Preventing Weight Re-Gain After Fat Loss

by Dean McKillop 2476 views Weight Loss

Preventing Weight Re-Gain After Fat Loss

We all know at least one person in our lives who has experienced this, hell, the likelihood that the large majority of us have even experienced it ourselves is also high. With an ever growing, heavier society of people that are less active, how can we help a friend or ourselves lose fat and keep it off long-term?

How do we stop the regain of body fat? In order for us to answer this question, we need to ask ourselves a few more first…

What are the determining factors that impact long-term fat loss retention? And…

Why is it more likely for you to gain the weight back, PLUS MORE, when you attempt to lose body fat?


For me, I see 2 major issues in my business regarding these 2 questions…

  1. Focusing on fast weight loss instead of physical/mental and social health
  2. A lack of behavioural change

Everybody wants to be less fat tomorrow, they want to take what in reality is years of caloric abuse, years of physical abuse by not exercising and years of emotional trauma associated with food and they want to change it tomorrow.

I get it… you’re sick of feeling like sh*t. But can we really expect to change years of work in a matter of seconds?

I say seconds, and I am sure some people may read that and roll their eyes because the thought of it being ‘just seconds’ seems a little sarcastic, but when you really think about it, the thought of it being ‘just seconds’ really isn’t that far-fetched in the grand scheme of a lifetime.

In fact, dedicating just 12 weeks of your time to sustainable fat loss, if you were 30 years of age, is the equivalent of 0.7% of your life.

And 12 weeks is a minuscule amount of time…

My experience in my business, both personally and from the coaches who work for us, is that the average client who is 30 years of age or older, will take a minimum of 6 months to see some considerable change in how they look and feel when their diet and training are consistent.

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And when they focus on long-term change, not short-term extreme weight loss.

That’s 26 weeks… it’s 1.6% of their lifetime.

And their results stick too!

Very rarely do we have bingers or individuals end up heavier under our guidance.

So while saying ‘just seconds’ may sound like a far-fetched over generalisation of the mindset and attitude of someone trying to lose weight at speed, the reality is that it is actually a tiny blip on the radar.

The point of all this…STOP FOCUSING ON FAST FAT LOSS!

It is short-sighted, requires more drastic change, is astronomically more stressful on both your mind and your body and it has the HIGHEST success rate of LONG TERM FAILURE.

Yup…If you drop fat fast, you are highly likely to gain it back, plus more, even faster than you lost it.

So how do we fix this?

We change the mindset of fat loss, focus on long-term sustainability and above all, we focus on point #2 and create behaviour change.

The harsh reality of weight gain is that it is largely a nurture based behaviour, whereby your childhood body fat level, habit-forming around food and social interactions have moulded your day to day life, and they need to be realigned with what you would like your future life to look like.

To do this, you need to understand what your triggers are for overeating, remove the excuses for not achieving your goals and find solutions to the problems you face.

  • I don’t have time…
  • I have to look after my family…
  • My back is injured…
  • I am not fit enough…
  • The gym is too far away…
  • I don’t like going to the gym…
  • I didn’t have time to prepare food…

The list of potential excuses is endless, but you know what they all have in common?

Not 1 of them is a fair enough reason to change your goals and revert back to poor behaviours. There is always time, even if it is 10 minutes a day…Your back isn’t the only muscle you can train…

You will get fitter if you keep consistent…Train at home or at the park…Don’t use a gym, train somewhere else you feel comfortable…

This doesn’t mean you need to eat McDonald's…And even if you absolutely had to eat at McDonald's, guess what? They sell chicken salads…

Your mindset and your approach in trying to change your current environment will hands down be the biggest determinant of your success.

Because of this, I suggest focusing on these 5 things you can do to help achieve your goals.

  1. Make small changes over time as opposed to large ones overnight
  2. Only do exercise you enjoy for the first 3 months before it becomes a habit
  3. Hold yourself accountable daily with affirmations if necessary
  4. Remind yourself regularly that this is not a race
  5. Don’t use the scale as a measure of your success

All too often people want to turn their current days upside down, wipe the slate clean and start again. I mean it sounds like a great idea, but often, all I see is people becoming overstressed by too much change and eventually, they hit a breaking point.

So instead of throwing out your entire pantry, joining up to a gym you don’t like and committing to 3 PT sessions a week, start smaller.

healthy women

Throw out 80% of the processed food in your kitchen but keep a small portion of things you enjoy daily, save them as things to eat when you want a ‘treat’ at night.

Commit to simply going for a walk once a day for the next week Then commit to doing 10min of bodyweight exercise daily in week two. And so on and so on…

I'm not a fan of overhauling your life but instead, I prefer to find ways to infiltrate your approach with small change, in order to make it feel like the changes you are implementing over time are not a chore but instead something you enjoy.

Other things you can do...
  • Focus on having fun with your friends by doing things that don’t revolve around food.
  • Reward yourself with things that aren’t food related and STOP eating your emotions.

These are not helping you but instead a hindering your progress. Make these small changes over time and focus on the bigger picture… get active and have fun!

Understand this...

If you have been overweight for 60% of your life and you are 30, be prepared to not feel like a ‘new person’ until you have lived the life of that new person for at least half of that time.

That means if you’ve been overweight for 18 years, commit to being healthy for the next 9. Now it may not take you half of the time you have been overweight to feel like a new person once you have made positive changes, but the point is that you need to at least be prepared to commit to the longer journey.

Committing to the next 12 weeks is easy… anyone can starve themselves short term and suffer through a drastic change.

But can you commit for the next 3, 4 or 10 years doing the same thing?

If you can't see yourself doing what you are doing now to lose the weight for the next 12 months, something is wrong.

  • Find your groove…
  • Commit to the process… 
  • Understand you will have hurdles, just don’t let them become roadblocks.
  • And above all…Find enjoyment in what you’re doing and focus on consistency.

Your rate of success is in the palm of your own hands. Focus on happiness and the results will follow. 

Dean McKillop

Exercise Scientist

I completed my Exercise Science Degree at the University of QLD and have worked in the fitness industry for over 8 years, including a short stint at the Brisbane Broncos in 2010 as a student. I also hold my Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditation (ASCA) and have competed in 1 bodybuilding season, placing 2nd at the IFBB u85kg Nationals.

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