Losing Weight With an Eye Toward Maintenance

I have maintained my 150 pound weight loss for almost 18 years. In fact, next month it will be 18 years.

How?

By doing one very simple thing. When I first started losing weight, I determined that whatever I did to lose weight needed to be the same thing I did to maintain my weight. I had tried so many plans that were not conducive to weight maintenance that I knew I had to lose weight in a way that made moving from weight loss to weight maintenance seamless and easy.

In other words: I wanted to lose 150 pounds by doing what I would eventually need to do to keep that 150 pounds off forever. (Hence the title of my book which came out a few years ago.)

That’s where a lot of weight loss programs, popular diets (that will go away before you know it), and fad diets fail. There is not a seamless transition from weight loss to weight maintenance because the way those diets recommend you lose weight is not sustainable.

Not forever. Definitely not realistic.

I challenge you to think about the diet you are following right this minute.

1. Can you really eat that way for the long term?

Long Term Road

Be honest with yourself. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that people have assured me they could do the Atkins diet (or whatever diet) forever as they were losing weight. When I saw them a few months later, they had gained all their weight back and just didn’t understand why.

I could tell them why.

Because while that diet was helping them lose weight, that diet was not sustainable for them.

Not forever. (I’m not picking on the Atkins diet – it’s just one of many that have come and gone throughout the years.)

Does the diet you are following look like the way you would like to eat forever? 

FreeDigitalPhoto.net by Stuart Miles

FreeDigitalPhoto.net by Stuart Miles

The operative word here is like.

  • Do you like the diet you are on?
  • Do you like the way the foods you are eating make you feel?
  • Do you want to keep eating that way?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No,” then you might want to think about whether that diet is sustainable.

Is it forever?

I do want to say that it is normal and natural to “tweak” our diet as we age or as we learn more about nutritious foods. That’s a good thing and can also help us maintain our weight.

Are you eating mainly “diet” foods to lose weight?

Diet Meals

If you aren’t learning to eat real foods you make yourself, then you are going to have a hard time making a seamless transition into weight loss. Some people can go from a NutriSystem or Jenny Craig type diet and maintain, but it is a challenge and must be handled carefully. Diet foods that come in packages aren’t something you want to be eating forever and making the transition into weight maintenance can be hard.

Having a weight loss plan that is maintenance ready is one of the keys to successful weight maintenance. And while you may not be there yet – don’t lose sight of the fact that weight maintenance is your ultimate goal. You want to lose weight and then keep it off. After all – who wants to have to lose weight again and again and again?

Did you think about weight maintenance when you first started your weight loss plan? Diane

3 thoughts on “Losing Weight With an Eye Toward Maintenance

  1. Martha G says:

    So true! I think it finally worked this time with a different approach. I knew that whatever I did had to be something that i could do forever. No tricks, no fad diets, just a slow and steady journey to health. Making small sustainable changes worked.
    Over the years that I lost and maintained 80 lbs I have pretty much changed the way I eat and I prefer it. No food is really off limits, although I choose to avoid some foods completely for health or animal rights issues and some food I eat on a rare occasion. Exercise is enjoyable and a non negotiable part of every day in some way shape or form.

  2. carrilu says:

    Yes, I look to maintenance as I continue to try and lose. It makes the process slower but definitely less manic for me and I “study” successful maintainers like you!:)

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