How to Create an Effective Weight-Loss Management Plan

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Learn how diets for weight loss need effective weight-loss management. Stop yo-yo dieting, take a full diet break, and weigh in daily for permanent success.

The goal of any good weight-loss management plan is permanence. However, most dieters find themselves stuck in a circular pattern they can’t break free from. Clothing themselves in black-and-white thinking, they focus on the quickest way to lose weight, and then return to old eating habits as soon as the diet ends.

To create an effective weight-loss plan, yo-yo dieting needs to be replaced with a better option. By moving to a maintenance diet at regular intervals, dieters can learn how to create permanent weight loss that will help them reach their goals.

A Good Diet for Weight Loss Stops Yo-Yo Dieting

A good diet for weight loss includes likes, dislikes, and lifestyle, but using a step-by-step process to make life changes slowly and carefully can ensure success. That doesn’t mean a fast weight-loss diet won’t work, but yo-yo dieting patterns need to be addressed. While feelings of deprivation, emotional eating patterns, food sensitivities and intolerances all contribute, trying to deal with too many variables can send you running back to familiar eating habits.

When dieting is tackled in chunks, rather than trying to change everything all at once, behaviors and individual foods interfering with fat loss can be faced, and then changed or eliminated.

Effective Weight-Loss Management Plan Includes a Full Diet Break

An effective weight-loss management plan works with any type of diet for weight loss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a low-calorie diet, a low-carbohydrate diet, or a more balanced approach. Pick any weight-loss plan that works for you. What matters is using a diet for weight loss you can stick with short term.

The key to permanent weight management isn’t finding a diet plan you can follow the rest of your life. The key to permanency is learning how to maintain that weight loss. Losing weight is the easy part; keeping the weight off is what’s hard. The way to stop yo-yo dieting is to add a break to your normal dieting routine every 8 to 12 weeks, but to make that break a real part of your diet. Moving to a maintenance phase and dieting in steps gives you the time to learn how to be successful long term.

An Effective Weight-Management Diet Requires Daily Weigh-In

For a weight-management diet to be effective, the scale needs to become your friend rather than your enemy. By using daily weigh-ins, and keeping your weight within a very tight margin, you can break the yo-yo dieting cycle. However, a break doesn’t give you a license to eat everything you want, whenever you want. Consider it breathing room; a time when you can practice eating at a maintenance level of calories.

If you’ve been following a low-carb diet for weight loss, some weight gain occurs when you begin eating carbohydrates again. Gains of 5 to 15 pounds are common, depending on the amount of lean body mass you have. This gain comes from the body refilling its glycogen stores. It’s not body fat. So take the expected glycogen gain into account before setting your weight margin. Give your body 4 or 5 days to stabilize first. If you’ve been following a more balanced diet, glycogen stores won’t be depleted, so weight maintenance limits can be set right away.

It’s best to keep things tightly controlled, generally within 2 to 3 pounds. While some diet maintenance plans have used 5 pounds as the upper limit, keeping the margin smaller can make daily corrections easier.

For Permanent Weight Loss Stay Within Maintenance Diet Weight Limits

The level of maintenance diet calories to achieve permanent weight loss varies. Generally, 12 to 15 times your current body weight is a good place to start. However, most dieters tend to under-estimate activity and over-estimate calories. That makes weighing daily a better option. As long as your weight stays within set limits, there is no need to worry about calories or activity level.

However, when weight spills over the upper 3-pound limit, adjustments must be made that very day. Most maintenance problems occur when dieters fail to either weigh daily or procrastinate corrections. Problems also begin to occur when the basic nutritional principles of dieting are thrown out. While diet breaks should include a few missed foods, the foundation of a good maintenance diet includes proper nutrition.

Make sure to eat an adequate amount of protein to keep you full and lots of vegetables for fiber and nutrients. Then spend whatever calories you have left on fruits, whole grains, and dietary fats, adjusting intake to whatever your maintenance weight will allow.

A Good Weight-Management Plan Results in Effective Weight Loss

The key to a good diet for weight loss is to have a weight-management plan that focuses on permanence. However, most dieters find themselves caught in the black-and-white thought process of being either “on” or “off” of a diet.

When life interferes, or when you need a break from the restriction, moving into a maintenance phase and using maintenance-diet techniques to control your current weight will stop the yo-yo dieting cycle that interferes with success. Weighing in and making food intake corrections daily, eating adequate protein, and limiting carbohydrates and dietary fats to whatever maintenance calories allows enables a dieter to achieve permanent, effective weight loss one step at a time.

Sources:

  • A., Jim, Recovery From Compulsive Eating: A Complete Guide to the Twelve Step Program, Hazelden Publishing, March 1994
  • Katahn, Martin, The T-Factor Diet, W. W. Norton & Company, January 2001
  • McDonald, Lyle, A Guide To Flexible Dieting: How Being Less Strict With Your Diet Can Make It Work Better, Lyle McDonald Publishing, 2005

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