Your fitness journey doesn’t stop after losing weight. Maintenance is another story and it’s where many of us weight loss buffs tend to falter. It’s totally fine to celebrate the milestone of attaining our desired weight, but we should be willing to continue the healthy habit. Otherwise, we’ll be looking for ways on how to lose weight after gaining it back.
Relapsing on your weight loss efforts shouldn’t discourage you from continuing. You’re not alone on this dilemma. As someone who’s continuously living a fit lifestyle, I’ve also gone into many diet mishaps that resulted in me gaining the weight back. The biggest consolation in all the failures is that you can always restart the whole process.
If you want to lose weight and keep it this time, we need to start by understanding how you regain the pounds in the first place:
Why you regain lost weight
Remember this: fats are easy to gain but hard to lose.
When I started losing weight, my mind is set to burning the fats. However, what happens after that is obscure. I have no plans. All I want is to look good that summer. And that’s one of the biggest problems about the whole process.
I wasn’t prepared to maintain my slimmer body. I have no plans for living a healthy life. All that matters during that point is the result.
This might be the same case with you or you’ve experienced the following points:
➕You forgot about it. It’s easy to drown in the euphoria of attaining our weight loss goals. In the process, we tend to forget what this is all about in the first place. Soon enough, we’re downing tall glasses of beer in our friend’s party or we’re beating someone in an eating challenge.
➕You stopped exercising. Alright, I’m guilty about this one and I think we shouldn’t be ashamed about admitting it to ourselves. After seeing the results, we prefer to take it easy and enjoy the fruits of our hard labor. It’s reasonable: we’ve been through strict dieting and exercise. However, that respite turns out to be indefinite. We stop exercising, thus the fats start to creep back in.
➕You became unrealistic. In the course of maintaining our weight, we often get hooked to some unrealistic diet fads and supplements that promise quick results. Thinking of how to lose weight fast without exercise? The last thing we know is that we’re pinching a new layer of fat in your belly.
➕You start compensating. “I’ll eat more now and exercise longer later”. When you bargain with exercising more after eating more, you’re not winning. This idea of compensating doesn’t always succeed. Often times, you’ll feel lazy about doing that ‘extra’ exercise. Worse, you won’t remember it at all.
The myth about weight loss
Many weight loss buffs think that losing weight is a one-shot process. Once you’re already slim, you’re off the hook and you can now return to your usual routines. But the truth is that the amount of work you did when losing weight is the same amount of work you need to exert to keep your figure.
There are no shortcuts or easy ways out when it comes to knowing how to lose weight after gaining it back. Never believe any supplement that tells you that it will make you fit in a matter of weeks. Truth be told: most of the weight you’ll lose through these slimming drinks is water weight. You’ll also stand the chance of being dehydrated due to the laxative and diuretic nature of these products.
Also, stop rationalizing that you can always compensate your excessive eating with more exercise. There’s a high chance that you won’t. And even if you do, it’s not healthy to force your body to do strenuous exercise for more than 45 minutes.
Slowing your roll
After recognizing the errors we’ve encountered along the way, it’s now time to get back up in the weight loss process. We can do this slowly and with careful preparation. If you want to lose weight and keep it, you have to commit to it, not just in the meantime, but for the rest of your life.
This shouldn’t mean weight loss will be a life-long sentence. In fact, you can find ways to enjoy it. It’s just a matter of getting used to it and establishing a solid routine to follow:
➕Recount the calories
Let’s start where we first stumbled. We won’t gain it if we didn’t eat it. With this, we need to understand the concept of ‘energy gap’. When we’re trying to lose weight, our needed energy gap is around 200 calories if we are to lose 10% of our total weight. But if we are maintaining the weight, the energy gap will be lower at 100 calories for the same scenario. If you want to know how to lose weight fast without exercise, energy gap would be the plain answer.
At this point, we’re going to stick at the energy gap for losing weight. Once we achieve the ideal weight, that’s the time when we will switch to the maintenance energy gap.
What happens if we fail to follow the concept of the energy gap? Pounds will start to creep back. The goal here is to prevent having any surplus energy that our body will store as fats. The bigger the weight you need to lose in contrast to your body mass, the bigger the energy gap should be.
➕Plan your meals
The only way that you can stop consuming extra calories is by keeping a close eye on your meals. Sure, this will require extra effort but it’s worth it if you want to lose weight fast. This includes all your meals as well as the snacks in between.
This part will depend on the calorie deficit you need to attain. A nutritionist or a self-calculation will determine the exact amount here. To give you a clue, cutting back 3,500 calories a week will burn you one pound given that you don’t change your routines. However, if you have 20 pounds to lose or more, it’s a bit unsettling to wait that long. This is the reason why we need to pair the diet plan with the perfect exercise. But how to lose weight fast without exercise? This is possible but I’m afraid the progress would be limited in such a case.
I can’t stress this enough: you have to stop compensating. It’s not healthy and it’s not going to work. Trying to compensate with your workout is a guaranteed way to sabotage your weight loss progress. What’s worse about compensating is you’ll dwell on resting after the extended workout. This spells trouble for the entire plan.
What you need to do instead is to stick on your planned meals, routines, and in maintaining the energy gap. That way, you can know how to lose weight after gaining it back.
Considering weight loss as a lifestyle
If you’re wondering how you can maintain weight loss for good, the answer is by treating it as a lifestyle instead of a burden. Most of us look forward to the end of the routine not knowing that there’s no finish line when it comes to fitness.
Make exercise a habit and not just something you’ll do whenever it suits you. That way, you can stop head-counting the hours you spend at the gym. Fitness should come as second nature. Although you’ll have to say goodbye to your binge-eating weekends, the discipline is worth all the sacrifice. Do you want to risk all your hard work and go back to being unhealthy again?
Exercise is the key
After fixing your diet, it’s now time to discuss the other major ingredient to successful weight loss: exercise. The only way to burn the surplus is to move. However, it shouldn’t be a random thought like you suddenly woke up earlier than usual so you decided to take a run.
You should give the same attention to exercising as much as you do with what you eat. If you’re busy, you can always squeeze in a 10-25-minute HIIT routine before or after going to work. You can also explore other options like yoga and spin classes.
To lose and maintain weight, it’s important to do a combination of strength training and cardio routines.
NOTE: You should only work out for 3-5 days a week. Your muscles will recuperate on the remaining days while initiating weight loss.
If you’re looking for a strength training routine to follow, I suggest this one from HASfit. This works for men and women plus you only need a pair of dumbbells to make it happen. Remember, this is hard work. If this routine proved to be difficult for you, feel free to consult a local trainer in your area. That person can tailor a workout for you based on your body type.
As for the cardio routine, you can take rounds at the treadmill or on an indoor spin. Anything that will raise your heart rate without the risk of injury will do. As for me, taking a run for 30 minutes works well as a way on how to lose weight after gaining it back.
Careful about the plateau
Let’s address the elephant in the room: weight loss plateau. There’s a chance that your gained weight will burn fast only to experience a screeching halt. When no more fats are being burned despite its abundant presence, the plateau happens.
You don’t have to worry since this can occur at some point. What you need to do is to stop fats from forming while you look for ways to go past the stoppage.
The common fix for this is to increase the intensity of your workout. Again, as you progress in losing weight, the more that you should focus on the intensity more than the length of exercise. This way, your muscles experience a new level of strain instead of getting used to the same level of workout you keep doing.
Also, it will help to take a look on your diet. You might be slipping or eating excess carbs more than you actually think. You’re possibly lacking in protein too which is needed to help metabolize fats fast.
Sticking to the routine
I know that it’s difficult to stick to a routine, but you’ll thank yourself later when you’ve finally got past the on and off of weight loss. Experts discovered that those who succeed in maintaining their weight loss for two years are more likely to keep it. Still, the two-year mark isn’t a ticket for you to quit your healthy ways. No matter how dedicated you are within those two years, slacking can put your efforts to waste.
The longer you can keep the weight, the better for you. After you attained your desired weight, the decision to stay healthy is all in your hands.
Surviving the holidays
One of the biggest challenges to maintaining an ideal weight is coming out alive after a festivity. The holidays are filled with food, drinking sprees, and endless calories masked as your guilty pleasures.
First off, you don’t have to starve; you just have to know how to eat moderately. Sure thing, you’ll gain excess pounds along the way but then again, the choice is in your hands. It’s not that you shouldn’t join celebrations or eat-outs. You just have to be smart with your food options.
If you’re hosting the event, you might as well cook something for yourself – low in calories, but still delicious and healthy. It also helps if your friends are supportive of your weight loss goals.
Always keep an eye on your portions and be friends with protein. You may want to skip the Pecan pie and the desserts covered with tons of sugar. Lastly, don’t stress out too much. Remember that your stress hormones stimulate your appetite. When that happens, your calorie count is on the wringer.
Knowing how to lose weight after gaining it back is a matter of discipline. You should be willing to commit to it as a lifestyle and not just a momentary pause from your unhealthy routines.