95% of all people that go onto a diet regain the weight lost
Study link: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/2663745
Don’t just be a part of another statistic. Read the below to help you make long term changes. If you can’t be arsed to read ahead, just buy another Herbalife/slim-fast/juice plus gimmick and come back when you are fed up of not maintaining results.
1.Going off diet
I hate the word diet and I have said this many time before. People see it as a predetermined length of time where you will endeavour pain and misery for an outcome. That’s bullshit! Instead of going on a diet, change long term eating and training habits to make sustainable results. A short blast of a fad diet will give you short lived results.
The diet spectrum (I have just made that up) doesn’t have to be black or white. You don’t have to be on a ‘diet’ or off a ‘diet’. Believe it or not there is a grey area within the middle that most people skip over. The usual scenario is to announce to the world that you are going on a diet and eat nothing but chicken and broccoli for a month (more like a week). After a week you are bored, hungry and miserable. You decide to give up, throw the towel in, decides dieting isn’t for and start eating KFC for breakfast. (I’m not sure they even serve breakfast, but I know what I’m doing for breakfast tomorrow.) There is another option. You could start slowly introducing small changes to your diet and exercise program, that way you would barely notice the difference. Over the weeks and months, you can look back and your old exercise regime and eating habits will be unrecognisable.
Imagine driving a car that would only drive at 100mph or 0 mph. It would be extremely difficult to drive. That is the same with getting (and staying) in good shape. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, there is an area in the middle and it’s probably where you need to be.
2. Rely on Habit not skill
Brushing your teeth in the morning isn’t a difficult task. You can even carry out the task in a semi-comatose state in the morning/evening. This is because you have carried out this task so many times that you don’t need to even think about it, it just happens. The end goal is for the same to happen when you open the fridge or decide whether to exercise. There should be no decision process, it should happen as easily as brushing your teeth.
I am a big fan of habit building, which is why I build this into all of my clients lives. Each week I concentrate on one habit that I believe will have the biggest impact on their results. For that week, you only have to concentrate on one habit. For example, a basic habit of eating vegetables in every meal of the day. This may seem basic but you will be surprised how many people overlook the basics. By the end of the 7 days eating vegetables in every meal is second nature and happens without even thinking about it. After this point we move onto working on a new habit. There is no need to think about vegetables anymore as it happens without using any mental energy.
Don’t rely on motivation and willpower to keep you on track as it fades. Rely on habits and logic to make decisions. By doing so you will be more likely to maintain your results and keep the body you have worked hard for.
3.Learn to Maintain a lower calorie intake
Calories are a major factor in losing weight (if not the biggest). When we lose fat, we restrict the number of calories we eat or burn more through exercise (or a combination of both). We will eventually reach a healthy weight and wish to maintain it. The problem is that we just go back to where we were before.
In this example, I am using completely made up figures and are not accurate in any way.
A man that weighs 300 lbs eats 3000kcals a day and maintains his weight. As he is a big guy, his body requires a large number of calories to maintain that. He decides to drop his body fat by reducing his food intake to 2000kcals per day. As he will be in a calorie deficit, he will lose body fat and reduce in weight. When he reaches 250lbs he can no longer eat 3000kcals a day to maintain his weight, his body will require much less.
At the end of a fat loss period we will have a new maintenance point. This maintenance will always be lower than your original. Instead of bouncing back up to where you started it would be best to slowly increase calories until your bodyweight stops decreasing. After losing a large amount of weight I would highly recommend spending a few months trying to find your new maintenance. The longer you can stay at your new maintenance weight, the more likely you are to maintain it.
4.A ‘diet’ never ends
Well done you have got into good shape by eating well and training hard, but that isn’t the end. It is only just the beginning. After your 12/16/24 week blast in the gym, you do not win a prize of abs for the rest of your life. You must continue to work at it. It may not be to the same level or intensity, but work will be required to keep your body looking like that. Exercising and eating a calorie controlled diet will get you in good shape. Eating like you used to and not training will give you the body you used to have.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about how to maintain body weight. If you have just skipped to the bottom after getting bored, the main points are:
- Don’t be all or nothing – shit happens, get back on the horse.
- Build healthy habits and don’t rely on will power
- Cater for a maintenance phase after losing weight
- Don’t just stop after losing weight. Keep working, just not as hard.
If you need help either losing weight on maintain it, then fill in the form below and we can have a chat. I want to help as many people as possible have the body they want and deserve.
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The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.