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Hit a plateau? Here is WHY you should stay there.

Have you lost 10- 15 lbs lately and can't seem to lose more? Do you feel like You are being so good, exercising consistently, and eating right but your body just won't cooperate? It's probably the number one complaint I get from clients who have a weight loss goal; They've hit a PLATEAU. The scale won't budge despite all of their efforts. It is called HOMEOSTASIS.

Homeostasis is the tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. What this means is when your body is faced with change such as weight loss it wants to keep you stable and therefore makes it harder to keep losing. It is a normal and healthy way to keep your health in check, and prevent you from being out of balance. At your heaviest, your body had time to adjust and was comfortable there; but as you lose weight, restricting calories and exercising more your body experiences STRESS. Yes, losing weight may improve your self-esteem , it can lower your risks of heart, or other diseases, a little stress is actually good for you but prolonged periods of stress can be detrimental to your mental, and physical health. Prolonged periods of stress can cause you to regain the weight as quickly or even quicker than it took to lose it.

If you are plateauing; STAY THERE. Maintaining your weight is the hardest thing to do for most people because they look at it as a failure, they are not seeing results therefore they go to the extremes by dieting even harder or binge eating . These two extremes are not a healthy way to live. For a successful long term weight loss, there needs to be a successful long term maintenance period. Personally, it took me a while to embrace maintaining my weight after weight loss. Now, I see it as a way to take a break from the stress of dieting while still taking good care of myself. I was listening to my favorite Podcast "Primal Potential" by Elizabeth Benton and had a enlightenment moment. Elizabeth talks about looking at plateauing or weight maintenance as being in the "middle" where you're not at two extremes of losing or gaining. Being in the middle doesn't mean failure, it simply means taking care of yourself without too many restrictions or causing harm to yourself. She asked: "Isn't being in the middle the essence of SELF-CARE?" Her statement gave me chills! You are still making conscious healthy decisions, but don't beat yourself up if you eat a cookie at a party. You workout everyday but you don't have to spend hours at the gym, continue to weigh yourself once a week, but not everyday. This maintenance period, actually allows you to try new things such as dance classes, or new healthy recipes without the stress of needing to lose. Maintaining your weight allows you to recharge your batteries for when you are mentally and physically ready to lose again.

It may take you a few weeks, a few months, or even a year of maintenance before you start losing again but according to a 10 year observational study in the National Weight Control Registry; the longer participants maintained their weight after weight loss, the more weight they lost long term. The key here is to remember that weight loss is a long term journey, and who knows; maybe you'll be happy where you're at and decide to stay at your current weight, or maybe you'll continue to lose. Listen to your body, make healthy conscious decisions, reduce stress, and Take GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF :)

References: Weight-loss maintenance for 10 years in the National Weight Control Registry.

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