Dieting After You’ve Lost Your Weight
Category : Uncategorized
You’re a successful dieter – you’ve either reached your goal or it’s within a few pounds. Hooray! Well done! Congrats!
Now comes the hard part.
I once heard a diet specialist say “Any damn fool can lose weight, keeping it off is the challenge.” So true… so true.
News flash for dieters: Maintaining your weight after you’ve achieved your goal doesn’t mean you can stop dieting.
Second news flash: Dieting is a life long commitment. You can’t lose weight and go back to eating what you want. Sorry!
I was at breakfast with a group of friends the other day who chastised me for ordering my usual diet breakfast (two poached eggs and dry wheat toast). I was gently attacked by three people who wanted an explanation of why I was still dieting. The answer: I wasn’t still dieting; I was maintaining.
I’m at my goal weight and I’ve been maintaining for several years now. And it has never been harder for me. At least when you’re losing weight, your scale can be your friend as it measures your success. However, when you’re maintaining your weight, the scale needs to stay the same. Getting on that scale can become your worse nightmare if it starts to move the wrong way.
I’m especially aware of the dreaded back slide (most life-long dieters are). I lost a lot of weight in the 1990s and by the early 2000s all the weight was back, plus 50 more pounds. My scale (as well as my clothing size) went up slowly at first, then more rapidly.
Here are some challenges to diet maintenance:
- Well meaning friends say: “Stop dieting. Don’t lose anymore weight.”
- Your inner diet demons say: “You deserve a food reward for a job well done.”
- You are bored, bored, bored with dieting.
When diet success is finally achieved, all the accolades are great. The new smaller wardrobe is terrific. The way you feel about yourself is fabulous.
But putting weight back on is so easy. Especially if you delude yourself that a taste of this or a taste of that won’t hurt. Calories are calories and if you slip back into old eating habits, all your hard work is lost.
There is only one answer to successful dieting for the long run. When you commit, you need to accept that you are agreeing to a life change. That means truly changing your eating habits (not just for the duration of a particular weight loss goal).
The statistics on people who can’t maintain weight loss are grim. Some sources say 83% of those who lose weight will gain it back. You can be in the group that loses weight and keeps it off. I intend to be.