I wish I could say weight loss was easy. I wish I could say it was like a book that you could just finish, put down and never have to deal with again….that’s a client qoute not mine.

Unfortunately, neither of those statements are true whether you know that already or not.

Through my over 3 years of coaching clients with weight loss/body composition/lifestyle change goals I have noticed some pretty common trends. This is because I have had some clients for 3+ years; thanks again guys!

Stage 1:

  • You commit to one or more small changes that will elicit some results on the scale and in overall health.
  • Changes such as: not drinking soda, eating half a bun instead of the whole bun, eating a green veggie once a day etc. You know, ‘healthy tips’ you can read when you google “how to lose weight.”
  • Things are working and it is great!
  • But, you haven’t truly wrapped your mind around the fact that this is a lifestlye change and not a diet to get in shape for Punta Cana.
  • But, progress is great and there is no end in site so you keep doing what you are doing, not realizing what is coming next….

Stage 2:

  • You hit a plateau in your weight loss after 2 weeks or 6 weeks or 5 months, but still want to lose more. The key here is you can still realistically lose more weight and don’t have overly lofty expectations of your weight loss based off your lifestlye, genetics, age etc. 
  • You give up.
  • You give up because you don’t know what else to do or progress slowed to a halt because this is the first time you have faced adversity in your weight loss journey. Everyone will face plateaus and adversity…this is not easy by any means and you are not alone.
  • This probably sounds familiar because it is 99% of the people on this planet like you have attempted to lose any number of lbs at some point in their life.

Stage 3:

  • The yo-yo diet…I wrote a blog about this a while back…
  • This is that extremely frustrating cycle of gaining and lose the same weight over and over because things just haven’t clicked, or you lose motivation and momentum, or “stuff comes up,” or you just say “screw it.”
  • This not only can be very debilitating to your confidence, it can also very well be making it harder and harder for you to finally sustain that weight loss for good.
  • The more often you lose 10lbs and gain 15lb and then lose 40lb and gain 45lb the more your body will fight back. Remember, your body doesn’t want to lose weight, or more specifically bodyfat. Your body has survival mechanisms to halt fat loss even if you are overweight. Essentially, your body does NOT know when you  are dieting and the more often you put your body through that stress the less results you will get. 
  • This stage can last forever or it can be the the turning point in your life.

Stage 4:

  • The lifestyle change. Yup, still preaching lifestyle change.
  • You realize you need to look at this weight loss thing differently. Instead of setting a goal to fit in a 2 year old bikini just for your vacation this year, you realize that small goal would be a nice result of making serious changes to your health. Changes so you can fit in the bikini for the next 5 years not just for one week!! Damn, that would be nice wouldn’t it?
  • I won’t lie, this stage is hard. It takes the right mindset and the timing needs to be right. It takes work. It takes dedication. The same work and dedication it has taken you to move up the ladder at your company the past 25 years. This is a job!! It isn’t for everyone, but the people who commit to this job will always say it is worth it.
  • You begin to say things such as: “I am doing this so I can live longer,” or “If the weight goes down, great! But, I am focusing on my health first and foremost,” or “I just want to be stronger and more confident,” or “When I lose the 100lbs I NEED to lose, the rest of my life will be so much more satisfying.”
  • You begin to set realistic goals and enjoy the workouts, enjoy the healthier food (it isn’t painful to eat veggies) and enjoy the whole process!
  • But, hold on…

Stage 5:

  • Weight loss stalls again?? What the f***! You have made a lifestlye change and weight loss should be a minimum of 2lbs per week, every single week, right?
  • Wrong…weight loss will slow…and this is natural and healthy.
  • You might be frustrated at first, but you remember you are now in this for the long run and you get back in the saddle and move forward. You have dealt with adversity before and know how to handle it better now.
  • You begin to be happy with other things besides the scale weight. Things like how your clothes fit, how you look in the mirrow, the extra energy you have with the kids etc..
  • Before you know it you haven’t weighed yourself in 6 months and one day decide to hop on…down 10lbs!!
  • You have put a focus on the habits and consistency of those habits and not on the scale weight. Guess what? Results happen.

Stage 6:

  • Maintenance mode or the key to sustainability in regards to weight loss.
  • This is those 6 months I just talked about above. You don’t have a focus on weight loss right now, you are happy with your body and health, but maybe life is too hectic to be on a strick diet to lose those last 8lbs you want to lose.
  • So, you decide to coast for a bit and this is good! Really good!! You need these destresser periods where you aren’t thinking about weight loss 24/7.
  • The one key though is, you don’t take a step backwards with your habits. You are still eating a lot of lean protein and green veggies, still drinking a lot of water and continuing your workout program and getting stronger. Many times people think of this stage as the ‘end of the book’ and this is when they get in trouble. You don’t have your foot on the accelerator, but you aren’t rolling down the hill either. Ya got me?
  • This stage is not only good for your mental psychee, but also crucial for your metabolism to adjust to the weight you have lost. This is a period to restore hormone levels as well. You are eating more food then when you are on a diet and feel great with more energy. Weight is maintainting in a range of 3-6lbs of where you are happy. Life is good.
  • Your ability to have these “maintenance modes” and not lose all momentum is the ultimate determining factor in your ability to keep off the lbs you have lost. The ultimate determining factor. Learning how to properly have periods of maintenance is more important than actually losing the weight to begin with. That is a direct quote from me.
  • This stage can last 2 months, 9 months,  5 years or whatever you need until you want to put the foot on the floor board again and lose some more bodyfat. I was just on a nearly 2 year maintenance mode with my workouts and health. No specific goals, missing random workouts, but still happy. Now, I have tunnel vision on my next goal because the timing is right.

Stage 7:

  • After maintenance mode when the kids move out of the house and you have more “me” time, you hire a coach and get in the best shape of your life. Yes this is completely possible.

So where are you at??

Remember, timing isn’t always right for you to be all in on a weight loss journey and being in ‘coast mode’ is not bad. But, knowing where you are at and being realistic about it is the best way to start.

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