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Struggling to Maintain Weight Loss? Serial Yo-Yo dieter? Here's What You Need to Know

Maintaining weight loss is hard. Most people view a diet as a way to lose weight, but think about it...losing weight isnt the ultimate goal - waht most people really want is to lose the weight and keep it off for good. So lets be honest, that needs a long-term commitment to changing your lifestyle, not just a short-term diet. I find the key to success is to focus way less on the scales and instead focus on feeling better, forming new healthy routines, and making these habits your new norm. Because its a simple fact that if you finfish your diet and revert to old habits, you’ll end up right back where you started.

The Real Challenge: Maintaining Weight Loss

When you start a diet, it's easy to get motivated by the initial drop on the scales. Seeing those numbers go down feels rewarding. But once the scale stops moving, the real work begins. The truth is, keeping up a level of deprivation without seeing further scale rewards can feel just like you're stuck in a plateau, no fun.....and that can be incredibly disheartening. This is why yo-yo dieting is so common. Without the gratification, the hard work feels even harder, and many people end up simply reverting to their old habits.

The Problem with Quick Fixes

It is entirely possible to lose weight by focusing solely on a calorie deficit. Go hard at cutting calories, and you will see the weight come off. However, this approach often ignores the importance of developing healthy habits and routines that are crucial for maintaining that weight loss. If you’re a serial dieter, it's time to rethink your approach. Focus on behaviour change rather than what the scales say tomorrow or next week. The habits and routines you set up along the way will help you maintain your weight loss in the long run.

Focus on Behavioural Changes

The key to a successful fat loss journey shouldn't be solely about the scales. Yes, the scale is a great motivator and a gauge for progress, but the real focus should be on the behavioural changes and routines you establish. It's about the meals you learn to enjoy or at least make a part of your daily life, the ability to make good choices most of the time. These are the habits that will allow you to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off.

What You Need to Focus On if you are Struggling to Maintain Weight Loss

group of friends walking

Stay Active Every Day

Consistency in physical activity is non-negotiable. That doesnt mean you need to workout every day - but it does mean you need to "move" every day to maintain your weight loss, and aim for 3 workouts a week on top of that to retain muscle mass - its important that you make physical activity (movement + workouts) a daily/weekly habit.

  • Find Activities You Enjoy: Whether it's walking, lifting weights, cycling, or yoga, find something you like so you’re more likely to stick with it.

  • Mix It Up: Vary your workouts to keep things interesting and to challenge different muscle groups.

  • Make It Routine: Schedule your workouts like any other important appointment. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Practice Mindful Eating

Eating mindfully, sounds a bit woo-woo but it simply means paying attention to what and how much you eat. It’s about making conscious choices rather than eating out of habit or emotion.

  • Balanced Meals: Aim for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods provide essential nutrients and keep you full longer.

  • Portion Control: Be aware of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates if necessary and stop eating when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.

  • Avoid Mindless Snacking: Only eat when you’re genuinely hungry. Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer, where it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re consuming.

snacking plate

Regular Check-Ins

Keeping track of your progress helps you stay accountable and make adjustments as needed.

  • Weigh Yourself Regularly: Check your weight once a week or once a month in maintenance (whatever you are most comfortable with) . This will help you catch small gains before they become big problems, and/or;

  • Pay Attention to Fit: Notice how your clothes fit. If they start feeling tighter, it might be time to reassess your habits.

  • Adjust as Needed: If you see unwanted changes, don’t panic. Just make small adjustments to your diet and activity level, the idea is your diet should have taught you how to make tweaks to get back on track (not have been a tortuous few weeks of deprivation).

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial for overall health and can also aid in weight maintenance. Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking.

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day, more if you’re active or it’s hot outside.

  • Limit Sugary Drinks: Avoid fizzy pop and sugary drinks which can add unnecessary calories.

  • Listen to Your Body: Drink when you’re thirsty and carry a water bottle with you to ensure you’re drinking enough throughout the day.

Get Enough Sleep

Quality sleep is often overlooked in weight maintenance but is absolutely essential. Poor sleep can disrupt hormones and increase cravings for unhealthy foods.

  • Set a Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  • Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.

  • Avoid Stimulants: Limit caffeine and screen time before bed to improve sleep quality.

The Role of Coaching in Maintaining Weight Loss

Most people put weight back on because they’ve focused on a short-term process to lose weight by simply cutting calories and depriving themselves. They haven't learned how to eat better and exercise for health. One of the key benefits of good coaching is that it helps you learn what you need to know to maintain your weight for the long term. Coaching teaches you that there are no quick fixes—it’s about lifestyle changes and understanding what works for you over time.

A coach helps you develop sustainable habits, tailor your eating and exercise routines to your lifestyle, and adjust your approach as needed to stay on track. They guide you in building a foundation of knowledge about what works for you, for long-term health and weight maintenance, ensuring you don’t fall back into old habits.

Maintaining weight loss is all about making lasting changes to your lifestyle. It’s not about temporary fixes; it’s about permanent transformation. By focusing on these key areas—staying active, practicing mindful eating, regular check-ins, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep—you can make your healthy habits the new norm and keep the weight off for good. Having said all that as with most things its often easier said than done, so if you’re struggling to maintain your weight loss or find yourself yo-yo dieting, reach out. I'm here to help you make those healthy habits stick.

Remember, it’s not just about losing weight; it’s about making a lifelong commitment to health.

🌟Need more help? I offer support and advice on social media to help with fitness and fat loss, specifically aimed at women over 30. Click these links to follow me on Instagram  @fitforapurposeuk  or on Facebook fitforapurposeadmin

For those looking for one to one support I offer bespoke coaching services via my Get Fit For a Purpose plan, we work together to mould the plan around your lifestyle, preferences and specific concerns - Click here for details of my services

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