Why Regaining Weight Is So Common & What to do About It

Having dropped 75 lbs from her 215 lbs during her senior year in college, Summer Foster thought she has nothing to do with dieting again in her life.

She hovered around 140 lbs weight for the next four years – even slipping to 128 pounds at a point.

But everything changed when Summer moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles for a sedentary job with a big 3-hour round trip daily commute, and nearly everything changed. She eliminated her workouts, slowly moved away from her meal prep routine, and began to snack.

Summer, a digital marketer, and blogger who writes to inspire people to live a balanced life, says:

If I had meetings, I’d have doughnuts or bagels from the breakfast tray, then sandwiches for lunch, then cookies in the afternoon.

She says that she put on 28 pounds within the next nine months. It wasn’t until she got photos back from her bucket list vacation to Thailand that it finally struck her.

When my best friend sent me a book of photos she made to memorialize our trip, all I could think about was how I looked in the pictures. I was devastated and couldn’t believe that I was slipping backward and didn’t notice. Rather than reflecting on the great memories we made, all I could see was my round face, muffin top, and cellulite.

When you regain weight after having lost it, it’s almost more damaging.

You have felt the confidence from your accomplishments, fitting into your clothes, and generally feeling good. For many people, backtracking triggers defeat and is intensified by their history and experience.

One of the most common emotions we hear from our clients who regain weight after losing is the unshakable shame about the setback and the worry that others will notice.

Regaining weight is not uncommon

According to various studies, most people gain back what they have already lost, whether they lose it slow or fast. And that can take a mental toll on anyone.

The vicious cycle of losing and regaining weight is the natural cycle of weight loss through dieting. But somehow, we as a society have convinced ourselves it’s our fault.

When people regain weight, they struggle with feelings of shame, failure, low self-esteem, and guilt. Some people blame external factors, such as significant life changes, changes in exercise due to their schedule, and outside influences, such as a partner who sets them up for sabotage. Others place the blame on themselves, thinking they had low motivation or lack self-control.

But we’ve got some hopeful news: An extensive study of approximately 3000 people who have shed at least 30lbs for a minimum of one year found that 87% of participants were able to maintain at least 10% of that weight within ten years.

4 Tips For Losing Weight The Second Time Around

Getting back in your best shape may require adjusting your eating habits and becoming more enthusiastic about fitness. And it is possible. Doing this will set you up for weight-loss success in the long term. More importantly, it would help if you examine the strategies you use to lose weight and ensure that you emphasize your plan to maintain.

Although you may not be as excited as you were when losing weight the first time, you are coming back to the best version of yourself.

1. Get started as soon as possible

Take action immediately when you notice the numbers on the scale are creeping up. It is so much easier to lose 2-3 pounds than 10-15 pounds.

An object in motion stays in motion – an object at rest is hard to get going. This way, you’ll stay focused and will be more successful in getting the weight back off.

A recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proves that this is true. It concludes, “Preventing small regains from turning into larger relapses appears critical to recovery among successful weight losers.”

One of the biggest challenges we see with clients beginning a diet is that their focus and drive are to achieve the goal. Rather than realizing a diet has a beginning and end, creating the lifestyle to maintain is equally essential.

At BioIntelligent Wellness, one of our most successful programs, Ideal Protein diet, focuses on weight loss in phase 1, stabilizing losses in the second phase, and maintenance in the third phase. This program is incredible for fast weight loss and successful maintenance – especially for those who “transition” off the diet and into maintenance. There are many people who skip the transition, and eventually, they come back having regained.

Was it the diet that didn’t work? No, that’s why they come back.

Ideal Protein is predictable and works without a doubt, for it addresses the real issue that your body and mind have diminishing points of return and can’t indefinitely stay in weight loss mode forever.

Fundamentally, this is where things get tricky. Many people who lose weight through dieting either believe that they need to continue dieting the same way to maintain, or feel that since they hit their goal, they can go right back to their old lifestyle.

Both assumptions will set you up to regain. And that is why we focus on a transition off a diet equally as being on a diet.

Most clients struggle with their weight because they don’t even know what THEIR body requires in terms of nutrition and exercise. This problem is why we utilize Resting Metabolic Rate testing as part of all of our weight loss programs, giving our clients real, personalized maintenance plans based on their personal needs.

2. Know that your body is different

If you have fewer pounds to shed this time around, you may have to adjust your strategy.

Summer depended on low-calorie staples, such as canned soup, pre-packaged cookies, and diet soda, when she initially lost weight. However, the weight did not come off as quickly the second time.

Summer says,

It was a slower process initially this time around, and I quickly realized I had to find different tactics. My perception of a healthy “diet” actually changed a lot when I joined a structured weight loss program. I finally had a strategy that took a scientific approach to lose weight, and I learned a lot. My coach gave me a blueprint for a plan she promised worked for everyone but told me that my focus would be on the learning. Portion control, macronutrients, and planning were my focus this time around.

3. Exercise to control your hunger hormones

It’s common knowledge that exercise is essential to keep off weight. But, what many people don’t know is that it does more than help burn calories.

Research indicates that frequent exercise sessions could help control your appetite and make you feel more satisfied after eating. This key may be essential for weight maintenance.

According to the American Academy of Sports Medicine, an average person needs 150-250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week to lose weight and over 250 minutes per week to maintain it.

In addition to the weight benefits of exercise, we see the stress management and self-care benefits being keys to long term weight loss. Many who regain weight cite stressful life changes as being the reason they got off track. Those that prioritize movement have better coping skills for stressful times – back to the laws of energy and the adage that the energy can neither be created nor destroyed; only transferred.

4. Aim for a sustainable goal.

Health experts believe that one of the main reasons people gain back weight is the desire to make up for the deprivation experienced when they are dieting.

In the case of Summer, she was very focused on shedding 80 pounds that she became burned out, trying to eke out the last 10 pounds. To accomplish the 75-pound loss, she finished her dieting stink with extreme tactics such as limiting herself to one meal a day and would get on the scale throughout the day.

When Summer came to work with us, she was blown away at how much food we included in her Ideal Protein Phase 1 diet; she was convinced there would be no way she would lose. Also, we told her that her previous goal weight was way too low and didn’t account for her body fat.

Once she saw the difference between 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of muscle AND understood how crucial maintaining muscle mass after the diet is, we finally could help her expand her vision of her goal.

So the second time around, she went for Ideal Protein, which has three phases and took a more scientific approach to losing weight and maintenance.

She was blown away when she got to her new goal weight 150 lbs and wore her clothes from when she was 140 comfortably. She was relieved because she thought she needed to get back to 128 to be happy in her mind.

When she realized that her new goal looked better than her previous goal and would also allow her to maintain comfortably, when she hit maintenance, she planned for her lifestyle, which included occasional treats of wine and chocolate and cheese. She felt so much better this time.

In addition to feeling confident and lean, she was also focused on being healthy and strong.

What we learned….

It may not be as easy as losing weight the first time, but you can do it with the right plan. This time, you will be returning to the best version of yourself, which won’t be solely defined by your weight, but by how you feel.

The Ideal Protein diet combines medically-tested science of weight loss and nutrition with impeccable coaching. It’s just not a diet – it is the ideal way of living a healthier, happier life.

Are ready for the ultimate weight loss diet? Want to get rid of that weight regaining cycle? BioIntelligent Wellness has the answer. Schedule a complimentary consultation today and learn how to win the battle from our nutrition experts.

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