weight loss and maintenance

The real secret to weight loss maintenance

Let’s talk about the ONE thing I get asked the most. How do I maintain the weight that I just lost?

The word MAINTENANCE is honestly something I see getting misused a lot. When MOST people ask me how to MAINTAIN their weight loss, what they MEAN is, “How can I maintain this weight loss, but go back to eating the things that I REALLY love?” Today, I really want to help you think of maintenance differently.

Let’s define maintenance in weight loss

You know I love defining things. So let’s start there. MAINTENANCE refers to the PROCESS of regularly inspecting, repairing, and taking care of something in order to keep it in good working condition and prevent it from deteriorating or breaking down. To PRESERVE something…To UPHOLD it…to KEEP UP. 

I know what you must be thinking. YES! That last part – I want THAT. I want to keep this weight loss! HOW do I do that?

I want you to shift a little bit. How about instead of thinking about how to maintain your weight loss, you think about how to maintain your body?

Let’s indulge in an analogy I love to make: Cars run off intricate systems, meaning that you don’t just put gas in the car and then it magically goes. A lot is happening under the hood. And those systems require regular maintenance if you want them to run for a long time.

Your body is made up of intricate systems, just like your car. See where I’m going? The PURPOSE of maintenance is to ensure that your car is reliable and functions optimally.

So let’s think about weight loss maintenance in the same way. 

Maintenance is learning to look at your body like the ASSET that it is and do everything in your power to take care of it. When you view yourself as an asset first and strive to care for this machine of yours, you aren’t thinking, “What can I get away with?” and still have a working car.

Maintenance is NOT an end goal. It’s a process you keep doing because you love your body and it is important to you.

9 maintenance guidelines for your body

  • Eat whole foods. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need a caloric deficit. If you’re a part of my accelerated fat loss program, you were set at a large deficit. You can play around with different ways to create an overall deficit for yourself based on what works for you.
  • Do not snack. Snacking is one of the easiest ways to lose sight of your macros and sabotage your progress.
  • Prepare your own food as much as possible. This way, you’ll know what you’re putting into your body, and you’ll always have something on hand that aligns with your goals.
  • Get enough sleep every night – aim for 7 to 9 hours. Rest is ESSENTIAL for your body.
  • Move your body. Our bodies are made to MOVE. Find a way of exercising that feels good, and it’ll be easier to stick to a plan. AKA, if you hate running, don’t plan on it. Instead, find a fun class, walk around the park, or even play outside with your kiddos.
  • Lift weights — with good form. Building lean muscle mass accelerates your metabolism because muscle is live tissue that requires energy just to be
  • Learn to manage your stress. Stress eating is NOT a stress management tool.
  • Protect your gut health. A healthy gut improves your overall health. There are even studies demonstrating the gut-brain connection!
  • Lastly, be honest with yourself. It’s easy to place blame on outside factors when it comes to weight loss. But to succeed, you need to take responsibility for your decisions and figure out what works and doesn’t work for you.

When is it time to shift from weight loss to maintenance?

There’s no clear-cut answer as to when you “should” switch from weight loss to maintenance. If you’re looking at this, chances are you’re wondering how to know when you’re ready for maintenance, what much to add back in, and HOW. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Did you reach your goal weight? If so, find your maintenance calories and focus on bringing your maintenance calories UP. If not, continue to implement an overall deficit. If you’re part of Launch, you’re at a big deficit, so we can add some calories back in — while still eating less calories than you’re burning.
  • Find your balance. When you add something, do you know what levers you need to pull? Your levers are your proteins, carbs, and fats. The total of these should either equal the EXACT amount of energy you need to maintain your weight or come in under if you are trying to lose weight. So which levers should YOU pull? Well again, this is nuanced. It depends on things like:
    • What are your MAINTENANCE calories RIGHT NOW? And how much are you trying to lose? 
    • What are your physique goals? 
    • What is your lifestyle like? Sitting at a desk? Manual labor? In between? 
  • What types of workouts do you do? Have you increased the intensity of your workouts? The frequency?
  • Do you have a healthy relationship with food?
  • Do you tend to hop on and off the diet cycle frequently? 
  • Do you have disordered behaviors surrounding food? 
  • If you added something that caused inflammation, can you take the outcome on the scale in stride and just plug back in? Or will you accept it and return to proper fuel? 
  • How is your gut health? Hormone health? Thyroid health? 
  • How do you handle stress in your life?
  • Do you feel supported by your family and friends? Do you have a community that is excited for you when you change? 

Going into a maintenance phase

The point of maintenance is to accept and embrace your “vehicle” and to take care of it. You may be in an already very healthy body and need a few little tweaks and updates. Or your vehicle may be a little more neglected and you have more work to do.

It’s all ok.

The important thing is that you accept where you are and work on the next step. Not thinking about 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years from now. Right now, what is the NEXT thing that YOU need to do? Stop thinking so far ahead and stay in the PRESENT moment. 

Maintenance is not a DESTINATION that you ARRIVE at

It’s not like, I’m here! I lost the weight I wanted! Now what is the magic formula, so I can set this in stone and go back to the way I WAS eating? You won’t maintain ANYTHING doing that.

Maintenance is about doing things with the intention of LOVING this body you are in and wanting to base all decisions on what is best for it.

Do you want to know why 95% of people do not maintain their weight loss?

They tackle the BEHAVIOR change without tackling the psychological changes. We ACT certain ways because we THINK certain ways, and we think a certain way because we BELIEVE a certain way.

We all have different food beliefs that have been engrained since childhood. The foods that we think about and LOVE are based on our beliefs surrounding them. If you have a behavioral habit loop in place, you better believe that there is a mindset habit loop that is driving it. And how will you dismantle that habit loop? It starts by becoming aware that it’s there and just like behaviors, we work on rewiring them.

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