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  • Writer's pictureJessica Gerlock

The Difference Between Losing vs. Maintaining Weight

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Many people think the hardest part of losing weight is actually losing the weight. In reality after actually losing the weight, the hardest part is maintaining your goal weight. When you are in the process of losing weight you usually are stricter when it comes to diet and exercise. Your calorie intake is lower and workouts are more intense because you have a goal. Once you reach that goal, what happens? Well that is when you make or break your journey.

Reality shows like "The Biggest Loser" are a perfect example of losing weight vs. maintaining weight. Most contestants lose a dramatic amount of weight quickly but gain it all back when they are back to normal life off the show. When you get to your goal weight and you reintroduce more calories and get back to your every day schedule, it becomes the hardest part of the whole journey.

The reality is that people don’t have endless time to cook and prepare every meal and workout 2-3 hours a day. When people focus on losing weight, most people want a quick fix and see results immediately or they give up. You can starve yourself for a week and lose 10 pounds but the second you start reintroducing foods, that is when your weight will go right back to the top. Especially for women, it is much easier to gain weight than it is to lose. There are yo-yo dieters who try to lose weight quick with the newest weight loss trends, but when they stop it is the maintaining the weight they have a problem with.

The only way you will ever be successful at losing weight and keeping it off longterm is by learning simple nutrition and being active. Learning about quality of food, portion control and a balanced lifestyle is how you will maintain your weight loss goals long term. Diets such as Jenny Craig, Atkins or The Lemonade Diet are very temporary. They are not realistic to carry on for long periods of time. So as you reintroduce food back into your diet, that is when you need to learn about living a balanced lifestyle. This is unfortunately where most people fail at this part and gain back the weight they lost.

A visual example of losing weight versus maintaining weight are reality shows such as The Biggest Loser. These shows are taped within a small timeframe, so these contestants go through rigorous unrealistic diet and fitness routines not realistic for afterwards when the show is over. The contestants lose lots of weight quickly but what happens after? Well, most contestants gain the weight back because they can’t maintain that weight loss in their real life. When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady wins the race and these quick burst of intense lifestyle changes don’t work for the long haul.

Seeing the difference between the two different stages of losing weight and maintaining weight is very important to keeping off the weight for long term. Both stages should have different action plans but both that are realistic for your lifestyle. Losing weight is easier because you restrict yourself in your diet and you have a goal. Maintaining your weight is the hard part because you can increase your limit on your calorie intake and you are maintaining for the rest of your life. Quick diets and weight loss trends are only temporary and will not help with the maintaining stage of weight-loss. Reality weight loss television shows only focus on the losing weight aspect and not the maintaining portion. Maintaining your weight loss comes from a balance lifestyle that is maintainable forever.

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