How to keep off the weight once you've lost it

Truth: the weight loss journey sucks. You sacrifice and battle in putting down cheeky, comfort food while lacing up shoes when the couch and a drink is preferred.

I know the journey personally, and I just coached a couple hundred Australians through their weight loss journey during Droptober, my weight loss month in October.

Some hit their goal weight. Others have more kilograms to go. But at the end of the month, there's an "Oh my, now what?" feeling which is when the real work begins

When Googling "how to keep the weight off" you get the same old "drink water before you eat, watch the processed foods, get to bed on time, and avoid the late night snacking" tropes.

Big yawn. It's time for some new, less BS advice for the more cerebral folks. If you've lost a few kilograms, here's how to lose more weight and maintain it. 

Keep going

You're not at the finish line, but rather the starting line of a new beginning. You've adopted new habits. You've ditched old habits. You look, feel, move, and make lover better and no doubt your internal organs and joints are healthier for it. So? Keep going.

Never go back to feeling hungover, overfed, overweight, and sluggish. Never let old habits creep back in.

Keep your health priority #1

Keep saying it: My health is one of the most important things in my life. And it's a powerful thing to keep living as you say.

You're better for it. You're a better father / mother / lover for it. You're a better employee for it. You're more agile for it, and you'll stay out of the hospital when you keep health as priority #1.

Be patient 

Five kilograms lost turns into eight kilograms next month, turns into 10 kilograms the next and within six months you've dropped 15-20 kilograms from your starting weight. That's a new life. That's new health. That's deleting your doctor's mobile from your phone in just half a year.

Be patient – and any health and fitness goal will be yours.

Remember how you lost the weight

You lose weight via fresh, healthy, and tasty meals. Add portion control and exercise. Subtract excess booze.

You lose more (and maintain) weight via those same variables. This will never change.

It's always going to be a challenge

 Staying healthy is a daily challenge because there's always going to be BS donut shops and hipster burgers, fizzy drinks, chips, and every other aisle of the grocery store that you must say NO to.

Staying at a healthy weight is not easy. But it's not hard. It's a necessary challenge.

Create new goals

Enough of the weight loss. Create other physical goals:

  • I want to get back into playing tennis;
  • I want to run a 10km race within 6 months; and
  • I want to be that healthy parent for when my child is born.

Write physical goals down. Make it visible, and tell your colleagues and loved ones.

You can still enjoy a night out

Do I enjoy a few too many?

Yes. I do it for two reasons:

a) If you're at a healthy weight, a big night out won't touch the sides – the body doesn't change because of too many drinks and a bunch of naughty food one night

and b) because it's fun! We have weddings, parties, nights out with friends and I'm a social creature, so I'm going to go for it when the time calls.

However, package those nights with healthy exercise and healthy food. Build up a health bank most days so that when you go for it, that bank doesn't deplete too low – there's still some cash left in there to keep building on.

Cheers to having fun, but be an adult and remember your health, OK?

Move on

The best email one could send me is this: "Hey Mike. I've reached my goals, and you can politely bugger off. I don't need you any longer."

The ultimate goal with weight loss is for you to become the expert. For you to have healthy recipes in your cookbook, for you to know what's healthy (and not), and for you to have exercise in your daily routine where you enjoy it. And then?

You won't need me. You won't need pills, powders, and weight loss potions, and you'll laugh with me at next year's fad diet. It will be a great day when personal trainers and dieticians become extinct because society looks after themselves so well. Hospitals will close (not really, but they'll definitely have more beds). Junk food companies will go out of business. The obesity rate will be 2-3 per cent. How great would that be?

Look in the mirror

Last week the news was littered with the obesity epidemic in Australia – Tasmania is now fatter than Queensland, and doctors are calling for a sugar tax like tobacco. Yet I'm not buying it.

I'm tired of being told when we can go into bars and how much sugar shouldn't be in our foods. We're on our way to becoming America's fat identical twin. That's rubbish. That's un-Australian, and that has to change. It's not up to the government. 

It's up to me, you, and your neighbour to look in the mirror and say – "I've gotta live a healthier lifestyle."

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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