Why Maintaining Weight Loss is More Difficult Than Losing Weight in the First Place
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If you’re lucky enough to be able to finally lose those 20 pounds, 50 pounds, or 100+ pounds, congrats. Now the hard part, relatively speaking, starts.
Few people are ever able to lose weight, but even fewer are able to keep that weight off for a prolonged period of time. Maintaining weight loss is rarely talked about because the first step, losing the weight to begin with, is rarely accomplished. And I think a lot of talk about how hard it’s going to be after you lose weight can discourage people from trying.
I’m not one for sugarcoating, though — it’s too high in calories.
If you are able to reach your goal weight, here are the two main reasons why it may be more difficult for you to keep the weight off:
Sustainability (how you lost the weight) - You can lose weight with any diet or gimmick out there. While I obviously recommend counting calories, most restrictive diets and gimmicks still put you in a calorie deficit (without calling it that) so you still manage to lose weight. You may hate the food you eat (or don’t eat), but you’ll eventually lose weight.
Congrats, weight loss achieved! But that’s the problem.
What happens when you lose 50 pounds and reach your goal weight? Are you going to keep eating those pre-packaged meals or keep bread out of your diet for the rest of your life? Are you going to keep up your two hour a day gym sessions? If you lose weight (and then have to maintain that weight loss) by doing something you’re unhappy doing, then it’s not likely you’ll be able to keep doing the same thing for the rest of your life.
That’s when the weight normally starts to creep back up.
The thrill of the pursuit - It’s exciting to keep working toward a goal and seeing the scale go your way. It’s nice getting compliments, fitting into smaller clothes, and experiencing new things as you lose weight. This all dries up one day, though. You might still be interested in fitness and staying healthy once you lose weight, but all the newness disappears. The glitz and glamour and excitement you had while you were losing weight goes away.
Eventually, you’ll be left with doing what you always did before you lost weight: paying bills, washing the dog, and going to work. You’ll just be doing it at your goal weight of 150 pounds as opposed to 200 pounds.
It’s boring, but what can you do about it?
Considering the size of the topic, I’m going to split this into two different blog posts. Come back tomorrow for ways on how to maintain weight loss.