Once we have begun a Fitness Program we then need to look at how do we maintain our motivation and fat losses and fitness gains.
(1) Learn the Techniques for maintaining weight loss;
Those who develop a lifetime habit of exercise manage to maintain their fat loss better according to Dr Tim Wadden from the University of Pennsylvania.
Most successful weight/fat loss maintainers don’t count calories but develop a personal eating plan, exercise regularly and closely monitor their weight and food intake. The best long term maintainers are those who also have a well developed means of coping with stress, so to prevent patterns of over or under eating.
(2) Don’t do anything that can’t be maintained for a lifetime.
Long term weight loss means making changes that are liveable. It is not feasible to stay on a diet for life, which is why diets generally do not work. Nor is it feasible that someone who enjoys a drink of wine will stop for the rest of their lives.
Some changes may take a while to adapt usually 2 weeks, but if you can see yourself happy to maintain the changes for life then this can be realistic, such as reducing fat intake. You will then find that you feel better and it becomes a way of life. If you cannot see yourself maintaining this then try something else.
(3) Appreciate if you are not gaining then you are winning.
Any loss of weight is accompanied by adjustments, which can make further losses more difficult. Natural decreases in body weight do not happen in a linear fashion, but in a series of plateaus. The main thing is to recognise that when you are on a plateau that you are still winning. Only when you start to gain are you losing the battle.
(4) Reduce your Efficiency
Continuing weight loss beyond a certain point is unhealthy. Your body adapts to stop you disappearing. It does this by becoming more efficient at what you have given it to do. Strangely you need to become less efficient again to burn more energy. Changing type, duration or intensity of an exercise or changing the type of food you eat can help do this. If you’ve hit a fat loss plateau, or are about to, becoming less efficient could be just what you need.
(5) Redefine Success
Short term weight loss shouldn’t be a measure of success as it is usually short lived. Other factors on a long term weight loss program should be defined as success markers such as better well being generally, maybe decrease in medication, improved quality of life, greater feelings of energy during the day and less tiredness. When these are used as signals of success there is less concern to actual weight loss. This can have the paradoxical effect of leading to a greater weight loss overall.