Congratulations! You have finally met your goal weight. Months of discipline and hard work have finally led you to a successful result that most people never achieve. You're done with this lousy diet. Let's go celebrate!
Whatcha feel like doing? A big dinner? That huge hot fudge sundae you've been craving? Go to a movie and actually have some popcorn?
Oh, those will not work, will they? See, if you celebrate your goal weight tonight with the type of eating that made you overweight in the first place, you probably will not be at your goal weight by tomorrow morning. So, the eating celebration is out, or you will spoil the reason you are celebrating.
That's ok, your favorite foods do not have to be part of every celebration. We could do a celebratory hike on some scenic trail, go to the movies and bring along some celery to munch, or go lay on the beach, read books and show off your great new body. Those could be fun …. sort of.
Wait. Something is horribly wrong here. You've made weight. Time for the MAINTENANCE PLAN your diet plan has promised you, which will allow you to eat all those foods you have been depriving yourself. Time to stop dieting and get back to a more normal life.
If you've achieved weight loss by conventional dieting's "one trick pony" of eating less and exercising more, how will you stay at the low weight you've achieved by relaxing that approach, eating more and exercising less? And when you put a few pounds back on and are no longer at your goal weight, how will a maintenance plan get you back down to your goal weight?
It will not. You will be back on your diet to lose that newly earned weight. Only this time you will have a new hurdle to clear, the incredible frustration of having reached your goal weight, only to watch it slipping away every time you stray from your diet.
You finally come to the startling realization –
Dieting's Dirty Little Secret
Yes Virginia, there is no weight loss maintenance plan.
If you want to maintain your goal weight, you are on the same diet that got you there, FOREVER.
We are not happy to be the one to tell you, and we hope you do not blame us for this terrible news. But, you need to know and, for those few who make it to their goal weight, you were going to find out anyway. So, you might as well accept it and find ways to move on with your new permanent diet lifestyle.
We know what you're thinking: THIS CAN NOT BE! There is a weight loss maintenance plan, I will not need to lose any more weight so why would I need to keep dieting?
That's the DENIAL phase. Only 4 more phases in the grieving process left.
"The whole diet industry is a scam! I will never diet again!"
Welcome to the ANGER phase.
"Well, it's stupid to gain all that weight back just because I was duped." I'll eat a little more, and just gain a little weight At least I will still be close to my goal weight "
BARGAINING phase. Make the best deal you can, you'll be living it for a long, long time.
"This sucks. I can not survive on 1200 calories a day forever. I thought the starving and struggling was only going to last until I reached my goal weight.
DESPRESSION phase. Struggling, Suffering, Sacrifice and Starving is depressing, no doubt.
"I guess I just have to keep dieting. There's no way I want to go back to being fat again, and this diet worked, and I just have to live with the fact that if I want this body, I must follow this diet forever "He said.
There. You reached the ACCEPTANCE phase. Staring reality directly in the face. You are on your diet forever. It could be worse right? You could be 30 pounds overweight again, and at least you look great in all your new clothes.
Please do not hate us, but we have to be the bearer of more bad news for dieters. Just because you can accept that you need to diet forever, does not mean you can do it. 98% of those who reach their goal weight will find this out, the hard way.
What can you do to avoid dieting's "dirty little secret"? Choose your diet plan wisely. Find a plan that is based on improving your metabolism so you do not have to use deprivation and starvation to lose weight. Be sure to avoid plans that suggest you can lose weight primarily through exercise because nearly never work and even in the rare occasion they do, the time and effort involved is almost never sustainable (in fact you can expect to have to exercise more often for longer sessions on most plans for maintenance – not fun!)
Be sure the weight loss plan you choose has a realistic game plan for maintenance that you are confident you can stay with and that that makes sense for your quality of life. Finally and despite most importantly, we think you'll agree it should include all the foods you love on a regular basis because that's a maintenance plan you can stay with!