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When we think of following a weight loss plan, we tend to focus on the temporary: What do I need to eat or do, how much, and for how long, before I achieve my goal weight? But since human nature doesn’t always prompt us to think far into the future, our imaginings often stop at the goal. Then we feel surprised when, after losing a significant amount of weight, that number on the scale starts to creep back up again.
You did what you were supposed to do, and you reached your goal. So why are you re-gaining lost weight? The answer could be a bit different for each person, but will generally involve one or more of these reasons.
Your metabolism has changed. Your body senses weight loss as an emergency (as though you’re enduring a famine or other natural disaster) and attempts to hold onto energy by lowering your metabolism. It might even release hormones that trigger hunger and cravings, in an attempt to trick you into re-gaining the lost weight.
Rest assured that in time, your body will adjust to its new composition. In the meantime, stick to your eating regimen and sip water regularly. Dehydration can trigger additional cravings and slow metabolism even more.
Your weight loss plan was a drastic lifestyle change. If you gave up entire food groups or severely restricted your calories, the plan might have worked wonderfully to help you shed pounds. Unfortunately, you probably viewed this severe restriction as a temporary change (even if only subconsciously) and promised yourself you could “go back to normal” after you reached your goal.
Of course, if you go back to your old eating habits, you will probably regain lost weight. A better way to approach weight loss is by making permanent lifestyle changes incrementally, so that they are absorbed into your routine and become your new “normal”.
You forgot to address underlying factors. What caused your weight gain in the first place? Was it a health condition, limiting lifestyle factors, or emotional over-eating? Perhaps something else? If you don’t address the reasons you become overweight in the first place, any weight loss success is more likely to be a temporary fix. Make your success permanent by addressing underlying causes of weight gain, and you’re more likely to stay at your new lower weight.
Of course, one final solution for weight regain is to seek consistent medical attention and support. A doctor-prescribed weight loss plan, along with adequate support services, is more likely to lead to long term weight loss. Give us a call and we’ll help you analyze your needs and adopt a plan for success.