Even though it’s challenging, we do celebrate patients reaching their medical weight loss goals all the time! And if you’ve ever looked around at the magazine racks while waiting in line at the grocery store, you’ve seen the splashy headlines announcing miraculous weight loss results for both celebrities and regular people. People succeed at weight loss all the time! But then, as we switch gears into weight maintenance, some experience a bit of frustration or even regain a few pounds. Why?
You can’t go back to your old way of eating. A medical weight loss plan is a permanent lifestyle change, rather than something you do for a little while to change your body composition. Because you’re now a smaller size, your body needs less energy to maintain that size. In other words, your metabolism has slowed a bit. So you can’t go “off” the eating plan and return to your former diet.
However, continuing your workouts will help quite a bit with keeping your metabolism burning. In particular, strength building exercise keeps muscle on your frame, and muscle uses more energy than fat.
Your hormones have shifted. When your body experiences a significant weight loss, it might alter production of hormones that regulate appetite. Your hormones can actually make you crave foods that would make the lost weight begin to reappear, so sometimes an appetite suppressant is needed to help patients adjust.
You think about food all the time. Learning about nutrition and portion sizes is a good thing, but there is one unintended negative effect: All this focus on food can make you want to eat more regularly! Over time your focus will hopefully shift, especially as you pursue a well-rounded life full of activities that you enjoy.
You might have fallen into the “good versus bad” trap. It’s a funny trick of human psychology: When something is forbidden, we often want it even more. That’s why we encourage our clients to focus on healthy eating patterns, rather than designating foods as “good” or “bad.” You don’t want to accidentally trick yourself into craving certain foods even more than usual!
If you find that you’re struggling with weight maintenance after your medical weight loss success, schedule a check-up with us. We can help to identify your specific challenges and get you back on track to a healthy, permanent lifestyle.