Have you achieved a significant weight loss goal through dieting? If so, congratulations! Now, how do you intend on keeping the weight off? After working with hundreds of clients over the years and 2500+ pounds of fat lost, I’ve concluded that weight loss is easy—Weight management is the real challenge.
What Exactly is Weight Management?
As the phrase implies, weight management is simply the act of maintaining your current body weight. Since over 90% of people who lose weight regain the weight within a 3-5 year period (or less), weight management is typically a primary goal after weight loss (also referred to as weight loss maintenance).
How Can Successful Weight Management Be Achieved?
A basic understanding of how calories work is critical for long-term weight management or weight loss maintenance. Calories are obtained from essential macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) and serve as fuel for the body to carry out vital functions like breathing, eating, and sleeping.
In addition, calories fuel all types of physical activity from taking a shower to strenuous exercise. In light of these facts, you can easily and effortless manage your way by ensuring that the amount of calories you consume from food sources is equal to the amount of calories you expend through physical activity. It’s as simple as that.
So, Why is Weight Management So Difficult?
What makes weight management especially difficult is the simple fact that most people don’t have a solid understanding of just how it works. There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat; therefore, if you want to manage your weight, the amount of calories you take in must always be equal to the amount of calories you expend, indefinitely.
As you may already know, weight loss can be achieved through dieting, exercise, or a combination of both. Many people who have lost a substantial amount of weight through dieting and/or exercise tend to revert back to the same habits that caused their weight gain in the first place.
Dieters reward themselves with their favorite junk foods while ‘exercise haters’ stop exercising altogether once their weight loss goals are achieved. Over time, these unhealthy behaviors can significantly disrupt calorie balance and lead to weight regain.
It’s truly a vicious cycle that totally impedes successful weight management.
The Bottom Line
Weight management requires continued attention to calorie balance. As such, successful weight loss and long-term weight management involves three things: 1) Implementing a weight loss program combining sensible eating with regular physical activity; 2) maintaining sensible eating patterns after achieving weight loss; and 3) continuing to be physically active after weight loss, forever.