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Differences Between Losing Unwanted Weight and Maintaining Lost Weight

Posted Mar 16 2013 5:00am

The context: a weight-loss diet plan.

What’s involved?

There’s the guide, which is the diet plan, a diet book, or a weight-loss program, or all three. There are the specific foods, the specific amounts, the smaller portions, the number of calories. There’s your mindset: “I’m on a diet”, “My goal is to lose weight”, “I’m fed up with myself for being so heavy”, “I know what to do, just follow the diet”, “It’s all so new and I’m enthusiastic”, “I’ve gotten my energy level up”, “I can see the end in sight”, “I know I can do it this time.”

The context: Maintaining lost weight.

What’s involved?

There is no guide. There are no specific foods, no specific amounts, no portion or number of calorie instructions. You’re on your own, more or less. What about your mindset? “I’m proud of myself for losing all the weight.” “My goal is to maintain the weight I lost.” “It’s all so new and I’m scared that I won’t be able to keep it up.” “I don’t know if I can do this forever.” “I wish I had a maintenance plan to follow like I had a diet plan to follow.” “I’m afraid I won’t have the enthusiasm I got from losing weight now that I just have to keep my weight where it is.” “I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Why is it scarier to achieve staying at goal than trying to reach goal? Is this something you can straighten out? Do you really think there are no guidelines when it comes to staying at your goal weight and maintaining weight loss? What about all the changes you made to your pattern of eating while dieting and being on your weight-loss routine? Can’t you rely on these changes during weight-loss maintenance? Think carefully before you throw up your hands and say how the context of maintaining lost weight is so different from the context of losing your unwanted weight. If it will help, make a maintaining lost weight plan as helpful to you as your weight-loss diet plan, and set your mind more at ease.


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