Here is a little help from Michael Rousell, PH.D. from Men’s Health on when we can make the shift from weight loss to weight maintenance and what signs to look for. (Men’s Health, May 2011)
You’ve been dieting for 6 months:
- Research shows that every diet stops working around the 6-month mark. In studies lasting a year or longer, most dieters typically regained a significant amount in the second 6 months.
You’ve lost only a pound or two in the past month
- When your rate of weight loss slows to a crawl, it’s a sign that the diet is no longer working or that you’re unable to stick with it. Either way, it’s time for a change.
You’ve continually cut back on your daily calories
- Long-lasting calorie deficits slow your metabolism. And as your muscles become more efficient, your work-outs burn fewer calories and your weight loss stalls.
You’re weaker in the gym
- Losing strength is a sign you’re losing muscle mass, failing to recover between workouts, or both. Your muscles may not be receiving the fuel they need.