Every time you lose weight it seems to come right back…

Can you ever say goodbye to those extra pounds for good?

Maybe it’s your freshman 15, baby weight, or the pounds that have slowly packed onto your frame through the years. However you’ve gained the weight, you’ve seen it come and go numerous times between all the fad diets and exercise kicks you’ve tried. In a matter of weeks, months, or years the weight you worked so hard to lose is back! Working hard to lose weight and watching it creep back on is a frustrating experience for anyone.

This time around, you’ll have the upper hand. Because now you’ll know what you’re up against. You may feel like it’s a losing battle, but you can win.

At the age of 37 I was fat, and since the age of 38 I have never been fat again. That’s the whole idea of effective weight loss—it’s permanent because it’s part of your lifestyle and the way you think about yourself, with pride and a sense of accomplishment. The goal you achieve is your own—you own it. – Jean Nidetch, co-founder of Weight Watchers

A Shifting Metabolism

Your metabolism determines the number of calories you burn at rest. It’s an anomaly, but as you lose a lot of weight, your metabolism slows down. This means your body’s no longer able to burn the amount of calories it needs to maintain your smaller size and the weight tries hard to return. What makes this problem worse is that as you gain weight, your slower metabolism doesn’t pick back up. Rather, it slows even more. What does this tell you? Obesity may not be the result of a lack of will power or an addiction to food, but more a problem with your metabolic system.

Lower Leptin Levels

A second reason it’s difficult to keep weight off for good has to do with leptin, the hormone that helps regulate appetite and satiety. Leptin tells your brain when you’re full and curbs your appetite. You may have noticed that as you’re dieting and losing weight you seem to be hungrier and have more food cravings than you did before. This may be because weight loss leads to a decrease in the amount of leptin your body produces. As you regain weight, your normal leptin level never seems to return.

Requires Lasting Changes

While these physiological changes may make successful weight loss difficult, you have to remember it’s not impossible. The last thing you want to do is give up and blame your weight on a faulty metabolism. There is such a thing as permanent weight loss and you can get there.

The most successful proven way to lose weight and keep it off is by making lasting lifestyle changes. Whatever diet plan you choose to shed pounds should be one you can continue forever. Cutting out whole food groups or depriving yourself of everything you enjoy isn’t going to last long. Start eating those foods again and the weight will return. So commit to portion control and healthy ways of eating, managing stress, and dealing with emotions.

A lasting commitment to exercise is the second piece of the puzzle. Burning more calories than you consume is the key to weight loss and exercise is the way to make that happen. Physical activity must become a regular part of your everyday routine. Not just while you’re trying to lose weight but for the rest of your life. This is why it’s important to find several workouts you enjoy and then make them a priority each day, leaning on your trainer to keep you motivated and in the gym!