There’s no doubt that achieving a weight-loss goal is an incredible accomplishment. However, if you don’t have a long-term strategy in place for how to maintain your results, the chances of slipping back into old habits or losing gains is extremely high. (This is especially true if the way you went about getting to that goal weight was through unsustainable techniques, which is why we always encourage a healthy and realistic strategy.)
No matter where you are in your own journey, or if you want to lose 5, 10, 20, or 100 pounds, to help you avoid the yo-yo weight effect, we asked four Life Time members who have had success in this area to share how they got started working toward their weight-loss goals, stayed committed, and still continue to live a healthy way of life every day.
(If you’re looking to go after your own weight-loss or health transformation goals, these members all found achievement with participating in the 60day Challenge, known this year as the You For You Challenge. You can learn more about the virtual program here.)
Left: Marc before completing the 60day Challenge; Right: Marc after completing the 60day Challenge
Advice No. 1: Don’t get caught up in the results.
“Instead, focus on your behaviors each and every day. If you’re consistent with those, the results will come.”
Advice No. 2: Starvation is not the answer.
“The biggest game-changer for me was when I took my first resting metabolic assessment. The results showed I was not eating enough calories. I increased my intake to the level suggested in the test results and I went on to lose my 110 pounds! It was then that I realized starvation is not the road to weight loss — not for the long-term. Getting the right level of macronutrients is absolutely critical to losing weight and keeping it off.”
Advice No. 3: Find a crew who makes you want to come back for more.
“The people at my Life Time club in Plymouth, Minn. keep me coming back. I can’t overstate enough the value of seeing the same faces on a regular basis. I’ve found strength in that. The trainers are top shelf, too. I continually learn from them and have become a better athlete in the process.”
Left: Lindsay before completing the 60day Challenge; Right: Lindsay after completing the 60day Challenge
Advice No. 1: Be upfront about your goals.
“When I was starting on my journey, it was really important for me to be honest with everyone in my life about my goals. That meant my boyfriend, family, friends, coworkers, therapists — and even on social media. This added a level of accountability and also gave me support. I found others who had similar goals as me and we were able to connect with one another. Support is so important, especially when you’re getting started, because eventually you’ll need to change your habits — and your life — to find success. In order to do that, you need to have people who are with or rooting for you.”
Advice No. 2: Make time for meal prep.
“I didn’t start seeing a significant impact until I truly altered the way I was eating. That meant changing my weekend habits to spend a significant amount of time meal prepping for the week ahead. It was a game-changer for me. Having breakfast and lunch ready to go once Monday rolled around meant I was not eating out and I was not reaching for convenience foods — my plan was set. It also took a huge amount of stress out of my morning routine.”
“We all know what we’re supposed to do, but I was stubborn. I thought I could just work off whatever I ate in the gym. But low and behold, all of the experts in my life were right: What you are doing in the kitchen matters way more than what you are doing in the gym. So, I upped my protein intake, added in veggies at every meal, and started tracking my food habits to ensure I was sticking with my plan.”
Advice No. 3: Make gym dates.
“Whenever my motivation is starting to waver, I immediately make a gym date with a friend. I also remind myself of how good I feel when I fuel my body with healthy meals and work out regularly. Those consistent habits been an instrumental part of controlling my depression and anxiety — I look at it as a part of my therapy plan.”
Left: David before completing the 60day Challenge; Right: David after completing the 60day Challenge
Advice No. 1: Have a plan and keep it simple.
“A plan gives you something to follow day-to-day, and also gives you something to get back to if you have an off day. Keeping your plan simple makes it that much easier to follow — a complex plan can overwhelm even people who have been down this path for awhile.”
Advice No. 2: Reach out to a nutritionist for help.
“My most recent game-changing moment was reaching out to a nutritionist for help. I never realized that attempting to eat at a calorie deficit like I had been for around two years could screw up my metabolism like it did. The help I have received so far has allowed me to make a long-term plan to see lasting changes, while also helping guide me through the metabolism repair process.”
Advice No. 3: Schedule a weekly check-in.
“Having a long-term plan and goals in mind has kept me motivated so I have never really thought about quitting, but there are days when I just don’t feel like ‘it.’ In order to battle that, I have implemented a weekly weigh-in that I report to my nutritionist to help keep myself accountable.”
Advice No. 4: Keep it fun.
“I’ve been participating in some free cycle classes every week as fun and different breaks to my training. Those classes make it easy to get to the gym because I’m not really having to think too much about weights, sets, etc., I just show up and follow along. Plus, they’re a great cardio workout! The classes have become anchors to my gym schedule, helping to keep me on track.”
Left: Becca before completing the 60day Challenge; Right: Becca after completing the 60day Challenge
Advice No. 1: Stop wondering and start believing that you CAN and WILL!
“Having a positive mindset was everything for me on my weight-loss journey. I had always known what to do, but I didn’t believe that I could do it. When I started to change that mindset and actually say out loud, ‘I CAN change, I WILL change, I AM changing’ that’s when the magic started to happen. I also shifted my mindset from, ‘I am not a fit person’ to ‘I am not a fit person yet.’ Adding ‘yet’ to all my negative stories helped me realize that even though I wasn’t where I wanted to be, that didn’t mean it was my permanent status.”
Advice No. 2: Focus on your habits.
“The other part of that mindset change for me was focusing on my habits instead of my results. Before when I had tried to lose weight, I would go hard for two weeks and then when I didn’t see a certain number on the scale, I would just give up and think, ‘It’s useless! I’ll never change!’ This time around I didn’t worry about the scale changing — I only worried about changing my habits. My victories were showing up at the gym, getting in my workouts, hitting my protein goals, getting in my daily steps, and drinking half my weight in ounces of water.”
“As I focused on healthy habits, the scale naturally started moving in the direction I wanted it to. But more importantly, I felt so good. I was happy and could feel myself getting stronger and having more energy.”
Advice No. 3: Up your level of accountability.
“There were two game-changers for me. The first was working with a personal trainer. I had never done that before and it opened up a whole new world of exercise to me. It was so amazing to have someone who believed in, supported, and encouraged me through the ups and downs of my journey. There were so many days I wouldn’t have made it into the gym if I didn’t know my trainer was there waiting for me.”
“The second was joining Alpha small group training. Being part of the Alpha community gave me a whole new level of accountability and the push and motivation that comes from working out with other like-minded people. Even after reaching my weight-loss goals, Alpha training continues to give me endless new goals to reach for and work toward. It’s taught me that there are no finish lines in fitness — it’s not a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle.”
Advice No. 4: Always remember the “why” behind your habits.
“Even on the hardest days, I remember where I’ve been and that I never want to go back to that place. I know what happens if I quit, so now I’m finding out what happens if I keep going. I’m also motivated to be a good example to my husband and children. I want my kids to learn that they can do hard things — and that hard things are also the most rewarding.”