Most people regain at least some if not all of the weight they lose. Why? It has a lot to do with one’s mindset going into it, initial and long term goals, careful planning and foresight. It also has a lot to do with the fact that the media keeps bombarding us with information about how we need to lose weight and how to do it. It focuses a lot on how it’ll make us look great and feel awesome. But there’s very little talk about how to keep it off and maintain your new and improved body shape. Losing excess weight is only part of the battle. That’s just the start of the journey but most people don’t think of it that way or simply forget that it’s a lifelong change in attitude and lifestyle. Here are 7 of the most common reasons you regain the weight you’ve lost.
1. Unrealistic Goals
If you set unrealistic goals you’re very unlikely to reach them. And even if you do, it won’t be good for your health and you’re at risk of gaining it back. Studies show that the best goal you can make is to lose 10% of your current weight. Small steps are the best. If you set the goal too high and reach it fast it won’t be healthy weight loss and therefore it won’t have that lasting effect you’re after.
2. Very Restrictive Diets
Crash diets or diets that restrict huge food groups aren’t a good idea either. When you restrict your food intake too much your weight will plummet, but so will your dedication. It’s simply not sustainable and after a short period of time you’ll lose motivation, quit and gain it all back, all because you’re stressing your body too much and not feeding it properly so it’ll start craving all the bad things to restore the energy.
3. Over Exercising
Lots of people choose to exercise every day, sometimes multiple times a day to lose weight. It works at first but again this is not sustainable, especially if you never used to work out before. Going from zero exercise to spending every day at the gym will only make you feel exhausted and make you want to quit. It’s better to start small, 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week and work from there. Another downside of over-exercising is that once you reach your goal you’re very likely to stop exercising as much, and your body will interpret that as “time to gain the weight back”.
4. Underlying Problems
Another common reason people gain back the weight they lost is that it wasn’t the real problem, to begin with. If you’re depressed or struggle with some emotional problems, losing weight won’t really fix it. You’re likely to realise that after all the hard work you’re still unhappy and go back to your old ways. It’s important to address those other underlying problems first.
5. Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for anyone. We’re meant to move around. So if you lost weight and then decided you can now spend hours in front of a TV or your computer and drive to the store 2 blocks away instead of walking – we’ve got bad news for you. All that sitting around is going to result in weight gain. Always stay active!
6. Going Back To Your Old Ways
The most common culprit of gaining back the weight is just going back to your old ways. Many people don’t realise that you can’t just go back to eating as you did before. It’s not how it works. If you were overweight before you need a change of lifestyle, a sustainable diet and exercise regime that you’ll stick with for the rest of your life. If you only stick to it short term, your weight loss will also be short term.
Stress is another reason why people gain weight. You might be doing everything right, eating well, exercising. But when you’re stressed your body is likely to crave all the bad things like chocolates and fast food. And you might think that cheating once or twice won’t change much, but those cheat meals really do pile up.