Weight Loss Maintenance: 5 Tips to Keep the Weight Off for Good

Weight loss maintenance can be a lot trickier than you might think. Here are 5 secrets to successfully keeping the weight off for good once you’ve released it.

When it comes to weight loss and dieting, most people typically want to do whatever they can to achieve the results as quickly as possible.

They’ll endure an intense workout regimen, super restrictive meal plans (think chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli…) for a week, two weeks, or even 30 days, but then what?

Let's say we're talking about YOU.

You’ve hit your goal weight and you’re in those skinny jeans, but how do you maintain that weight loss once you’ve achieved it?

No one really talks about what you’re going to do after the diet to maintain the weight loss.

For a lot of people, maintenance is the hardest part because they don’t know how to loosen the reins and ease off of the strict plan.

They get stuck in a yo-yo dieting kind of cycle because they don’t know how to do anything but “extremes”. They are either ON the hardcore, restrictive diet or they are WAY OFF the diet, binging on their favorite comfort foods.

Extremes are not sustainable and I believe that learning how to find your balance with a healthy lifestyle is THE most important part of the equation of both losing weight and maintaining the weight loss.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to break free from the yo-yo dieting mindset so you can maintain your weight loss and move on with your life!

5 Tips for Weight Loss Maintenance

1. Slowly Incorporate Carbs, Salt, and Fats

If you have not been eating very much carbs, salt, or fats, and then you quickly introduce them back into your meals, your body naturally isn’t going to know what to do with them. Your body sees them as foreign and it freaks out.

When the body “freaks out” aka feels stressed, it naturally holds onto excess water and fat to protect itself.

This effect multiplies exponentially if you have been in a calorie deficit for quite some time.

Be easy on your body. Introduce carbs, salt, and fats little by little over time and pay attention to how your body responds.

This is exactly why many figure competitors can gain quite a bit of weight after a competition if they go straight into a binge or increase their food intake rapidly. During a "cut" the body is in an extreme state of stress, so afterward it will naturally be inclined to hold onto whatever it can unless you increase intake slowly and consistently.

You must show your body that it is safe and it can trust you.

When the body feels safe, it takes what it needs from the food you eat, and releases any excess because it knows and has proof that more is coming. This level of trust is not built overnight. This is why consistency and baby steps are so important.

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

2. Slowly Reduce Hardcore Exercise

As much as you might think that you are superhuman, you aren’t. Your body cannot sustain extreme amounts of hardcore exercise for long periods of time without breaking down.

You hear so much these days about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and short bouts of intense exercise being optimal for increasing your metabolism and burning fat. What people do not realize is, more doesn’t equal better.

You might lose weight fast initially, but over time this is extremely hard on the body, especially if you are not following this up with proper self-care and rest.

Your hormones, and as a result, your metabolism will not be happy if you continue to push your body to extremes with intense exercise.

You must begin to back off of your workouts to the point that you reach a maintainable, sustainable, realistic level of daily movement supported with proper rest, stretching, and foam rolling too.

3. Do NOT Push Too Hard for Too Long {or Your Body Will Fight Back}

To take the point of “more doesn’t equal better” even further, you must realize that your body is an adaptive, incredibly smart, machine and its primary focus is survival.

When you really begin to understand this, you’ll also understand why I teach the non-diet approach to weight loss. It’s for this reason.

As I mentioned, most diets are extreme and extremes put the body into a state of stress.

Most people think they need to drastically reduce their calorie intake in order to get fast weight loss results, and while this may work for the short-term it actually can be more hurtful than helpful.

Think about it like this. The body is built to sustain extreme amounts of stress for short periods of time, like for example, to get itself out of danger or to survive.

But when you restrict calories and/or perform intense hardcore workouts for a long period of time, your results eventually stall. Your body fights back. It adjusts so that it can survive. It doesn’t care about your lean physique goals and often this leads to people resorting to further extremes.

So, how far are you going to take it? Who wants (or realistically can) live in a world of extremes? Extremes are not sustainable.

I talk to so many women who have resorted to extreme measures to lose weight and in most cases, it starts off as a "harmless diet", but they end up years later barely eating and exercising a ton just to maintain. They also have no energy, a bunch of physical ailments, and their metabolism ends up shot.

So, as hard as it may be mentally, you have to be willing to let go of extremes and the truth is, as you do this, depending on how long you have been restricting calories or working out hardcore, you might gain a little weight in the beginning.

If you stay consistent and focus on the end goal (optimal health), this will eventually regulate itself as your body begins to trust you and feels safe again, but I repeat, this is not an overnight process.

And, sidenote, if you are currently underweight, your ideal healthy body weight may be higher than where you are at right now so you may never lose that weight again. And that is okay.

I will sometimes have women come to me and say that they want me to coach them on reverse dieting so that they can “increase their calories and lose the last 10 pounds”.

In talking to them on a Discovery Call, I find out that they think that if they increase their food intake, their metabolism will just quickly kick into gear and they will begin losing weight immediately (after years of restrictive dieting).

This might happen, but it’s not likely to be that speedy of a process. In most cases, you gain a little weight in the beginning as your body finds its balance. This is okay and natural. With consistency, this really isn’t a concern and will right itself with time. You have to mentally prepare for that.

Body weight naturally fluctuates, especially for women. So we can’t be so attached to the number on the scale. The scale is a tool, not the ultimate judge of your worthiness. You are not “fat” or any less beautiful or worthy if you are up a few pounds here and there.

4. Partner WITH Your Body

The true secret to weight loss maintenance (and in the non-diet approach to weight loss too) is to work WITH your body, not against it.

Forcing your body to do what you want it to do will never result in the sustainable outcome that you actually want.

When you show your body that it is safe, it will release excess water and fat almost effortlessly (eventually).

I cannot say this enough... it is NOT an overnight process, but it will happen.

Nourish your way toward your goals from a mindset of self-love and self-discovery instead of how many people approaching dieting and weight loss, which is a mindset of not-good-enoughness and “when I get there then I will be happy” lack-based motivations.

Happiness breeds success, not the other way around.

5. Get Super Clear About What You REALLY Want

Angela, one of my ROCK Your Dream Body Immersion Graduates recently shared in our Graduate Interview Series that she believes your dream body is one where you find the best of both worlds, balancing healthy eating and indulgences.

She described this as being happy with and confident in your body so that you can enjoy your life fully and go after your dreams, no longer obsessing about your body, dieting, and food all of the time or feeling guilt or shame about what you eat or missing a workout.

Be realistic about your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Ask yourself: 

  • What is it that I want?
  • What’s on the other side of the weight loss?
  • What do I envision myself being able to do that I couldn't do before?

And once you decide on that, you have to ask yourself what’s the next logical step in getting there.

I’ll give you an example from my life.

When I was dieting hardcore and I finally reached my goal weight I was thrilled. I thought, “Yay! Now I can go do all those things I have been depriving myself of in order to hit this weight loss goal and feel good about my body.” Geez, was I in for a surprise.

Hitting my goal weight was not at all the freedom and “peace with my body” that I thought it was going to be.

Once I hit my goal weight I felt more trapped than every because I was afraid that I was going to gain back all of the weight that I had lost (35 pounds) if I did anything other than eat my strict meal plans and follow my rigid workouts.

I wouldn’t go out with girlfriends for happy hour.

I wouldn’t eat cake at the office birthday parties.

I wanted to travel the world, but the truth is that I was scared to death of not being able to control my meals and my workouts every day.

Why kind of life is that to live? I was STILL in body-jail, just a different kind!

So, get clear and realistic with yourself and ask, “What’s the next logical step for me in moving in the direction of the life I want to lead?” Or, in other words, “If I wasn’t on a diet or obsessing about my body, what would my life look and feel like?”

Then, take inspired action toward that goal. Act, analyze, adjust as I like to say.

Think long-term. As you make choices, as yourself:

  • Can I do this for 6 months, a year or more?
  • Does this actually feel like something I can realistically stick to?
  • Does this allow me to actually live a lifestyle that I enjoy?

Please, learn from my lesson! Release the need to measure up and prove something by being a certain weight or fitting into certain size jeans.

Focus on self-discovery, self-love, and nourishment above all else and your weight loss maintenance will happen naturally and (eventually) effortlessly.

Rather than this being something that you have to do, maintaining your dream body (by YOUR definition of what that term means) naturally becomes a part of how you live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and a part of who you are.

This is what the ROCK Your Dream Body lifestyle is all about.

Bye-bye restriction, deprivation, and all-or-nothing thinking. Hello, freedom, optimal health, and sustainable dream body results!

Want more? Watch my free video series to get started.

Or, if you know you’re ready to dive into this work fully, enroll in my Feel Amazing 6-Week Jumpstart and begin your journey to body-freedom TODAY!

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