Did you know that 95% of overweight people who lose weight regain it and sometime more within a few months or years? I know, it’s a discouraging statistic – but it is what it is and it’s probably safe to say you’ve heard that before.
But where do these statistics come from?
Well this one in particular comes from a clinical study that was done in 1959 where only one hundred patients were treated for obesity at a nutrition clinic at New York Hospital. Its authors, Dr. Albert Stunkard and Mavis McLaren-Hume, published a paper where they found, “Most obese persons will not stay in treatment, most will not lose weight, and of those who do lose weight, most will regain it.”
Ever since then this 95% figure has been quoted in literally thousands of magazines, diet books, and research papers over the past four decades. And it’s the major reason why so many people approach losing weight and changing their lifestyles with a total helpless feeling.
The 95 percent figure was drilled into the public so often that it actually became a fact – how crazy is that?! When in reality it was just a clinical story. Today, obesity researchers say that no one really knows how many people lose weight, regain it, or keep it off. The actual failure rate could be much better or much worse – We just don’t know.
But here’s what I know and what you should know as well. You can lose weight and keep it off! And for the ones who succeed I can assure you they don’t brew their own weight loss potion in their bath tub or have some dark secret blueprint locked up in a safe. The answer doesn’t lie in some stupid hocus-pocus crap but in a few principles that I preach day in and day out.
Watch your portions.
Enjoy healthy foods.
But what about You? You’ve spent months watching your portions, counting calories, eating healthy foods, and working out like a maniac! Finally you’ve got a body that your proud to show off. Now haw can you avoid falling for the weight gain trap?
1. Follow an Eating Plan That Works For YOU.
You want to know why mainstream diets work so fast? It’s cause they limit the number of calories you eat. Calories are calories no matter where they come from, if you eat less than 1500 cal a day you’ll lose weight. But in order to lose weight and stay healthy for a lifetime you gotta follow the basics. Eat your fruits and veggies, complex carbs, get in your healthy fats and watch your portions (even if you’re not trying to lose weight). The key is to view your eating plan as a whole new way of doing things, not just a temporary deal.
2. Be FREE…a Little Bit More.
After you reach your weight loss goal, find out what you can get away with. Add a few hundred calories here and there until your weight stabilizes.
3. Please oh Please! Eat Your Breakfast!
Do you skip breakfast? If you do – promise me that you’ll change your ways. Over and over again studies show that people who eat breakfast eat less than those who skip meals. Plus you’ll get more vitamins and minerals, boost your physical and mental energy and feel lifted throughout your day.
4. Treat Yourself.
It’s ridiculous to deny yourself or feel guilty about eating a certain food. In order to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle it’s okay to eat the foods you crave, a chocolate square, a spoonful of ice cream, a handful of M&M’s. You’ll find that you’ll have more control over how much sweets you eat and your urge to overindulge will eventually go away.
5. Be Realistic About The Size You Want To Stay At.
Most of the times when you set a goal, you might take it a little too far and set an unrealistic one rather than a realistic one. And even though you might get to that “skinny bitch fantasy weight” the odds of you keeping up with such a drastic plan is just not gonna happen. Please don’t set yourself up for failure. Start with a weight loss goal of no more than 10% of your current body weight. If you can keep that weight off for six months then aim for another 10%.
6. Track Your Weight.
Many experts will tell you to never look at the scale or weigh yourself. Heck I even have some clients who don’t want me to tell them what they weigh after an assessment. The point is, your scale is a tool – that’s all. It will tell you how much your total body weighs. And if you don’t weigh yourself how the hell are you suppose to know where your at? It’s like being in a boat in the middle of the ocean with no paddles – you’re just aimlessly floating around. Don’t go all obsessive with it and check your weight every single day. You’ll just piss yourself off and get frustrated that way. What I recommend is you check your weight on weekly basis.
7. Track What You Eat.
If you’ve lost weight and are gaining it back, it’s hard to pinpoint where exactly you’re making your mistakes. Try to periodically keep tabs on what you’re eating. Because eating can be associated with emotions – writing down what you eat and when can help you snap those bad habits in half.
8. Get Support.
I know it’s tough when you’re trying to keep your weight in check and everyone around you is shoveling piles of ice cream in their mouths. What you need to do is get the support from the people that are close to you. Let them know your goals and that you would like their support in helping you achieve it. Dozens of studies have underlined the importance of support. Studies have also found that people who lose weight with the help of a group or professional see the biggest changes.
9. Put Yourself First Frequently.
Like many women you have a million things on your to-do list. It’s all about managing your time and that means squeezing in some time for you to take care of yourself. Being able to take these breaks and get out of your busy routine will do wonders for your physical health and peace of mind. Remember, “To give others we have to learn to take care of our selves”.
10. Control Your Emotional Overeating Forever.
Every once in a while you may feel a little down, depressed, sad, or just plain rotten. Instead of drowning your emotions in food, use these moments to be selfish with yourself. Find out the emotional triggers that make you want to eat and write them down. When they happen stay relaxed and just do something that will substitute the eating. Go for a walk, call a friend (I know how much you ladies love to talk!), or read a chapter of a book.
11. Keep Your Motivation
One of the hardest parts of maintaining the results you’ve worked hard for is staying motivated. One of the best ways to kick yourself back to reality is to remind yourself of what your lifestyle was like when you were heavy. Before and after pics work like a charm here.
12. Keep Your Ass in Gear
There’s no beating around the bush here – If you want to keep the pounds off you’ve lost you’re going to have to stick with a consistent workout plan. If you think of exercise as a chore you need to change your view and think “physical activity” but associate it with things you like to do. If you like shopping, then the next time you’re at the mall, walk around for a bit before making your purchases. Like to dance? Next time you’re at a club or party get up and be on the dance-floor rather than sitting down. And yes even “rocking the boat” with your man is exercise.