It’s official – Oprah is human. That explains how it was possible for her to regain 40 pounds. Today on her show, Oprah will share how she fell off the wagon like so many others before her. In fact, 80-90% of dieters regain the weight they lose! While there’s an endless amount of information about how to shed those pounds, unfortunately there’s not much out there about how to maintain that weight loss. Frustrated by that void, obesity specialist, Barbara Berkeley, M.D., wrote a new book to help post-dieters succeed – Refuse to Regain!: 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You’ve Earned! What does it take? Dr. Berkeley shares a few of her tried and true tips with FatFighterTV.

Losing the weight

First, it’s important to look at the weight loss journey. Whichever diet you chose, you probably follow it to the letter because you want it to work, right? And often, it does. But what happens once you reach your goal weight?

“Most diet books and most diet programs don’t place much of an emphasis on maintenance,” says Barbara Berkeley, MD. “People have just got the idea that once they’ve lost weight, if they go back to what they were doing before – sort of moderately – they’ll be fine. But in fact, they have to enact the same kind of plan they enacted to lose the weight. And what makes it more difficult is they have to permanently enact that if they’re going to keep the weight off. So of course, it’s a much more difficult task.”

It’s like training for a marathon

Dr. Berkeley has worked with overweight and obese patients for 20 years, helping them to control their ideal weight permanently. And her website, Refuse to Regain is an online support system for weight maintainers. This paragraph from her site is so powerful and so true:

No one has ever explained that learning how to maintain a weight loss is like training to run a marathon. Unlike the sprint of weight loss, maintenance is a long distance event which requires a different kind of knowledge and spirit.

Tools to maintain

So, what do you need for this long distance (forever) event? Here are a few tips Dr. Berkeley shared with FFTV:

  • Develop a plan. You need to find something that works for you.  Any plan that’s out there should be modified to meet your specific needs.
  • Write down your plan and follow it with complete and utter conviction at least for the first three to six months of maintenance until you’ve figured out what’s going to work for you.
  • Weigh yourself every day. Consider yourself a scientist in your first year of maintenance, meaning that you’re going to use your scale to tell you what foods do to you. You’re going to look every day. If you’ve added something back, you’re going to see if you’ve had a response to that. You’re going to see what actually is causing you to fall off the wagon or crave things or gain weight.

The book goes into much more detail on these tips and a lot more – all are part of the 12 Tough Rules to Maintain the Body You’ve Earned.

As Dr. Berkeley puts it, “It’s a book for people who are looking to interrupt the cycle of gain and loss at whatever point they are in that cycle.”

Finally, some much-needed attention to a topic too often ignored. Thanks, Dr. Berkeley!

Can anyone out there relate? Share with me where you are right now in that cycle – are you trying to lose weight? Or trying to maintain it? What’s the hardest thing for you?

Just for commenting, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win Refuse to Regain! for free!

A few contest details: It ends at midnight EST this Friday, January 9… you have to have a U.S. mailing address to enter… and a random number generator will pick the winner.