The following email recently popped up in my inbox:
"Have you written any blogs about maintaining your weight? Or do you feel like it is just permanent weight loss mode with more occasional baked goods or other otherwise "off limit" foods? I am 15 pounds away from my goal and am working on my mindset so it is a permanent weight loss. I am sick of yo-yoing. And I just wonder if it will be different when I reach that weight or if I need to stay at a low calorie diet always."
Congrats on all your success this far!
That said :) One of the reasons I preach "lifestyle" and not "diet" is because diets only work as long as you're on them.
As soon as someone goes off a "diet" and back to their old ways of eating and bad habits, they start letting things back into their diet. The diet is over and the weight comes back. I've seen this so many times with my clients and even with myself. I've had to re-lose the last 10 lbs at least twice and every time the culprit was me getting a little more relaxed.
It's never a whole cheesecake that sends you off course and brings 5 lbs back, it's the little things here and there that add up.
With my meal plan users, for example, even once they hit their goal, they stay on the meal plans.
I tell my clients: If it's working for you, why stop it? Keep doing what's working for you. If you've lost as much as you need to, your body will regulate. You won't lose anymore weight and if you do, and you feel like you've lost too much, add in more calories. Eat more beans, more grains, more fruits. If you don't have heart disease, diabetes or other medical conditions, you can try adding some fats back in like nuts or avocados, but just a little. Putting slices of avocado on my salad every day and eating PB&Js is what caused me to regain 10 lbs. (As soon as I stopped eating those foods and went back on the lower fat meal plans, the weight slid off). (See this post: Not Losing Weight on a Plant-Based Diet? Here's Why. 10 Culprits)
Also, here's what Dr. McDougall says in his book, Maximum Weight Loss:
"One of the most common concerns I hear from people who follow the McDougall Program faithfully is "I've lost too much weight." Many people just think they're too thin when they're really not. For years, their mirrors reflected an image of a much larger person. Now this new, thin body looks unfamiliar."
I find a lot of my clients are surprised that they continue to lose weight, even after they reach their goal, too. Sometimes they worry they've lost too much, but they haven't. I had one client who dreamed of her ideal weight as 135 lbs. She got there, then kept up her good practices and found herself down to 125. She said to me, "I never thought this was possible. At 135 I would have said 125 was grossly thin, but here I am and my god, look at me! I've never felt so good! All my friends say I'm hotter now than I was 25 years ago in my 20s!"
It's also really, really important not to get caught in the numbers game because the numbers on a scale really mean very little in terms of your health and your appearance.
If you are really unhappy with your appearance and you feel you really are too thin, start adding in high fat foods like nuts, soy and avocado. Add dense calorie sources like flours and dried fruits. See this post: How to Gain Weight on a Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet.
If you're looking to lose (or maintain!) I can't recommend our meal plans enough!
They're how I lost the 10 for the third time, and have now kept it off for almost a year! Success feels sexy!
Get the current meal plan now.