Saturday, January 21, 2017

Transitioning from Weight Loss to Weight Maintenance, the 5 phases of my weight maintenance management

The way I see it, there's about 5 phases of weight loss management. Only two phases are intended to be sustained. Lots of folks like to throw that word around. Sustainability.

Change management during the bolded phases is key to long term time in the sustained parts of weight management. If you are trying to gain weight, well, this is the wrong blog. Go elsewhere for help with that. Yes, I understand hard gainers, or ED's. This is not the right place for you. There are other great resources out there.

5 phases of weight loss maintenance
Karen's 5 phases of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance 

1. Weight loss, sustained

2. Transition from weight loss to weight maintenance

3. Weight maintenance, sustained

4. Transition from weight maintenance to weight gain*

5. Weight gain*

Notice  that there are three bolded items. Transitions from loss to maintaining, transitioning from maintenance to gain, and of course weight gain.

The bolded items are NOT intended for me to be sustainable. Only weight loss and weight maintenance are really needed for me to be sustainable and successful for my goals.

The other 3 phases are only meant to be short, transitional areas, for very limited spaces in time. 8-10 weeks? I need to put a truck load of effort into change management during 8-10 weeks. Those weeks are sink or swim for me.

* NOTE * It almost goes without saying I do not want to sustain the weight gain. Unless it's something my doctor and I both agree that is needed for my health.  But I'll go ahead and say it anyway.  I don't need to sustain weight gain that's above my healthy BMI for insurance reasons  & how I feel at high BMI and for my health .

Example: Jan 21, 2017. I need to transition from weight loss to sustained maintenance but not stay yo-yoing between transitions. I yo-yo-ed phases for 40 years. It is both emotionally and physically painful. What a drag and a drain the yo-yo is!

Ultimate Root Cause: Lack of change management!  Yep, I could have put a ton of effort into what worked in the past and done some self experimenting to validate my now me and would have had a ton of future success.

But hey, no would have, could have, should have. I'm in the here and now. So boom, y'll.  I'm ready for my 8-10 weeks of transition to maintenance. AGAIN. This time, it was only 8 lbs of 70 lost.  It took a year and a half, or more.

Unintended weight gain after weight loss is real. How I manage the change has kept me well physically and mentally. I did not go back to my old food addiction or to panic or to things I knew don't work like moderation or intuitive eating. (moderating and intuitive eating are both avenues for my food addiction disease to take front and center stage in my life). Ugh!!!

 Here's my theory:  If I take the time to take a well planned out, phased, data based approach during transition from weight loss to weight maintenance , then it will result in a much longer term sustained weight maintenance  phase.

I've gone through sustained weight maintenance only 2 to 3 times in my entire life. As a teen, at prepregancy, post pregnancy, and now post menopause. The post menopausal weight regain was only about 6-8 pounds. I nipped it in the bud.

 There are tons of blogs about weight loss and even a few about weight maintenance. (A good starting point is in the Refuse to Regain book by Barbara Berkeley, MD)  I adapted those rules and it took me 90% to where I wanted to go.

One real block to sustained weight maintenance: There are very few  resources about the skill of transition during weight maintenance and there are many, many resources out there that contain ways to regain your weight.  It's unintentional weight gain but it is still the end, unintentional result.  Regaining the pounds for many different and valid biological and disease, and evolutionary reasons. Yep. It's a thing and I've lived it. Many times over.

Over the next 8 to 10 weeks I'll be blogging about some of my best tools for transitioning from Weight Loss to wait maintenance in my desired weight.

 The time has come for me to successfully transition from about an 8 pound loss from July 4, 2016 to today January 21, 2017. So a transitioning I go. With nerves of steel and a tough not moderate approach.

 The steps I take next will determine the whole rest of 2017 so that's why am going to take a good 8 to 10 weeks to sharpen my tools practice my skills one by one, and observe my desired outcome

What's working now:
Change management is key and I'll be using every single tool I've got to make sure I'm on solid ground in weight maintenance.  My mind body soul and life depended on it so I going to put a lot of effort into this change management.  High stakes for my life. Extremely valuable and worth it outcomes. A life time of awesomeness came true after being obese at the age 6. I'm normal weight

What didn't work in the past:
Going back to old tools that kept me in weight gain and transition to weight gain. Moderation, old binge foods, intuitive eating, eating to get food high. Sigh. It is what it was. The old me.

Three cheers to those of you who are taking the time and effort to distinguish and work into sustainable vs transition. Eyes wide open and 110 percent honesty are required. Onward.

What phases do you sustain? It could and probably should  be very different, depending on your goals

Failure to transition will result in some crash-ups in weight maintenance


  1. As always, a great post. Thank you!
    Miriam H.

    1. thanks! I know that transition is a huge key to weight management. I know there are not many tools out there, so I might as well list mine. Even if someone picked up one or two, it could make all the difference.