With the diet industry being a multi-billion dollar industry and with the prevalence of obesity continuing to climb, it can seem there are many diets, programs and supplements to lose weight.
What can be discouraging is that many people get caught in rebound dieting where they lose weight, regain the weight and go on a diet again, etc. going from one diet to the next.
There are many reasons people can regain weight after weight loss. However, there does not need to be fear that weight loss always ends in regaining weight.
Here are some common reasons people regain weight and some tips to avoid regaining weight.
Short term instead of long term mind set
One of the biggest reasons some people jump from weight loss diet to weight loss diet is that they have a short-term mindset instead of a long-term vision.
The word “diet” can have a short time frame associated with it. However, in order for true long term weight loss to occur, lifestyle changes have to be made that may need to be altered for the rest of a lifetime.
So many times people understand that weight loss requires life changes and habits need to be altered.
However, sometimes people think once they have hit their weight loss goal, they can go back to eating how they used to eat and go easier on the exercise.
Weight maintenance can be just as hard as weight loss, and the same diet changes and exercise patterns that got you to your goal weight shouldn’t be checked at the door once you reach your goal weight.
People hopping from one diet to the next often have the approach that weight loss is short term, but long term weight loss doesn’t happen because they don’t make long term changes.
All or nothing mentality
Making healthy choices and maintaining a healthy weight can be a journey of ups and downs and is usually not a straight line for most people. There will be days you eat better for your body and days you don’t.
An all or nothing approach to weight maintenance means you are either doing everything “right” for eating healthy, exercise, stress levels, etc. for your health or once you get derailed, you make everything not a healthy choice.
For example, if someone does not exercise for a day when they wanted to, a person with an all or nothing approach would think something to the effect of, “Well, since I blew my exercise, I may as well not eat healthy today.”
All or nothing mentality can interfere with weight maintenance success because any set back through lifestyle choices derails all other choices.
Instead of totally derailing everything after an unhealthy choice, recognize that your other choices can be positive and get back on track without beating yourself up or getting stuck.
What type of weight did you lose?
Some fad diets promote quick weight loss, which can be mostly water weight or lean tissue weight. This type of weight gain can be easy to put right back on again. Therefore, people hopping from fad diet to fad diet tend to not stick with their weight loss.
Losing fat mass may be harder, but usually tends to not fluctuate as quickly as losing water weight.
Tips to avoid regaining weight
The National Weight Control Registry analyzes information of thousands of people who have lost weight successfully long term. The range of weight loss is between one to sixty-six years with weight loss ranging from 30 pounds to 300 pounds.
What makes these people successful in their weight loss? The way people lost weight on this registry is mixed; some people went through a structured program and some people lost the weight on their own.
Diet change and exercise was common in almost all NWCR participants. Here is a list of what people on the NWCR continue to do for weight maintenance:
-Most of participants eat breakfast every day.
-Most of participants keep track of their weight at least weekly.
-Most of participants limit their time watching tv.
-Most of participants exercise of an average of 60 minutes per day.
In general, these successful losers continued with their healthy lifestyle changes to keep the weight off.
Successful weight loss will occur when…
Seeing weight loss long term instead of a short term fix is needed to successful weight loss. Continuing to make healthy lifestyle choices is just as important during weight maintenance; once you hit your goal weight it does not mean you can now eat whatever you want and stop exercising.
If you get derailed in making healthy choices, get back on the train instead of staying stuck and defeated. Just because you make one unhealthy choice with food intake or exercise doesn’t mean the rest of your choices need to also be negative.
People who are successful long term with weight loss indicate that they still watch their food intake and exercise a significant amount daily; it didn’t stop after weight loss.