Nowhere does the old saying “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail” prove truer than maintaining weight loss.
Losing weight is sexy, exciting, and even fun; maintaining is not, and rebound stats are grim.
One meta-analysis among popular weight loss programs found a “high probability of regaining 50% or more of lost weight in 1 to 2 years.” Another study concluded even more dismally, finding an over-80% relapse rate.
To prevent rebound, maintainers observe a few rules to keep things fresh and stimulating. Over my nearly three decades helping clients make fast fat loss lasting fat loss, I’ve found those who succeed often employ these 4 strategies.
- They start mornings with a protein shake. Protein shakes are my number one needle mover to maintain fat loss because they’re fast, easy, delicious, and effective. Studies confirm what my successful clients know: one meta-analysis found 1 or 2 nutrient-fortified meal replacements could “safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors of disease.”
- They observe meal timing. Clients who maintain fat loss know hunger often becomes the gateway for cravings and nose-diving into a high-sugar impact catastrophe. That’s why they have a protein shake within an hour of waking, eat a low-sugar impact meal every 4–6 hours, and close up the kitchen about 3 hours before bed.
- They plan ahead. Successful losers build in time to get food together so they’re never tempted to skip or eat some high-sugar impact debacle when they’re running late. They make grocery lists, keep their kitchen well stocked, and keep emergency foods nearby. Whether that means getting everything together Sunday night or combining watching a favorite TV program with putting together the next day’s food, they think about it and build it into their schedule.
- They factor in pitfalls. Successful weight loss clients target potential pitfalls, including Sunday family dinners, holiday parties, or a day at the amusement park with the kids. They’re prepared when potentially throw-you-off-your-game situations happen. One of my clients keeps a stash of turkey jerky, raw nuts, almond butter, and apples on hand. If she finds out that she’s going to be away from home all day, she throws some of her high-protein snacks into zip-lock plastic bags and grabs an apple.
If you’ve been successful at fat loss and kept that weight off for 6 months or more, what strategy would you add here?