There’s no better feeling than losing weight, fitting into those old jeans or shaving a couple inches off your waistline.
And while losing the weight is difficult, the even harder part comes after that: maintaining your new weight for the long haul.
Sure, you want to keep your new slim, physique and continue feeling confident and beautiful. But there’s an even more important reason you should want to stay diligent.
It’s harder to lose weight the second time.
It’s true – and many women can attest to it – but losing weight after you’ve regained it is infinitely more difficult than losing it the first time around.
Want to know why? Keep on reading.
Reason 1: Your hormones aren’t helping.
When you were on your first weight loss journey, you probably decreased your calorie intake, right? Well, over time those calorie restrictions can decrease your leptin levels, which give you that “full” feeling after you eat. As these drop, they leave you feeling hungry and empty – even after you’ve just had a meal!
Decreasing your calories can also increase your ghrelin levels, which control your feelings of hunger. Whether you ate this morning or you had a snack 10 minutes ago, high ghrelin levels can leave you feeling downright starving – and that’s not a good feeling if you’re trying to lose weight.
Reason 2: Food is a pawn in your weight loss game.
If you’re constantly dealing with fluctuating weight, then you may have an unhealthy relationship with food. Like many others before you, you’re probably using food as a pawn. Cutting it out helps you lose weight and feel satisfied, but when you get stressed or feel overwhelmed, it’s your one solace. This endless cycle is a vicious one that can keep you losing and regaining weight over and over again.
It’s important to try and develop a healthy relationship with food if you want to maintain a steady weight. Try thinking of food as fuel – something you need to power your body and allow it to get you through the day – and avoid thinking of it as a reward or treat.
Reason 3: You caused metabolic damage.
Constant, unchanging cardio, extremely low-calorie and low-fat diets, and pushing your body to its limits can cause irreparable damage to your metabolism. In fact, according to a recent study, the metabolic rates of people who lose weight versus those who didn’t was actually significantly lower. Resting metabolisms were 72 to 139 calories less per day for those with previous weight loss, while total daily energy expenditure was 428 to 514 less per day.
If your first round of weight loss was a little more extreme than it should have been, then this could be the problem at work. You’ll want to take steps to boost your metabolism as much as possible.
Reason 4: You’ve reverted back to your old ways.
Many times, when people have lost a significant amount of weight (or just reached their goal weight), they think they can “go back” to their old ways of life. They stop “dieting,” they eat those burgers and fries they previously cut out, and they start to decrease their gym and physical activity time.
While it’s true, you probably don’t have to work as hard if you’re not trying to actively lose weight, you can’t just go back to your old unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. You still need healthy, nutritious foods, regular physical activity and a generally healthy lifestyle if you want to keep your new physique.
Reason 5: You’re not changing it up enough.
Just because it worked the first time doesn’t mean it will work the second time around. You have to keep your body guessing. Skip the 5-mile run and opt for interval training instead. Kick those boxed meal plan dinners to the curb, and try making your own meals instead.
Surprise your body, and kick it into high gear. It may be just what the doctor ordered!
What Can You Do?
Now that we’ve gone over the reasons losing that regained weight is difficult, let’s look into some ways you can fight back, and get the weight gone once and for all.
The first and most important thing you can do is keep up your physical activity. Make a conscious effort to continue working out regularly, and don’t stop pushing yourself. Running 2 miles a day may have helped you lose the weight last year, but you have more endurance now. Keep pushing until you can do 3, 4, 5 or even a full marathon.
You can also make sure you’re staying hydrated. Dehydration can cause your metabolism to drop, which makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. Carry around a water bottle, and try to consume about half your body weight in water a day. This will help you achieve optimal metabolic performance.
And most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. You may gain a few pounds here and there, but with a little hard work and some good old dedication, another triumphant weight loss isn’t far behind.
Want more help kicking that regained weight to the curb? Check out my video series or ask me questions in the comments!