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About 80% of people who have lost weight gain it back. Here's how to make sure it doesn't happen to you. Losing weight isn't eas...




About 80% of people who have lost weight gain it back. Here's how to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Losing weight isn't easy, but, in general, people figure it out and get the job done to varying levels of success. The tricky part is keeping it off. Experts believe as any as 80% of us gain back the kilos we've worked so hard to lose, with some ending up even heavier than before. These statistics can be discouraging, but don't lose hope — the flip side is, 20% of us are keeping the weight offl Research into the habits and behaviours of that 20% gives a valuable blueprint to those of us tired of yo-yo dieting.

Our own unique biological makeup, the tendency to be more sedentary and a modern world that promotes cheap, tasty and highly prcxessed foods can make losing weight and keeping it off exceptionally difficult.

We have little power over our genes and our environment, but we do have control over our behaviour: we get to decide when, what, why and how we eat. Consistently making good choices is key.


First off, when you're in the weight-loss phase, it's not to fall into the trap of 'quicker is Have patience. Going on a crash diet or starving yourself sets you up for failure because it is near to sustain. Instead, take this time to figure out which healthy focxls you enjoy eating. This will enable you to develop new and better eating habits that you'll be more likely to stick to. Choosing a sustainable approach means that once you reach your goal, keeping the weight off will [k much easier.



The bottom line is, people who have successfully lost weight have had to make permanent changes to how they eat and behave if they want to maintain that loss. The mindset that you can diet, lose weight and then go back to old habits is a huge part of the problem. You have to continue doing whatever you did to the weight in the first place in the maintenance phase, with perhaps a few minor tweaks. For example, if eating a satiating, protein-rich breakfast helped curb cravings and kept your appetite under control for the rest of the day, keep doing that. Don't go back to breakfast cereals and toast. Think about an athlete who trains hard to reach peak performance. Ih you think they could maintain that level if they suddenly just stopped training? Not likely. Once you've reached your ideal weight and you don't want to lose any more kilos, you could increase your portion sizes or carb intake a little.



We know that certain foods drive hunger and cravings more than others do. Reintroducing high-carb fcyxls and sugar into your diet, in large quantities, will very quickly have those new jeans feeling snug. Ihs this mean you'll never be able to indulge in treats again? No, but you will have to be mindful of frequency and quantity. It can a slippery Foods like protein, healthy fats and fibrous veggies are especially satiating and nutrient-dense, so eating enough of them daily, especially protein, means you won't have to constantly engage super-human levels of willpower to maintain your fat loss. Willpower does take strain after a while!


If a regular exercise routine helped you lose weight, why stop being active now? Exercise is a great way to burn off calories, get toned and feel energised. Studies show that people who lift weights after weight loss are more likely to keep weight Off by maintaining muscle mass, which helps to improve your metabolic rate. Going for a walk or a session at the gym can also be an excellent way to decompress after a stressful day, especially if the alternative is to comfort-eat your way through a big bag of chips. We all know you can't out-run or out-gym a bad diet, but regular exercise does positively reinforce healthy eating goals. 


Find ways to stay motivated and committed to your new lifestyle. Read nutrition and personal development books, subscribe to wellness magazines, join forums online or find an accountability buddy or support group. Encourage your partner to get on lxyard with your new lifestyle. A study examining the health EYhaviours of more than 3 000 couples found that when one engaged in a healthy habit, such as exercise, the other was more likely to follow their example. Another great way to keep your motivation levels high is to educate and support others in their weight-loss journey. Share your story and be proud of your transformation!


We're not saying you should painstakingly weigh your food and count calories or carbs. Nor that you should hop on the bath-scale every day. Catching things early, however, can helpful. Be conscious of how your clothes are fitting: if they're starting to feel uncomfortably tight, take a closer at what and how much you're eating. Have your portion sizes increased? Have too many carbs sneaked back onto your plate? Being self-aware enables you to act quickly.

A good tip is to weigh yourself weekly and take an average for the month to accommodate hormonal fluctuations and fluid retention. It's far easier to lose 2 kg than 10kg. Don't wait until the task to lose the weight you've regained seems too daunting even to try.



There will always be hurdles in your path that can undermine your long-term success. Learn to identify them and develop ways to resolve them before they derail you. For example, if you know that drinking alcohol causes you to make food choices, commit to having only one drink when you're out. If buffet-style restaurants entice you to overeat because you 'must try a little bit of everything', stick with establishments where you can order off the menu. Become a detective in your own life and get to know your strengths, weaknesses and triggers. 


Any changes you'd like to make to your eating plan when you transition to a maintenance phase should done slowly, with an awareness of their effects. You may want to up your carbs a little. Perhaps you'd like to enjoy a glass of wine on the weekend again. These are possible if you're prepared to experiment and back-pedal if necessary. Introducing changes slowly allows you to figure out what your body can tolerate. Suffering from insulin resistance, for example, might mean you need to keep carbs low indefinitely to keep the weight off.

Successfully keeping the weight off involves starting as you mean to finish: consistent, incorporating changes gradually, and correcting your course as you go if you need to. Forgive yourself for any setbacks and keep running the marathon that is maintenance. Adopt this approach and hard-lost kilos will hopefully never catch you again!