Breaking the Cycle of Gaining and Losing

Are you on the third, fourth or fifth time losing a significant amount of weight? Unfortunately this is a reality for far too many people.  You may feel like you have the know-how to lose the weight, but maintaining has continued to be a struggle. Before you get to your goal weight yet again, consider the battle of the mind that, if won, will keep the weight off for good.  This can be the last time you throw the dieting yo-yo.

Go Gradual

If you lost more than one or two pounds a week for months at a time, the behavioral changes you made in diet and exercise may have been too extreme to maintain a year later.  Instead, gradually change your eating and physical activity habits. Generally speaking that means a daily caloric deficit of 500 to 1000 calories.  You can do this by lowering the food you consume by 250 to 500 calories and burning the other half through exercise.  Either way, go slow.  According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the initial target level for weight loss should be 10% for overweight and obesity.  This practical approach allows for a tolerable behavioral change that can reduce the severity of obesity-related health risks.  After you maintain the initial 10% weight loss for 6 months you can reassess what it will take to lose more weight.  

Avoid Your Triggers

Yale University researchers recently found that food can be just as addictive as drugs.  Whether it’s a certain restaurant or a dinner party, find out what’s on the menu and determine what you will or will not have before you go.  Additionally, control your exposure to trigger foods by planning meals in advance.  Last, avoid environments that trigger familiar overeating or overindulgent food choices.  At least initially, wean yourself from purchases of unhealthy foods from the grocery store.  Having daily access to multiple servings of your favorite treat is simply too hard to resist.  

Protect Your Emotions

A study published in Obesity found that people who eat in response to emotions are more likely to regain the weight they lose and a related study found emotional eaters don’t lose as much weight as those who don’t use food to cope.  To combat emotional eating, think about your feelings before every meal.  When you are stressed, find ways to face negative thoughts and feelings head on.  Emotional eating is a distraction and may comfort you short term, but it will not change the problem. Instead displace your energy toward coping with the resulting stress.  Talk to someone or write down your feelings, and find out if there are ways to change stressors in your life.  Self-soothe with relaxation techniques, meditation, or coping strategies that stimulate sight, sound, smell, and touch.  Leave taste to a variety of healthy foods and try to regulate your mood before eating. 

Reflection and Reward

Reward your weight loss, but leave food off the list.  The no food gifts policy will allow you to focus on rewards that satisfy your overall well-being, not just your stomach.  Reflect on old habits and be aware these habits are stronger than your new habits.  By thinking through where old habits originated you can prepare a defense against reverting back to them.  Think about the cause and effect of your healthier habits and create positive self-talk to stave off temptation to go backwards.  When you have a misstep, recalibrate your goals, reflect on consequences and move forward. 


Your thoughts…

If you’ve gained back the weight, what kept you from maintaining your weight loss?


Enough

somebody just pushed my last button.

 Think I found the road to self-destruction again.

hank063:

I would like to think this is not true but it probably is true.

hank063:

I would like to think this is not true but it probably is true.

hank063:

This, IMO is another example of fear. I know I have it and I have fought it all my life.

hank063:

This, IMO is another example of fear. I know I have it and I have fought it all my life.

31979) Apparently people with eating disorders wear baggy clothes to hide their weight loss. Bullshit. I wear baggy clothes to hide my fat

and also because none of the skintight clothes I have can fit me anymore.

get-me-skinny:

youknowyoucan:

I still have to work on my legs and tummy but I’m satisfied so far. :)

perfect inspiration.

get-me-skinny:

youknowyoucan:

I still have to work on my legs and tummy but I’m satisfied so far. :)

perfect inspiration.

justwanttobehealthyandfit:

Snacks on the go

justwanttobehealthyandfit:

Snacks on the go


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