The truth is most people who diet will regain 50% of their weight that they lost within the first year after losing it.
Within the following 3 years 95% of people will regain all of their weight.
The good news is there are FIVE PERCENT of people who do
keep the weight off and they do certain things to be able to maintain their new
This should give you hope because if others have done it – so can you. Follow those who have success and do what they do.
This is the trick – it’s not they TYPE of diet (Paleo, Keto, Vegan, etc.) but rather the discipline and values they learned and applied for the rest of their lives.
The one common aspect of those who successfully kept the weight is that they have developed CLEAR BOUNDARIES that they commit to 95% of the time.
Boundaries are made to protect ourselves FROM ourselves. They are not made to punish or deprive ourselves.
Boundaries provide clarity and they help us set a metric which serve as a red flag which warns us that we are walking on thin ice or heading down a slippery slope.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before or have said to yourself “Well, it’s the holidays. There are so many holiday events, parties, functions, etc. and yeah, some foods have slipped in more than they have before and I only gained 2 lbs. so far and once the holidays are over I will get back on track”.
While we have to give ourselves “grace” now and again – we need to also be honest with ourselves. Those who successfully maintain their weight over long periods of time have “redefined” what these events look like. Maybe before they lost weight they would go to a party and have 3-5 mixed drinks or glasses of wine, bread, 2 types of desserts and just “have a good time” without any limits.
Events like these have some of their reigns loosened but they still achieve balance and they have learned to moderate.
They allow themselves 1 drink and they drink water the rest of the time. They have a bite of 2 of yummy desserts but they don’t have the full serving. They also eat a bit lighter before the party and they fill up on foods that make them feel full (protein and fiber) to help them avoid overeating. They also eat lighter a few days after to “offset” the effect of higher calorie foods – and they don’t look at this like a punishment – they see it as a way to “balance”.
If you feel like you are let of the gate on vacation and it’s a free pass to “indulge” and “let loose” then you really haven’t internalized all that it takes to lose the weight – forever.
Women who have developed authentic changes in their lifestyle don’t really change their way of eating on vacation all that much. They still get in their protein, they still moderate their carb and alcohol intake. They still eat lots of veggies and drink enough water. They still stay active and they still get good sleep.
Another words, they are not “off their diet” and then back on when they get home.
Again, they moderate and balance.
You know those foods that when you eat them – you can’t seem to stop. Or you know that it’s hard for you to moderate with brownies or cookies or alcohol (for example). After all, it’s rare that people binge on chicken and shredded cabbage.
We all have those foods that – if we can just get a handle on them – would be a game changer for achieving our goals. In the beginning, the motivation of a new plan and a gung-ho attitude helps with willpower but soon what is new becomes old and what is exciting becomes hum-drum.
Vices or “red light foods” are like toxic friends – and they have to go. The slippery slope is not worth testing and it’s best to reign it in as fast as possible but those with weak boundaries hear their “other self” or “alter ego” give them permission for pushing the limits and “after all - you have been GOOD for months now……so go ahead and have a few.”
Those who are successful recognize the re-entry of their vices and they sit down and take a good self-inventory to assess WHY these foods may be coming back into the picture. Successful dieters know that they are fooling themselves and only lying to themselves. They reign it in with swift action and also are gentle with themselves in the process – free of self judgement.
You know how it goes – you lost 10lbs. or maybe 20lbs. and you’ve got this DOWN now. You are in the groove! This isn’t as hard as you thought!
This mentality usually starts before a major slip. Cockiness and ego enters the picture and humility and humbleness are long gone. You forgot how vulnerable you are and how easily you can slip backwards. Your guard is down.
Successful weight warriors stay humble every day. They recommit to their goals and their personal mission statement daily. They know that years of using food as a tool doesn’t just go away in 20 lbs., or 50 lbs. Successful weight warriors know that they cannot just let their guard down – they accept that they need to be a bit more hyper-vigilant.
In the beginning, your workouts were never missed. Your child’s left arm could be falling off but you would make it to the gym to get your workout in. You put in all your effort and came home sore and sweaty. But then suddenly “things get busy” and “life gets in the way” and “I’ll work out at home” and “this is feeling more like work than fun” attitude begins to slip in.
Suddenly you are missing weeks and realize that when you start again it’s like starting over and it’s PAINFUL.
But those who fully committed with both feet in realize that working out a minimum of 3 times per week is a must – not a maybe. Exercise becomes part of life for the rest of their life.
Your lines are ambiguous and unclear. They change depending on your mood and it’s not a big deal if “today” you just bend the rules a bit.
Everyone who succeeds at anything has boundaries or “standards” they live by. Olympic athletes, for example, eliminate alcohol intake during times of training and competing. Families who avoid building up debt may have a cash only “rule “ they live by – they don’t charge anything – ever. Another example can be people who have very stressful jobs commit to never eating trigger foods at work.
You have to know how to protect yourself FROM yourself.
You have to create lines in the sand that are challenging but also REALISTIC.
Saying that you create a boundary to limit processed sugar to 40 grams per week and not surpass that amount is a CLEAR boundary.
Those who are successful with permanent weight loss have CLEAR boundaries that are well defined. These are lines that they never pass. They value treating their body well and they respect their body enough to give it the protection it deserves.
If this is still happening – WORK ON IT. There is no magical meal plan, no perfect program and no weight loss potion that will help you. For those who have severe emotional eating issues a appetite suppressant prescribed by a doctor can help WHILE you are healing your emotional wounds.
Normal eaters also emotionally eat BUT they do not beat themselves up over it. They do not feel a sense of shame or guilt. They self correct QUICKLY and SWIFTLY and move on with their day. Their relationship with food is very different. Normal eaters realize that not every meal is meant to be an “amazing experience” and they don’t look to find joy, satisfaction, serenity or any other feelings they are searching for in their food.
Breaking the cycle with your emotions and food is they key to permanent success but it will be something that requires constant mindfulness.
Be clear with what you want and what you are willing to do and NOT DO to achieve your goal. Don't be afraid to create boundaries. Know that you did not fail if you happen to cross your own boundaries but you do have the opportunity to learn a great lesson. Fail your way forward and learn what you need about yourself so you can overcome any personal struggles that are getting in the way of your success.
The magic is not in the meal plan or the workout of the gym or the program.
You are the magic and you have to learn how to tap into your own amazing abilities!