The Importance of Stabilization and Maintenance
Sara has lost 45 pounds and is so excited. She tells me that she is happy where she is. “I know you went over stabilization in the beginning and have been referring to it over the past few months,” says Sara. “What is it?” I say to her, “Okay let’s talk about next steps!”
You may have some of the same questions as Sara. So what is stabilization and maintenance and why should you take it seriously?
Once you shed the extra pounds, what you have learned is how to lose weight. We have identified behaviors and have worked with you to change them. But what do you think would happen if you just stopped losing weight without also learning how to eat all foods in moderation? You guessed it, over time, you would gain the weight back. Isn’t that what you have done before with other diets? Well this time around will be different because over a 12–week period, we will teach you about the different food groups and about your relationship with food.
Sara ask, “What does this do?” Well, let’s start with your weight loss plan. This will be your foundation and to this base plan we are going to work together to understand certain food groups. You will still journal and still step on the scale. What we are going to see is how your body responds to certain foods and how you handle adding in and expanding selections like, alcohol, crackers, and ice cream etc.
Sara responds, “What if I don’t want to add all that back in? What if I just want to stay on what I am doing. I like it.” I say, “Sara, it is really normal to be afraid to add food back in. Are you worried about adding in food?” Sara tells me yes and no. I ask her to clarify. “Well, what if I just don’t see the need to add that all back in?” I tell her, that would be unrealistic. You are going to eat all food again. I cannot see you going through the holidays or summer and never having anything, can you? “Well, no,” says Sara.
Stabilization is important for you. Each client will learn how to eat for themselves. We teach you to incorporate all foods into your lifestyle and how to eat so that you do not gain the weight back.
“So, how do you drink?”, Sara asks.
Good, very good. That’s the right kind of question. One we need to find the answer to. All food in moderation, but what is moderation to Sara? That is what we are going to find out. Now, journals are an important part of your plan. So make sure you keep them. This is how we will learn what foods you can have with no issue and what foods we need to modify.
Sara was starting to get excited. She said, “I have never done anything like this before. I am excited to finally learn how to eat all foods, moderately.” I said, “That is not all. Once you have gone through stabilization, you then go into maintenance.”
Maintenance is a free, weekly weigh-in accountability program allowing you to have us right there in case you need extra help. Our statistics show that the clients who use maintenance for at least two years, keep the weight off and those clients that do not use maintenance and/or stabilization are not as successful at keeping the weight off. You see Sara, you have to practice your good behaviors and you need us there to guide you. And so that is why we must first stabilize your weight and then learn to maintain it.
Are you ready? Sara says, “Yes!”