For many people, gaining those extra pounds back a few months after completing a weight loss programme can be a painful experience. However, the truth is that gaining back some weight after a weight loss journey is perfectly natural as life is not a linear experience. If you have completed a healthy weight loss programme that is sustainable and doesn’t eliminate any food, and you are wondering why you have gained some weight back, here are a few reasons why you are fighting a battle you already won.
Just because you dropped the pounds doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you did before your weight loss. Continue to plan your meals, especially snacks to avoid reaching for available high-sugar foods.
Losing weight and maintaining an ideal body shape are not one-time events. You have to continue improving your eating habits, dropping bad habits and adopting healthier ways of providing your body with the nutrition it needs for optimal performance. If you believe you have lost the weight forever and can now indulge in the food that piled up the extra pounds in the first place, you are so wrong! If you want to keep your body where it is, you need to continue doing what made you achieve it. Otherwise, you are back at your starting point before you even finished celebrating your new shape.
Cortisol, the stress hormone that releases when we are under pressure, causes the body to metabolise food more slowly. Also, the types of food we crave when we’re stressed tend to be high in sugar. Try to make a constant effort to exercise daily, and take 5 minutes per day to meditate and detach from the stress.
Also, try to identify the stress-inducing events in your life and take action to cut them off. Experts recommend spending more time with family and friends whom you can share your troubles with. Practising yoga, unplugging from technology, going for long walks, spending time in the outdoors, and smiling a lot can help reduce stress. Whatever works for you, make sure you take the time every week to release the toxic tension coursing through your system.
If you’ve been doing the same work out for over two-three months, your body isn’t being challenged anymore, meaning it’s not burning as many calories as it used to. You might have heard of a gym plateau amongst professional athletes, but it’s certainly not limited to athletes. If your body is not subjected to increased physical activity, there comes a time when you stop seeing results. In addition to this, doing the same thing over and over again is not the best way of keeping your motivation high. Add some flair to your fitness programme by performing different types of workouts. Apart from preventing a plateau, it helps to break the monotony of your routine, increasing your weight loss potential significantly.
If you’ve recently lost weight, you’ve probably celebrated your success, and rightly so! But if your celebrations involve big portions of your favourite, high fat, high sugar treats, then there is a possibility that this is the reason you’ve gained back some of the weight, which can then in itself lead you to emotional eating and craving those foods again. It’s a vicious cycle! Instead of celebrating with food, celebrate by buying new clothes or even booking an active holiday!
It’s defeating the purpose of celebrating the success of your weight-loss programme to devour sugar-heavy junk foods that pack hundreds of calories back into your body. Food should be out of the question, as there are many other ways of congratulating yourself. If an active holiday is not in your budget at the moment, you can always treat yourself to a relaxing spa day, or even just a facial!
There is a long list of medication that can cause your weight to increase. Some drugs can stimulate your appetite, slow the body’s metabolism, cause water retention or reduce your stamina which results in eating more food for energy and reducing physical activity levels, leading to weight gain. If you suspect that your medication is causing weight gain, make an appointment with your doctor and ask if you are on the correct dosage or if there might be an alternative that doesn’t affect your weight.
You may find that while your friends and family are proud of your new body, they push you to eat more high-calorie food or give you a double serving—it’s OK to say, “no, thank you.” Get used to the idea that it’s OK to leave food on your plate. Soon, friends and family will come to respect your decisions!
The fear of being different may be the end of your weight loss success. Remember that it took you a lot of time and effort to shed that extra weight. You don’t have to listen to anybody who doesn’t respect your food choices because, in the end, it will be only you trying hard to lose the weight. Always stand your ground in the face of temptation. When you need to say no, don’t hesitate. Your hips will thank you for it later.
Losing weight can be easy, the hard part is maintaining the weight after losing it. If you have regained more weight after a short period of weight loss, you are not alone. Make sure to keep these reasons handy to keep your weight where you want it to be after shedding it, and remember to measure your success by different means, not just the scale!