I used to think of weight loss dieting as a finite process. Once I sprinted to the goal, I had won. The race was over.
So even though I had "won" this race many times over with the help of Weight Watchers, Atkins, Jenny Craig and their ilk, I failed to grasp that weight loss is just the beginning of a much longer and more complicated journey called weight maintenance.
Which isn't even a race at all (though if it were, it would be more marathon than sprint).
In the course of our lives, the amount of time it takes us to reach our ideal weight is a sliver compared to the huge slab of pie that forms the rest of our days.
And just as we need a specific plan for how to lose weight, we need a specific plan for keeping that weight off for good.
The cool part about weight maintenance is that we get to figure out that plan for ourselves. Which brings me to why it's important to give our new way of eating a name.
I just finished reading Refuse to Regain by Barbara Berkeley, which provides a very specific guideline for weight maintenance that revolves around something I'm pretty sure the author made up called the Primarian Diet. This diet plan contains a contradictory jumble of concepts, simultaneously claiming to be to be primal and natural, yet including such "foods" as diet Jello and Lean Cuisine. If you are interested in reading this book and learning more about the Primarian Diet, you can check it out here.
One thing I like about the Primarian Diet is that it has a name; so when Aunt Betty offers you a slice of birthday cake you can say, "Oh, sorry, I'm a Primarian; so I can't eat that." She will be too embarrassed by her ignorance to ask you what the heck a Primarian is and refrain from cajoling you into eating just one little piece.
So as you approach your ideal weight, I encourage you to start researching all the various ways of eating out there and develop your own plan that will allow you to maintain your weight loss once you reach your ideal weight. Just because you lost weight with Medifast does not mean the Medifast maintenance plan will help you be successful at keeping your weight off. You may be better off with a Paleo type diet or adhering to some kind of daily carb/protein/fat macro range -- or just avoiding certain food categories like flour and sugar.
Most likely you will tweak your maintenance diet along the way, but ultimately you will create a customized way of eating that will help you maintain your weight loss over many years.
Oh, and do give your new diet a name. Naming something makes it real and present instead of amorphous and easily forgettable. Not only will your Impressivesoundingname Diet help you fend off Aunt Betty and her carb-riddled cake, it will also help remind you not to eat those nachos or cookies and provide you with self-imposed rules for what you can or cannot eat most of the time.
More from Diet Skeptic:
Why I'm Addicted to Chia Seeds
Why Fat Head Pizza Is the Holy Grail of Low Carb Pizzas
The Shocking Truth About Imported Olive Oil
Making Cauliflower Rice in the Vitamix
Why WebMD Doesn't Want You to Get Well
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