W. Program and is available to meet with clients at our Orange and Whittier clinics!

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