How To Maintain Weight Loss Long-Term

crop plump woman touching abdomen

Are you tired of all the challenging exercises and still unable to maintain weight loss results that you want? Do you want to return to your old sedentary lifestyle? Weight-loss is a taxing activity and requires a lot of hard work. Sometimes people have a lot of motivation in the beginning, but it soon wears out. They want to resume binge-eating and consuming all those high-calorie meals they were abstaining from while dieting.

Article Summary: In this article, you will learn the reasons for falling back to old habits when dieting for weight loss. Only once the root cause of the problem is known  can one try to solve it. Some of the common causes for the inability to maintain weight-loss in the longer run are as follows:

  1. Setting Unrealistic Targets;
  2. Stress And Depression;
  3. Short-Lived Motivation;
  4. Looking For Shortcuts;
  5. Difficulty With Prioritization.

Setting Unrealistic Targets

Achieving targets gives us a sense of accomplishment. It drives us to excel further. On the other hand, when a person cannot meet their targets, disappointment often turns into resentment and, eventually, the person decides to quit.

When you set unrealistic and non-achievable weekly or monthly targets, you will get stuck in a rut. The solution to this problem is maintaining a journal of weight loss, doing extensive research to opt for the ideal weight loss targets and going easy on yourself in case of any delays. A person should also enjoy a cheat day once a week or fortnightly.

A good goal for the average dieter is to try and lose 2 lbs. per week. If you aren’t sure how much food you need to consume to reach this goal try our calorie calculator here! Or learn more about how to calculate calories for weight loss yourself!

Remember not to be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it can take a while to see the results. If you are working out and dieting try using measurements or pictures, not just the scale to track progress. Another important thing to remember is that 2 lbs. a week may not sound like much but it adds up over time and is a healthy and maintainable way to lose weight.

It’s much easier to have realistic goals if you have some help! This app will let you choose from some realistic weight loss goals.

Depression and Stress

woman holding her head
Photo by Kat Smith on

Depression and stress are the main reason for relapses and gaining weight. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”, is responsible for increased belly fat. The person starts self-loathing and loses all the motivation to train and lose further weight. This can also result in stress eating and consuming high-calorie foods.

If you are struggling with high stress levels or anxiety try some of these methods to deal with anxiety.

It is also important to look for diet and training options that are not highly stressful to you. An 80-20 diet rule is a good way to keep the foods you enjoy and maintain weight loss. Essentially, the goal is to get 80% of your calories from healthy whole foods, and 20% of foods that you enjoy. This helps to maintain positive mental health, prevent diet burnout, and maintain weight loss.

Short-Lived Motivation

A person is usually most motivated when they start losing weight at the beginning of their diet. They have invested time and money in the gym, they are making dietary changes and are starting to see actual results. However, after a while, all the ignition and motivation is lost. People want to fall back into old habits of binge-watching Netflix, eat chips and drink soft drinks. Losing weight requires a lot of commitment throughout the tenure.

Make sure to only commit yourself to maintainable diets and training routines so as not to burn yourself out too quickly. Another way to keep up motivation is to set a goal with an end date. Some examples would include hitting a certain weight before a vacation, or committing to a strength or physique competition. These goals with end dates will help keep you focused on the result you want more than how little you want to diet or train on one particular day.

You may also find the article Keeping Motivation to Lose Weight: 12 Actionable Tips interesting if you are struggling with this part!

Looking for Shortcuts to Maintain Weight Loss

Losing weight is a lifestyle change and not a one-time activity. People often try to lose weight by taking weight-loss supplements and crash dieting. Initially, they will even do enormous amounts of strenuous exercises without even taking a day off. As soon as they stop these unsustainable activities, they will likely gain back the weight they had lost. Sometimes even more.

These shortcuts are not sustainable in the long-term. A person must be willing to invest time and energy to make lifelong changes to their lifestyle if they want to lose weight and maintain it.

Don’t get discouraged by the idea of changing your life in this way. Take it in slow manageable steps. The first step might be tracking your calories. Step two could be setting calorie goals. Be sure you give yourself enough time to get comfortable with one change before making the next. This might take you a couple days, or even a few weeks. That’s okay! Consistency is what will make all the difference when trying to maintain weight loss.

Difficulty with Prioritization

feeling stuck at work can make it difficult to maintain weight loss

In today’s era, everyone is busy in their daily routines. A person usually gets stuck in the office, socializing, studies and catering to family needs. More often than not, people have no time left to look after themselves. Weight-loss exercises require time and consistency. A person facing difficulty in taking time out for regular physical activities will likely struggle to lose additional weight.

It’s important that you are very real with yourself when making this kind of change in your life. How important is it to you? Are you willing to miss your favorite show or social gathering to get the long term results you want? Or are you only able to commit when there is not something else already going on?

Regardless of your answer, it is important to only set goals that can be achieved within the level of commitment you have. This isn’t a bad thing! But while choosing a diet or training change think about the amount of time the change you are committing to will require. If you don’t have much time to commit try starting with 3 training days a week and limiting portion sizes of the foods you are already eating.

Bottom Line When Trying to Maintain Weight Loss

Resistance to weight loss is quite common and discourages a lot of people. Keep yourself motivated throughout your weight loss journey. Be willing to adapt to this new lifestyle and make it a fun activity instead of making yourself feel suffocated. Learn new weight loss techniques and give yourself a breather regularly!

In 2013 I attended TVCC with my studies focusing on nutrition and biology. After leaving TVCC I pursued a career in inbound marketing and have worked in many different industries including health and fitness, firearms, coaching, and many more. I spent 6 years training for powerlifting and 6 years after training for a bodybuilding show in Idaho, which sadly did not come to fruition.

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