The weight loss process can be thought of as three separate phases. The first phase is getting started. This is where you start a weight loss routine. You could use a diet, which is really a food plan, a guide for what to eat and how much to eat in order to lose your unwanted weight. The getting started phase isn’t just about food, though. It includes getting ready to commit yourself to reducing your weight. This is a psychological process that includes becoming committed, firming up your commitment, having sufficient motivation, and much, much more.
Sticking to it is the second phase of the process of weight loss. Sticking with it means just that, adhering to your weight loss routine, pretty much day in and day out. Sticking with it is also a psychological process of setting goals, constructing sub-goals, and having success in reaching these goals. You will be testing your psychology when you try to replace old behaviors with new behaviors. You will aim for consistency, the new behaviors becoming more integral to your day-to-day experience and the old behaviors becoming less and less integral to your daily functioning.
Finally, there is the third phase, the keeping it off for good phase. You will be at goal weight with no need for further weight loss. Now it’s your daily task to cement what you accomplished in the second phase. You developed new behaviors to replace your old behaviors, which is what led to your weight loss. Now you have to employ these new behaviors to maintain weight loss. This is a very different task for these new behaviors and you will have to find ways to keep these new behaviors working for you in this third phase.
There you have it in a nutshell, the three phases of the weight loss process: getting started, sticking to it, and keeping it off.