Believe it or not, weight maintenance can often be more challenging than losing weight in the first place. Many clients who contact us are not new to losing weight. They have tried different diets in the past with varying degrees of success. Some know exactly what they need to do to lose weight, the real struggle has been keeping it off.
Someone recently said to me “I feel like all of my adult life I have either been on a diet and losing weight or not on a diet and gaining it.” Yo-yo dieting is a negative cycle to be stuck in. It can only be broken once the art of maintenance is mastered.
As ironic as it may seem, losing weight can often be easier than maintaining it. Why is this the case?
DIETS HAVE RULES
When we are losing weight and following a specific dietary plan, there are rules: eat this, here’s how much, this is at what time, don’t eat X at all, you can have a small amount of Y… and so on.
But then we reach our goal weight, the diet is no longer needed, then what? What are the new rules? Often, there simply aren’t any, and therein lies the problem.
When we reach our ideal weight there is a big danger of thinking “I’ve done it!” but the fact is, the work is not over. A new plan is needed to replace the weight loss plan. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll have reverted back to the old habits that caused your weight gain in the first place.
WHAT WENT WRONG BEFORE?
When we work with clients, weight maintenance is a consideration from day one. We help you to identify the traps you might have fallen into in the past, the self sabotaging behaviours you have reverted to, the situations that have derailed you. Identifying and overcoming the things that have tripped you up in the past is a vital first step.
THE MAINTENANCE RULES
We also create a plan for your maintenance, just like when your are losing weight. What to eat, what to minimise, how to incorporate treats and enjoy holidays without going off the rails… and so on.
Essentially, it’s establishing how to maintain a state of balance and moderation rather than an all or nothing ‘diet and losing or off diet and gaining’ cycle.
AN EXPERT VIEW FROM PROFESSOR BRIAN OLDFIELD
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Brian Oldfield, Vice President of the World Obesity Federation and obesity researcher at Monash University. Professor Oldfield has worked with a wide range of organisations who support people in losing weight. We discussed the statistics around the number of people who will sadly regain weight after losing it and I asked him what he believed was the key to successful weight maintenance.
“It’s largely people who are left to their own devices who will regain, while it’s the people who stay attached to clinical situations, their practitioner, the clubs or groups who helped them lose weight who are successful”.
This echoes what I have found personally and it’s why, two years ago, I launched a maintenance programme for our clients who successfully reach their goal and are committed to maintaining it.
OUR MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME
We go to our dentist for regular check ups. We don’t simply have dental work done once and believe that our teeth are good for life. I believe that weight and health maintenance should be viewed the same. It’s something that we commit to on an ongoing basis in order to maintain what we value.
I have ensured that we have a comprehensive strategy in place so that when you work with us you’re not only fully supported in getting to your goal, you’re supported in maintaining it long term too. Our Maintenance Programme comprises quarterly consultations with your nutritionist, monthly check ins and emergency calls should you find yourself needing quick support. It’s been incredibly rewarding for me to see just how well this has been working for our clients.
If you or someone you know is starting out on a weight loss journey, make sure to ask, right at the beginning “what is the plan for maintenance?” It is the only way to ensure that this time is the last time.