You've worked hard. You lost the weight you wanted to lose and thank you very much, you don't want to find it again. While more than half of the people who lose weight end up gaining it back, you are determined not to let that happen to you. I'm here to help you maintain your goal weight! Make sure you aren't telling yourself any of these five things that can lead to weight gain.
1. Now that I've hit my goal weight, I will loosen up a bit on my rules.
If you successfully lost weight with a combination of eating right and exercise, you now have a winning formula that works for you. If you stop doing what works, there is a high probability that you will gain some weight back. (The reverse is true as well. If you aren't seeing any results, you have to change what you are doing!) I encourage people to opt for planned indulgences once in a while instead of living differently once you hit your goal weight. To manage the balance between your rules and a treat once in a while, live by the 80/20 rule.
2. I will start exercising when I am not so busy.
We all get crazy busy. But if you promise that you will pick up exercise again when things slow down, how do you think that will go? A little tough love here: You may be telling yourself this to feel better. Promising yourself that you will start your workout routine once life gets a little less hectic is 1. Untrue. (When do you wake up and say: All clear! I've got nothing on the schedule for today, I think I will exercise!) And 2. You are using your good intentions as a way to justify delaying exercise.
Don't forget that exercise can help you handle the busy.
- Workouts help reduce stress.
- Sweat sessions help you sleep.
- Working that bod helps you focus and concentrate and gives you more energy.
- So don't promise away your exercise for another day. Show up today.
3. I will wait until it's not dark outside to get back to my routine.
Okay, I know the whole fall back time change is a bummer. You wake up and it's dark. You leave work and it's dark. Or you pick the kids up from school and you swear it's getting dark already. You can barely remember when it was light out so you hibernate in your cozy house, especially when it's cold outside. Try to remind yourself of what you would be doing if it was bright and sunny outside. Darkness can play tricks with your mind making you feel like it's late when it's only 6 p.m. So go to the gym anyway. The other day I posted this picture of me slogging through snow, cold and DARK (see below!) to get to the gym super early to lead a boot camp class. This can be you too. And you get bonus points for your hardcore commitment. Go ahead and brag a little too.
4. Weight training is just not my thing.
Lots of women are afraid of bulking up and looking like a female body builder. I'm here to tell you this won't happen. And if you don't feel comfortable navigating your way through all the men pumping iron at your gym, you can work on your muscles at home with a workout DVD. If you are looking for the one thing that can really change your results and how your body looks: it's weight training. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. And muscles are use 'em or lose 'em. Muscles also help us prevent injury and stay strong as we age, so work on strengthening yours to keep that weight off.
5. Whatever I eat I can exercise it off.
Yes, weight loss in its simplified form is calories in and calories out, but long-term healthy weight loss only happens (and only can be maintained) when healthy eating is paired with calorie-burning exercise. You really can't successfully lose weight and keep it off if you try and do one and not the other. If you want to do a harder workout because you did a little bit of indulging, go for it, just don't use it as a weight maintenance strategy. Marry up clean eating and exercise and you can keep that weight off for good!
Be a part of the I-lost-weight-and-I-am-keeping-it-off-community. You can do this! Stick with me and I will help support you and your healthy lifestyle.