If you’re like me and a lot of other people, you’re no stranger to losing weight. You have done it before, maybe many times, and now you want to do it again. Wouldn’t it be great if this time is the last time you’ll ever need to lose weight again? How cool would it be to lose weight and keep it off?
There’s no need to answer that question. It’s purely rhetorical. I don’t know anybody who wants to gain back lost weight necessitating another diet just to get rid of it again. If weight was lost intentionally, nobody does it with the hopes of regaining.
Losing weight with the grand plan of getting to goal and staying there takes a special “long haul” approach. By “long haul” I am talking about seeing yourself way into the future. It’s seeing yourself not just getting to goal, but rather living at goal. Getting there and living there can be extremely different and that’s the problem. Getting there and living there need to be very similar.
- How fast can I get there?
- What should I stop eating?
- What should I eat?
- Will exercise speed it up?
- How much exercise will it take?
- I can’t wait to get to goal so that I can get my life back.
- It’s about sustainability, not how fast I can get to goal.
- I don’t want to stop eating what I enjoy; I want to balance how I eat.
- I don’t want to eat anything I don’t like; there is something I do like that will give me the same results and/or nutritional benefits.
- I want to be active because it helps me feel good.
- This is my life and I’m living it the way I like.
The difference between losing weight and losing it for the last time is obvious. While losing weight and getting to goal is important, it’s not as important the way you get to goal. Getting to goal has to be a good fit with your complete life.
Your complete life is how you live your life including what you do for work and entertainment, what you do and don’t like to eat, and where and how often you eat. It also needs to fit into the amount of time you have to spend your weight management behaviors.
When I say this, I’m used to some people reacting negatively. I’ve heard, “that’s crazy talk. You can have one or the other but you can’t have both.” That’s true if you think it’s “this or that.” You need to change your perspective to “this and that.”
I hope you haven’t been reading this and wondering when I am going to give you the magic weight loss plan that promises to keep you at goal forever. That’s the point. There is no magic weight loss formula. Each of us will have to find our own solution.
To lose weight for the last time you need to do these 6 things
- maintain a slight calorie deficit necessary for lose weight
- when you reach your goal, adjust your calories upwards slightly to balance calories in and out
- eat mostly naturally lower calorie, nutrient dense foods that you enjoy from all the food groups
- include small amounts of treats (sweets, fried foods, and adult beverages)
- don’t sit when you can stand, don’t stand when you can walk, and (safely) pick up heavy objects often
- Believe (if you believe you won’t quit, if you don’t quit you’ll never have to lose weight again)