Asking what to do once you have reached goal weight is very common question in our Facebook Groups!
However, most of the time, the person asking is either just starting the Inspire Diet for a regain or they are fifty pounds away from goal. It's natural to want to know what the future holds, but we want you to approach your bariatric lifestyle a little differently as this is not a race with a finish line.
It's Not the Weight You Lose but the Life You Gain.
Whether you are losing weight for the first time with your surgery so recently that you are still marking time by the week, if you are jump-starting weight loss after a stall, or getting back on track to lose your Regain with The Inspire Diet the lesson is the same. It's not one we can sum up for you in "Directions" or a "Maintenance" plan. That's something you have to navigate and manage for yourself or it will not be long lasting. Regain is so prevalent in the bariatric world, because it's hard to learn the right habits when you are excited about that end point or goal.
If You Aren't Willing to Learn, No One Can Help You.
Another trend we have spotted is that when people are about 15 pounds from goal weight they get laser focused and really dial in the effort.
WHY? Because those last 15 will be the hardest pounds you will ever lose.
I'm not joking when I say it's common for a Post-Op to rocket to WITHIN 20 pounds of goal in a year, and then take a SECOND year to lose those last 20 pounds. It's not because they are suddenly making different food choices, but because the body changes significantly throughout weight loss. At a minimum your calorie needs and exercise needs are usually much smaller at 180 pounds, then they were at 280 pounds. So this is where your habits, what you have learned so far become key practice.
Motivation is What Gets You Started, Habits Keep You Going
This is why the Inspire Diet works to do more than just get you to Goal. While you follow the plan, if you follow it the way it's written, you have been practicing the "New To You" skill of pairing lean proteins, with healthy fats & wholesome low carb veggies. Every. Single. Day.
Plus we've got a ton of amazing family-friendly recipes. We even created 5 Weeks of Planned Suppers for you to follow along with.
Pssst! Here is the Secret to ALL of this
By the time you are at Goal, you've changed the way you create your daily suppers. So swapping out 2 or 3 of your Inspire Meals, with small meals built using those same principles you used daily is seamless and second nature. You'll also notice if you keep this up that the scale won't start climbing up, and that you won't waste away either.
This is what you should also be doing in your first year after surgery. Our Surgeons give us a Gift called "The Honeymoon Phase" where our body goes into overdrive thanks to the metabolic changes we see during Weight Loss Surgery. Whether you care to admit it or not, this is the easiest time you will have to lose weight. It gets HARDER the further out from surgery you are, so that's why forming new habits are key.
Stick to the plan, and if you haven't got one try ours. It's more than just meals to get you to Goal. Itís a New Lifestyle.
Love Yourself Enough to CHANGE
When you get to Goal you'll have new habits and new tools to fall back on. You'll find that not much changes about your daily menu. So if you were hoping that being at Goal meant that you could sneak in a couple of Cheat Days a week, you're wrong. Hate to burst that bubble. There will also be no returning to those foods you fought hard to give up when you were 50 pounds away from goal and realized you needed to reel it in a bit. Things like full sugar coffee creamer, sweet tea from fast food places as you run errands on Saturdays are gone forever. Those 400 calorie 'Sugar-Free' protein milkshakes from Smoothie King & Subway need to remain in your past unless you'd like another Regain Badge on your shirt.
Strength and Growth Come Only Through Effort & Struggle
Staying at Goal won't be much different than how you lived when you were working on the last 5 pounds. You'll be able to add in an extra slice or two of avocado to your salad once in a while. Or maybe some nice Walnuts while watching TV on Tuesday night. You won't have to watch so closely, and maybe not sweat quite so hard at the gym but you will have to watch what you eat forever if you donít want to deal with buying all new pants again. Staying active will be key to keeping your joints and heart healthy. So that won't go away either.
Losing weight is easy. Keeping it off? That's where the Struggle gets real.