Keeping It Off

Gyms across the country are full to the brim each January 1st with New Year resolution-ers who have, once again, decided that this is the year that they are going to lose the weight.  However, even more startling than the number of said resolution-ers who have already quit coming to the gym by January 8th, is the percentage of people who are successful in losing some weight just to turn around and gain it back again.  A whopping 95% of “successful dieters” end up gaining back the amount of weight they lost, and most of them actually put on a few extra pounds while they are at it.

Today I want to focus on the 5% of people who have successful weight loss, and more importantly, keep it off. What is it that allows them to keep the weight off when others cannot? What are their secrets? I’ll tell you!

  • Eating a low fat diet. I use the term “diet” rather loosely here, it simply refers to the food eaten on a daily basis, not an outlined, restrictive diet plan that makes you feel deprived. Once you’ve lost the weight it can be rather tempting to allow yourself to indulge here and there, which can quickly lead to more often than not. In that case, the pounds will creep back on, I assure you.
  • Regularly engaging in high levels of activity. Just like you have to watch your diet, you have to remain active in order to keep the pounds away.  At a minimum, you should be taking 10,000 steps per day. Do you get that many in? If you’re not sure, purchase a pedometer the next time you’re at the store and find out. If you find that you fall into the category most Americans typically do and you’re only taking about 5,000 steps per day, challenge yourself to increase it gradually each day.
  • Self monitoring, whether through daily weigh ins, keeping a food journal or an activity log is critical. You have to be aware of the smallest changes. It is a lot easier to work off a pound or two than it is to work off ten. The rewards of remaining vigilant and aware most definitely outweigh the instant gratification of indulging in something, that ultimately, wasn’t worth the calories anyway. 🙂

While weight loss is no easy task, studies show that maintaining your weight loss proves even more difficult. While that can sound daunting and depressing to say the least, there is always a silver lining. In this case it is this; it gets easier. As you go through the process of losing weight, changing your nutrition, exercising and working out, there are changes that your body goes through other than the physical transformation you see on the outside. Your pallet changes and foods taste differently, which helps in two ways. First, veggies aren’t as bad tasting as you remembered from when you were a kid and secondly, you find that the foods that once were such a temptation don’t taste like you remembered them tasting. All of a sudden, you taste the fat and nastiness that is really there, and it’s enough to make you sick…every single time.

Another change that can help maintain weight loss is the physiological adaptations to cardio and strength training that we go through. Cardiovascular and strength training  adaptations include increased stoke volume (the amount of blood pumped out of the left ventricle with each beat), increased VO2 Max (the greatest amount of oxygen that can be utilized on a cellular level for the entire body), increased cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute), increased muscle strength as well as endurance and power are all increased as is our Type I and Type II (slow twitch and fast twitch) muscle fibers. In addition to that, on a personal level I can tell you that I have long been at the point where I truly enjoy working out, especially weight lifting. Now it’s true, it wasn’t always that way and not everyone gets to the point I have.  Some folks prefer cardio to weight lifting, some prefer it visa versa while others always dislike all of it.  The important thing is to keep doing it no matter what.  🙂

I would love for the statistics to improve, for there to be a much higher percentage of people who not only lose the weight  initially but keep it off long term as well. I can only speak for myself, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much happier, and healthier, I am now than I was five years ago when I had just begun my own journey.  It is *so* worth every single second of discomfort that you’ll go through. It is *so* worth every single dessert you’ll turn down. It is *so* worth it my friends, join me and find out for yourself! 🙂

One Response to “Keeping It Off

  • I would like a breakdown of how much fat, carbs and anything else I need to help me track what I am eating. If this is ok, it would really help me alot. Thank you for all you have done. I am very excited about seeing the transition of my body.

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