When it comes to weight loss, I actually believe that losing the weight is the easy part. For most people the struggle is more so about keeping the weight off than it is about losing it in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, dieting is hard. I HATE being hungry and during my hey-day of dieting, food was all I could think about.

After a lot of hard work and deprivation, I FINALLY achieved my weight loss goal. Yay! Or so I thought.

The battle had only begun. Once I actually achieved that number on the scale that I was obsessed with getting to… I ended up becoming twice as scared to go out and be around temptation because I was afraid I was going to mess up the results I had achieved.

My greatest fear was: What if I gained all the weight back?

I had sentenced myself to body jail.

It was a process, but eventually I found my balance with food and no longer felt the need to restrict so much.

My approach these days is very different than back then. I live in a world of “all inclusion” not deprivation, which actually has helped me maintain my weight loss results pretty easily.

Bye-bye food obsession, hello freedom!

Today I am going to share a few misconceptions that would have been really helpful for me to have known back then.

I hope that they can shed some light for you on why it is so difficult to maintain weight loss once you have achieved it.

1. Low calorie diets make your body feel deprived

Diets targeting weight-loss are generally low calorie, and are often low in carbs, dairy and even fruit.

Eating fewer calories than your body typically gets, can make you feel tired, and can actually make you crave the food types that you have been reducing.

You think this is just because your body is detoxing from sugar or junk food but it’s not. This is your body saying, “Hey, I deserve to feel pleasure from food and you are denying me of that.”

Eating is like sex. It is supposed to be pleasurable. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it and human kind would no longer exist. So, it’s natural and important for us to eat foods that we enjoy.

So what will happen? You will eventually give in, you will give your body what it wants in abundance, and you will binge.

This seems like a paradox, right? How do we maintain weight loss results but also have our cake too?

To ensure that you keep the weight that you lose off, you need to reintroduce the foods that you have been limiting while you are still on the diet!

This brings us to the second secret…

2. Prolonged or repeated diets can make you develop an unhealthy relationship with food

If you have a tendency to “always” be on a diet, then you will probably “feel the fear” pretty much every time you eat.

We end up becoming afraid of every possible food: fruit will make you bloated; carbs are evil; dairy is hard to digest; sodium will cause water retention; and of course sugar is manufactured by the devil himself.

It’s common to get to the point where you are so confused by what “they” say to eat, which tends to be very contradictory, that you have no idea what to eat anymore!

I’ve worked with women in my 1-on-1 coaching that had become so scared of the temptation to eat something “bad” that they make up silly excuses so they don’t have to go out with their friends and can stay home and just eat their normal dinner of chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Because it’s “safe.”

Or, on the other hand, they go out and eat everything in site because they opt for the “f*ck it” mentality.

What kind of life is that to live, in either case?

3. Expecting to be the exact same weight every morning

People are not robots, and we do not enjoy eating the same thing every day. Foods that contain carbs hold water, so when we eat those foods, our weight will naturally fluctuate.

This is normal, and not a reason to worry! It’s just the way that our bodies work, and it is no reason to avoid carbs whatsoever.

In fact, keeping carbs in your normal every day meal routine will actually HELP your body know how to handle them. When you cut them out completely and then re-introduce them on special occasions that sets your body up to retain water because it’s not used to the carbs.

I can remember times when I was following a no-carb plan only to go on vacation and eat ALL the carbs... and my face would look like a puffer fish and my skin around my abdomen would actually hurt from all of the water retention.

So what is the real secret to not having crazy weight fluctuations or gaining the weight back after we lose it?

Consistency.

Baby steps practiced consistently over time add up to long-term sustainable change.

Deprivation and restriction sets you up for failure because it’s just not realistic or sustainable.

Focus on nourishing your way toward your goals. Include your treats in moderation. And then don’t stress so much about it! Stress actually blocks your body from working like the well oiled machine that it truly can be.

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