Have you ever worked hard to change your diet and lifestyle to lose those pesky extra kilos, only to find them creeping back on – and bringing some extra ‘friends’ with them?! It seems you are not alone.
An estimated 80% of people who have successfully lost weight regain it, or even end up heavier than when they started their diet. So why do we find it so difficult to maintain our new, lower weight?
Recent research suggests a possible reason for this weight regain is increased appetite levels and decreased energy needs, resulting in an ‘energy gap’. However, there are lots of factors at play when it comes to weight, such as:
- Sleep quality and quantity
- Acute and chronic stress
- Underlying medical conditions
- Gut issues and imbalances
- Hydration levels
- Timing of last bowel motion
- Hormonal influences
- Illness and injury.
Also ask yourself whether you have continued your lifestyle change and are eating a non-inflammatory diet, or whether you have gradually let old habits slip back in? All of these factors play a role in long-term weight maintenance.
So, in a busy world where the odds seem stacked against us, what can we do to make it easier for us to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle?
5 Tips for Maintaining Your Weight
Here are 5 tips that I believe will help with your weight maintenance goals:
1. Start with a clean slate. Remove all inflammatory foods from your diet and reset your body so that you know which foods are good for you and which ones to avoid. Undertaking the Fat Loss Protocol is a great way to achieve this. it has a food reintroduction phase in which you learn exactly which foods are (and are not) going to work for you in the long term. Remember, there is no ‘one size fits all’ way of eating when you finish the program – you must complete the reintroduction phase in order to develop your own personalised ‘low inflammatory’ diet moving forward.
2. Practice mindful eating. It can be easy to let old habits sneak back in, especially during the ‘silly season’! What starts as a sneaky piece of Mum’s shortbread can quickly snowball into a more ‘carefree’ attitude when it comes to your nutrition – and you may find all your old ailments (brain fog, bloating, aches and pains, etc) have returned, along with your sugar/carb cravings. Always make conscious and informed decisions in regards to what you eat – ask yourself whether it will nurture and nourish your body, how you will feel when you eat it, and why you are eating it. If you choose to eat it – fine! If you don’t – great! But make sure that you are always mindful of what you are eating, not just slipping back into old mindless eating habits.
3. Let your body decide its ideal weight and continue on your chosen program until you have reached ‘leptin sensitivity’ (read more here). Once you reach leptin sensitivity your hormones will be working harmoniously and your ‘hungry/not hungry’ switch will be operating perfectly – which virtually eliminates the ‘appetite’ issue mentioned above in regards to weight regain. There is no point going into any weight loss program with a narrow view of what you want your goal weight to be – if you don’t listen to your body and get to your own natural weight, you will have great difficulty maintaining it.
4. Lower stress and get adequate rest. This is the simplest of notions – and possibly the hardest to put into practice in today’s busy world – but it is so important. I have been in a chronically stressful and sleep deprived situation for the past 3.5 years and I cannot begin to tell you the physical and emotional ramifications this has had on my health – that is a blog for another day! But believe me when I say that high stress and lack of sleep can have very damaging consequences for your health (and weight). Try to do whatever you can to keep stress at a minimum and make quality rest a priority in your life.
5. Seek additional support. If you are doing all the right things and are still having trouble maintaining your weight, seek extra support! It may be that you have an underlying medical condition, microbial imbalance, a parasite or one of any other number of issues that need additional work so that you are able to maintain a healthy weight. If you think that you may have additional issues that need addressing, but are unsure of where to start, please get in contact with one of the coaches via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help with your options moving forward. Many people have gone on to really cement their success by working alongside a nutritionist, a naturopath, a GAPS practitioner, an integrative GP, or by doing some work with a kinesiologist. Whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t be afraid to seek additional support if needed!
Changing Habits Protocols Coach