Diet Programs and Weight Maintenance

I am the one who got myself fat, who did all the eating. So I had to take full responsibility for it.
--Kirstie Alley
Let me say this right up front:

I have failed at EVERY diet program I have tried.

Yes, in almost every case, I have taken off the weight successfully. That has never been the problem for me.

I'm the Queen of the weight-loss program circuit; I have spent most of my adult life in search of the Holy Grail, the definitive answer to my weight problem.

But I have never been able to keep the lost pounds off.

I want this time to be different; I want to be part of the 5%-7% who keeps the weight off for two years or more.

Who doesn't?

None of us join a program expecting failure in our future.

However, NONE of the existing weight loss programs really address weight maintenance. I believe that Weight Watchers comes the closest but is not quite there yet. Perhaps it's because there is little profit in maintenance programs. Diet programs make their money in the weight-LOSS business, not the weight-MAINTENANCE business.

What I like best about Weight Watchers PointsPlus program: it's a "kinda" maintenance program from the start. I can eat whatever I want, just not everything in sight--which is how most overweight people become overweight. But the truth is, even WW maintenance support could be strengthened.

So what do the successful 5%-7% know that the rest of us has yet to discover? What have they learned about eating?

This is what I suspect:
--In the first place, they had decided to lose weight for reasons that go beyond the superficial: overall improvement in health and well-being.

--They have lost their weight slowly and safely.

--They eat until they are about 80% full because they have learned that 100% fullness will come about 20 minutes later.

--They eat when they are hungry.

--They eat only what they like.

--They rarely engage in unplanned eating.

--They have learned to eat to live, not live to eat.

--On a day-to-day basis, they make healthy nutritional choices--they do not view each day as an excuse to over stuff themselves.

--They never deprive themselves of goodies, but exercise moderation in all good things and opt for smaller portions.

--They rarely skip meals and view breakfast as one of the most important meals of the day.

--If they DO overeat (holidays, special occasions, etc.), they don't see it as an excuse to fall off the wagon for the next five years--they simply climb back on and start over.

--They keep their obsession with the scale in check.

--They track their intake.

--When they go to a buffet, they approach it as a convenience that offers choices, not as a feeding trough.

--Their "diet" is not a temporary situation, but a way of life.

--They regularly engage in moderate exercise, even if it's just walking.
Anyway, I aspire to join the 5%-7% when I reach (once again) maintenance, which is why I'm trying to prepare myself right now, when I'm still 25-30 pounds away.

I have much work to do.

If you have successfully navigated maintenance for two years or more, I would like to hear from you, either in the comment section or here.



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