You work so hard for weeks and weeks, months even and have wonderful weight loss and body transformations only to regain it all back. Hmmm I see this all the time, heck I have even experienced it. I have been in the health and wellness space for over 15 years and I have seen every possible scenario as to “why many people REGAIN the weight after it has been lost”.
With this in mind, let me share a hard truth: behind every great weight loss plan is an even better weight maintenance plan. And when I mention weight loss through this article please keep in mind this also falls into the category of fat loss, change in body composition etc. it is not always the numbers on the scale.
Why is weight regain so common? Check out these five reasons I see most often, along with tips for continuing your success.
You Need a New Goal
You’ve lost the weight – now what? You’re done?
I tell my clients all the time that one of the best ways to avoid weight regain is to consider new goals and finish lines to pursue post weight-loss that help reinvent yourself and provide focus on bettering your health and wellness and fitness level.
One of the best things a coach (like myself) sees from their client is when they can maintain their weight loss and find new passions in life. Running, competing, participating in 5k/10k’s, trying new workouts.
Finding these passions not only helps make maintenance mode more enjoyable but also serves as a perfect setting within which to set new goals to keep the weight off for good. Instead of fixating on losing weight, you go after improving your 10K time or increasing your max load on your next squat or deadlift. Focusing on getting stronger vs numbers and scales.
2. Your Plan Wasn’t a Long-Term One and Sustainable for a Lifestyle
Drastically cutting calories, eating little to no food, spending hours a day in the gym – they’re efforts that can be to some extent effective at weight loss, yet they are extremely difficult (and unhealthy) to maintain as long-term behaviors or habits. I feel like many men and women (especially women) resort to this when they feel like it is “not happening fast enough”. I feel like we all know the proper ways to live out a healthy life but it is very easy to turn to drastic measures.
Although these types of plans can be appealing, most often they provide very short-term success and rapid weight regain. Even worse, these attempts can also lead to detrimental impacts on both your lean tissue (good bye muscle) and metabolism, causing you to gain more body fat than you had in the first place!
To avoid this from happening, make a point from the start of your weight loss to focus on habits that make your body healthy and that support your metabolism. If you find yourself already at this rebound stage, work with a trainer/coach to determine what habits have the best return for rebuilding muscle tissue, supporting your health and avoiding future weight regain.
3. Your Metabolism Shifted
Our metabolisms can shift (or become less optimal at maintaining our current weight) for a bunch of different reasons.
As I like to describe it, there are several areas that make up metabolism, including estrogen/testosterone balance, thyroid function, cellular health, and stress hormone levels, which at any point (as a result of environmental toxins, behaviors, aging, etc.) can cause weight gain and other symptoms that impact our health and appearance.
Knowing this, I am super passionate about my clients doing some sort of blood panel including other tests like stool, urine and saliva that can monitor gut health. It is crucial to be aware of what is going on in your body so that you can follow the best nutritional program for you.
It’s also important to note that what you did to lose weight initially may not work again. If you remember that your metabolism is dynamic and that many factors will influence it over time, you’ll be more willing to check it on a regular basis to help determine how and when to make periodic adjustments.
4. You’ve Started a New Chapter
Career change, job loss, getting married, moving – these are all major life changes that happen for my clients who experience weight regain.
Many of these major life changes (whether negative or positive) can cause an increase in anxiety and stress that often lead to unhealthy behaviors like emotional eating (or drinking), which can throw us right back into a weight gaining state.
In these times, stress management is key. I like to tell my clients that life is going to happen, and stress is inevitable. No diet or exercise routine can overrule the impact that stress can have on your body. Being mindful of stress and having tactics to help combat it is always a great idea. I have let stress get the best of me many times and it only left me tired, unmotivated and anxious.
Some of my favorite stress management tactics include daily meditation, a regular exercise routine, reading, keeping a gratitude journal and finding moments through the day for alone time.
5. You Lost Your Accountability.
Whether it is a workout partner or an actual trainer or coach, most of us find the best weight loss success when we have some sort of accountability for our new and healthy behaviors.
With most of my clients, once they achieved their weight loss goal, we’d create an ongoing coaching plan for one visit each month or every other month. That simple appointment (over the phone or in person) offered the opportunity to discuss new goals, to share strategies or to simply check in about how they were doing.
I always found these clients were the most successful long term because having that scheduled appointment was accountability for their success but also to provide an ongoing sense of support, since I was going to continue to be there if they needed me or if life presented changes or obstacles.
If you do not have a trainer or coach then enlist an accountability friend to check in with or to continue your fitness journey with. Try new things , new workouts , group classes…make appointments with yourself. It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard, make it fun and stay positive and you will continue to be healthy from the inside out.
Thank you so much for reading!
If interested in working with me please check out my website feliciaromero.com or email me at FeliciaMRomero@gmail.com
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