How to keep the weight off for good!
Unfortunately, there are no short cuts for this - Permanent change means you actually need to make permanent change.
Losing weight and keeping it off means:
⁃ Staying fit and active for life
⁃ Portion control with your food
⁃ Staying in energy balance (in vs out)
But 'HOW' you do this is the key to long lasting results. If you hate the process and make it rigid and unenjoyable then inevitably the wheels will fall off and the weight will pile back on.
Motivation does get you started and it may get your weight off but it's habit that keeps you going and if you don't enjoy the process that you created to get there, you won't maintain your result.
How many times do you see... "I want to lose 10kgs". But then what happens after that 10kgs is lost? It tends to creep back on - why?
Because you made your goal outcome orientated instead of process orientated.
If your weight loss goal was focused on the process to get there it would in turn, make those new healthy habits become your new healthy lifestyle.
The people we see that miss the mark with their health and fitness goals are the ones who focus on the end goal of reaching a certain weight or body fat % without being connected to their 'WHY'.
No matter what your goal is (weight loss, muscle gain, cardio fit, energy, mental health e.t.c) the 'WHY' behind that goal, has to be to lead a healthier and active lifestyle or the end goal of losing the weight will be achieved, but it will not be sustained.
Our goals should be on the process as well as on the
What is an outcome goal?
An outcome goal = I want to lose 10kgs.
An outcome goal is important to have, but it is also easy to become disappointed if you don't hit that exact measurement or result).
When striving for the outcome or end goal, we then forget about the process or what it's going to take for us to get there.
The end outcome, more often than not, relies on other external factors outside of your control I.e for weight loss for a female, you have different times in a month where you look and feel a different way, so there are external things that will conflict with your outcome driven goals.
So, if you aren't tracking close enough to your outcome goals within that specific timeframe, it can then send you into a negative and almost demotivated state, or even derail you, which is not conducive to your path towards achieving that goal.
What is a process goal?
A process goal is the steps along the way, which you have full control over and you can actually reward yourself and recognise your progress as you go.
Turn your weight loss goal into something like:
"I want to go to my personal training sessions 3 x per
"I want to attend group training 3 x per week" or
"I want to walk and be physically active every single day"
Reframing your goal in this mindset means you're focusing on the process and lifestyle habits that will get you to achieving that measurement goal but without dictating a specific number to give yourself breathing room and time to adapt and adjust to the requirements of where you need to be and what you need to master or learn to achieve that goal.
Ultimately, it's more positive on your mindset and more of a long-term commitment to yourself if you re-wire your goals in this way.
Your 'WHY' then becomes, I train daily and eat well because it makes me feel good for x ... y ... z reasons.
It's about acknowledging and appreciating what you have done that week that contributes to your goal, and not focusing on what you haven't done. The process then becomes much more satisfying and fulfilling.
You start to see you have actually altered your habits and routine and become proud of that, which will then intrinsically encourage you to continue.
You then start to feel you have agency over your life, that your words now have power, you stick to what you say you're going to do, you honour your commitments. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
If your weight loss or training goal is outcome driven, you aren't focusing on the bigger picture and focusing on the lifestyle changes that come with achieving that goal, or the mindset shift that needs to accompany that result.
It is important to look at how you can make this a new lifestyle shift rather than a goal achieved. We need to reframe our goals to be something we will stick to.
How to check your progress for a progress goal
For a weight loss result, the scales can either be your best friend or your enemy.
Try not to focus on the scales during the weight loss
Use other positive measurables such as:
Did I track all my food this week?
Has my fitness increased during group training?
Has my self-confidence and body confidence increased?
Am I now buying the clothes I always wished I could wear and felt confident wearing them?
Am I trying other forms of exercise? (I.e. running)
Am I making healthier food choices?
Am I getting stronger in my weight sessions?
Am I now seeing shape and tone on parts of my body?
If you set the goal and then make the process enjoyable and one you can sustain, you will keep your result and probably achieve further than you thought you could.
There are two key principles with nutrition and exercise:
Exercise - there is no point setting yourself a running goal for cardio to lose weight if you hate running! If you enjoy going for a walk, make that form of exercise your target and build on that.
Nutrition - if you love bread or pasta and feel restricted when trying to lose weight by eating salad, you won't enjoy it and be able to maintain this way of eating and you will probably over consume calories after that meal(s). Learn to incorporate foods you enjoy into your goals and make it work for you.
We need to adopt behaviours and habits we find enjoyable that we are happy to continue to do over the long term.
Ask yourself - what does the process or journey look like that's going to achieve my desired outcome?
If the process mapped out is enjoyable then you will just happily drum away at it to get to where you want to be and stay.
The long-term approach and process for maintaining a certain level of health is ongoing.
It's going to continue to change over time with the priorities
in your life and what time capacity you have available to commit to
maintaining that long term healthy lifestyle goal.
Make sure you set yourself up for success: "If you expect to be successful, you will be successful".