I am so proud to say that 8 weeks after finishing my HCG Diet I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss!
The thought of maintaining can be intimidating. After all, you go from eating hardly anything to doubling your caloric intake overnight. I have gotten several emails from people who are terrified to gain weight back after finishing their diet. The transition seems impossible and frustrating. I completely understand this feeling, but after doing maintenance 4 times, there are some things I've learned that I feel are worth sharing.
Here are my 5 tips for maintaining weight loss after the HCG Diet.
1. Take it day by day
It is incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by maintenance. When you start maintenance, don't take it month by month or even week by week, take it day by day. If what you eat one day makes you gain weight, you don't eat it the next day. The weight you gained will come off if you just re-evaluate your diet. One bad day of weight gain does not mean you're going to gain everything back, it just means you need to make adjustments. Your overall goal is health, so take each day as the opportunity to nourish your body. Each day your body needs nutrients to function properly. Make sure you are getting in the best nutrients so you feel the very best! Your body isn't going anywhere. You're not in a hurry to be healthy. It is a day by day process. Rushing will only add more pressure to an already difficult situation.
2. Develop a routine
Know what you're going to eat the day before you eat it. For me, I know that if I skip my 10 a.m. protein shake, I'm more likely to get hit by a 2 p.m. snack attack. If I schedule out my food ahead of time it is easier to avoid tempting situations, plus I can trend my weight. I know that if I eat certain things at certain times I am going to maintain better than just eating whatever I want whenever I want.
3. Avoid feeling Guilty
So there have been several instances where I give into emotional eating. At one point I ate Chinese food and Del Taco simultaneously. And the next day I gained. I wasn't proud, I knew better than to eat those greasy foods, but it happened. After a binge day, the best thing you can do for yourself is recognize that your behavior led to consequences and recognize that you're human, and you're capable of getting back on track. Guilt will not lead to health, in fact dwelling in guilt after a binge can lead to dangerous behaviors like more binging, skipping meals, or purging. That's not healthy. You will have bad days, you are not perfect. All that matters is that you make the day after a bad day a really good one!
4. Learn to love exercise
When I was 285 pounds, I HATED exercise. But now that I am not carrying around as much extra weight, I am actually enjoying exercise. It has been one of the biggest helps in maintaining my weight loss. It's helped me get my metabolism going again and it's a great release for me mentally. Maybe running and walking isn't your thing, but you can try Zumba or swimming, bike riding or kickboxing! There are so many amazing activities that will help you get in shape and avoid gaining weight back.
5. Give yourself some breathing room
The original HCG protocol suggest a two pound window for gains. For me, I give myself a 5 pound leeway. If I gain more than 5 pounds, I know I need to adjust what I'm doing. There will be times where you gain, there will be times where you retain water or eat something bad, so don't stress. This is not the end of the world. Just be proactive about the situation and recognize for every thing you eat there will either be a positive or negative consequence. As long as you are willing to live with the consequence and overcome the negative effects of it, you'll be just fine.
Maintenance has taught me that healthy is not a destination. Healthy is an everyday effort! If you do maintenance correctly, you will learn healthy habits. Hang in there. You are more than capable of maintaining your weight loss. I'm doing it, so can you!