Maintaining weight loss relies on two core principles: the right attitude and realistic expectations.
The human body is not designed to shed a large number of pounds in a short amount of time. Pounds are added gradually, pounds need to come off in the same manner. On many balanced diet programs, you might see a dramatic loss in the first several weeks. This is “water weight buildup.” When you actually start burning off fat, a loss of one to two pounds a week…including weeks where you might not lose a single pound…is normal, and to be expected.
The human body, including the human mind, needs certain things to feel “normal” and “balanced.” If you have eaten certain foods all of your life….even if some of your choices may not be the healthiest…it’s not a good idea to “pull the rug from under” your long-established habits.
A fitness trainer at the YMCA once shared a secret for craving “salty snacks” such as potato chips…kosher dill pickles. That may surprise you, but it actually works. You may not feel an immediate fair trade the first time you want to enjoy potato chips, but a couple of crisp dill spears can, and will, satisfy the salt cravings.
When Jean Nidetch formed Weigh Watchers in 1963, it was an organization that is worlds away from the one that we know today. The core diet consisted of lean meats such as beef and chicken, “limited” vegetables such as peas and carrots, “unlimited, eat all you want” vegetables such as French style green beans, bread, fruit, and more…all strictly portion controlled. You did not starve yourself on this diet, but you were also required to give up many foods that you might have enjoyed previously. Through a series of cookbooks, Weight Watchers sought to provide recipes that “came close” to the tastes its members craved. You knew you weren’t eating that slice of pizza, but the toasted slice of bread with tomato, low-fat melted cheese, and Italian seasonings was close enough to your favorite “slice,” especially if you knew the pounds were coming off while you enjoyed it.
Ms. Nidetch sold Weight Watchers to the H.J. Heinz Corporation in 1978, and the years have seen many changes as the program shifted to a “points” system. This system allowed members to enjoy most foods, but in moderation.
The secret is finding a way to make the best deal that you can with yourself. You have to fully commit to reaching your target weight goal. You have to understand that everything in life represents choices, both good and bad. What you eat today will be with you tomorrow, either in the form of excess pounds or a healthy, fit physique.
Maintaining weight loss is a simple process that we over-complicate by failing to establish our priorities and managing our expectations. I invite you to click on the “Personal Coaching” link of my Website to learn more about how I can help you establish, reach, and maintain your weight loss goals.