If you’re wondering how to keep weight off once you’ve lost it, I’m guessing you’ve probably tried more than once. Like many of us, you’re probably awesome at losing weight initially. But you’re beginning to notice that it’s becoming harder, and keeps piling back after weeks, months or years.
The truth is we are good at making a change. Losing weight in the first instance. Our trouble is long term weight loss.
You don’t want to be ‘on a diet’ for the rest of your life.
So for this to work we need to reframe things from ‘on’ or ‘off’ to ‘this is what I do’, and ‘this is how I am’.
In order to lose and then keep weight off once you’ve lost it you need to get to a point that you can maintain forever.
Most popular diets and exercise regimes, irrespective of the method, have many merits. They get us to consider our food choices. They get us to either directly or indirectly address energy balance. They often point us towards food choices that provide nutrient density. And a lot of the time they subscribe us to some kind of exercise or activity.
So why would most diets fail eventually and why would you regain the lost weight again, and again, and again?
Most diets fail because:
- They involve too much change too soon – we just aren’t ready
- They are too uncomfortable to do forever – think restriction
- They take more effort than we are prepared to do forever – think food prep
You have the knowledge. Knowledge is readily available nowadays. What most people have is a skills deficit. Taking a methodical approach to building skills over time – focusing on daily practices rather than on the outcome (the dreaded scale weight) – can help you to maintain your results in a very empowering way. This is what we do in my online weight loss coaching programme.
In addition to skills, living in congruence with your values is crucial, not only for long term success, but also for the enjoyment of your journey. If you are prepared to be in this for the long game – what I call sustainable coaching – and look beyond 30 day detoxes and beach body plans, then you can transform your life by focusing on skills and living in congruence with your values.
Logical Levels – Levels Of Change
Back to why you’re here – how to keep weight off once you’ve lost it. I’m guessing that in the past you have made a positive change in your life only to revert back to old habits? Common examples within health and fitness go something like this:
Start a new diet – get initial success – revert back to old habits – regain lost weight.
Join a gym – exercise and get in shape – revert back to old habits – lose fitness.
You might observe this in any aspect of your life – not just nutrition and exercise – and while it’s frustrating you can rest assured that you’re not alone.
So why do we tend to get stuck in these loops of short term change? Let’s take a look.
Logical Levels To Explain Change
Logical levels is a useful model for understanding change in yourself. You can look at any change in your life in terms of these different levels. Higher levels have more leverage than lower levels.
|Spirit / Purpose||What am I here for? What am I part of that is greater than myself?|
|Identity||Who am I?|
|Values and Beliefs||What is important to me?|
|Capabilities||What do I know how to do? What skills do I have?|
|Behaviour||What am I doing?|
|Environment||Where am I?|
If you are experiencing problems sticking to good nutrition habits for example (behaviour), you need to identify any conflict and make changes a level or two above where the symptoms show up (capabilities, values, identity). For permanent change each logical level should support the one above it.
Take some time to become consciously aware of what factors influence how you live your life. Identify any possible conflicts, then recognise possible changes you can make to bring your levels more in alignment. This will reduce inner conflict and achieve a higher level of personal congruence.
Exercise – Your Logical Levels
- With your goal in mind, take your time to answer the questions for each level below.
- Identify any possible conflicts between levels. Highlight these is a different colour.
- Consider any changes you can make to bring levels into alignment and reduce inner conflict.
Note: Read on for troubleshooting and examples if you need to, and return to this activity.
|1. Spirituality / Purpose|
|This can be viewed as your connection to a wider purpose. |
What is your sense of purpose on a personal level?
Why are you here?
What is your sense of purpose professionally?
Why do you do what you do? What is the meaning of your existence both personally and professionally?
|2. Identity / Mission|
|Who are you as an individual? |
Who are you to different people?
Who are you professionally?
Are you achieving your purpose?
How do you think of yourself on a personal level? And professionally?
e.g. I am an intelligent person, attractive person, good person
|3. Beliefs and Values|
|Why do you do what you do? Personally and professionally? |
What do you believe about yourself personally and professionally? On a personal level?
What are your key values personally? And professionally?
You may believe you are an excellent public speaker. Or you may value honesty. From a professional perspective, you may value excellent client care and/or the best interest of people you speak to.
|4. Capabilities / Strategies|
|How do you go about doing things personally? And professionally? |
What are your personal and professional capabilities, skills, strategies or action plans?
|What are your behaviours? |
|Where? When? With whom do you display your behaviours? |
What are the external influences on you?
|Spirit / Purpose||I am there for my family and friends|
|Identity||I am sociable and always the centre of attention|
|Values and Beliefs||Spending time with friends are very important to me|
My health and fitness is very important
|Capabilities||Confident and outgoing. Friendly|
Pick mindlessly between meals and after a hard day at work
|Environment||Work / office has a vending machine.|
Home with family and husband eats and exercises
What do you notice? Are there any conflicts between your goals, your values, and your environment? Is there a trade off you could make?
I hope the logical levels activity above has helped you notice and address any conflict in your own life.
If you are struggling to lose and maintain weight loss, and you really want to improve your health, your performance and to look and feel better, then you might benefit from the following:
Learn more about how I work remotely with weight loss coaching clients or if you’re ready to take the next step and you’d appreciate some support you can request a discovery call here and start learning the skills for long term weight loss success.
Hope this helps you – get in touch if you need anything.