Weight loss is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have been overweight my entire life. I remember being overweight in 2nd grade. I have finally put that behind me and over the last 240+ days lost over 75 pounds. I am still 40 pounds from my first goal and still have a ways to go after that
(goal #2 is 10% body fat). Whenever someone loses a lot of weight the first fear is always the weight coming back. The largest amount of weight I have ever lost before was 40 pounds, and I put that back on, plus 40 over the next year and a half. This time that cannot happen, but what can I do to combat the return to the old me?
The largest part of weight loss is not actually the losing but maintaining, according to the Mayo Clinic, “after two to five years, the odds of keeping the weight off increase greatly”. Here lies the problem with most dieters. They face the challenge of weight loss with one goal in mind, to hit X pounds. When they hit that weight they slowly go back to their old routines that got them overweight in the first place. Hitting a goal weight needs to be seen as the first step in a two step plan. The first step is the easiest, you are getting complements, your body is changing, and you are feeling better. In step two you are not changing at all, you are just trying to keep what you have become. This is where the hard work really begins.
There are three things that I think are critical to keeping the weight off.
The first is simple, weigh yourself. We have all been there; you cheat on your diet so you ignore the bathroom scale . If you never weigh yourself then the extra weight really does not exist, does it? Keeping a range of weight that you determine acceptable and keeping tabs on your current weight are important while trying to maintain your weight. If you go above the danger level that you have set then it is time to look at your diet and go back into your previous habits that you had while losing weight.
The second and slightly more difficult task that is important is writing. Try to write daily or at least weekly about your food intake and exercise. Keeping track of how you are doing and actually writing it down helps you by creating accountability for your actions. Journals can be a very helpful tool while making changes in your life and have aided me in my weight loss.
Finally, and probably the most difficult, is logging your food. If you write down everything you eat then you should never gain back the weight. To become overweight you ate horribly for years upon years, breaking that cycle is not going to be easy, and is not going to happen over a few months. Keeping track of everything you are eating allows you to go back and realize where you made mistakes and make changes to keep yourself in shape.
These are three actions that you should take while trying to keep weight off after weight loss. Weight loss is hard but the hardest part is keeping if off. Do not waste all the hard work of losing weight by going back to your old patterns and old routines.
My name is John Bonk; I am a 26 year old accountant living in Chicago, IL. After 25 years something finally clicked. I hated being overweight and decided to do something to change it. I have blogged about my weight loss since day one, and have found it to be very helpful in this long journey. I have lost over 75 pounds and am continuing to progress. You can follow my blog at themindofbonk.blogspot.com and follow me on twitter @themindofbonk .
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