To discover what phase of weight loss you’re in is crucial to understand that there are actually three phases of weight loss not two. The phase that I see that’s consistently missed is called the “transition phase”. Why this gets missed is because the focus is usually on reaching your weight loss goal and then maintaining that goal. That’s two only phases! So what about the third? The three phases are, Active Weight Loss, Transitional Phase, and Maintenance Phase. The three major problems I see with the transition phase getting skipped over is losing more than 2 pounds per week, rigorous and unrealistic workout routines, and carbohydrate restriction.
Today I want to not only go in depth into these three phases but I want to talk about the number one most skipped over phase called the “Transitional Phase”
Active Weight Loss Phase:
This is the phase where you’ve done a detailed analysis of what your goals are for weight loss age, height, weight, activity level, and current eating status to set your calorie and macros goals. You have been educated in areas such as what a balance plate looks like, how to read a nutrition facts label, how to manage weight through stress, how to set up a meal plan etc. You are actively losing 0.5-2.0 pounds per week. The length of this phase will depend on how much weight you would like to lose and the rate of your weight loss, and the amount of plateaus you encounter.
Here we go, the most skipped phase of weight-loss the Transitional Phase! This is the phase where you have achieved the weight of your dreams and you’re ready to live your life at this newfound weight. This is the period where you transition out of a caloric deficit by adding 25 to 50 calories per week until you start to see consistent weight gain. This means that you are officially out of a caloric deficit so you stop adding calories and wahla maintenance phase is achieved! This is where you can eat healthy while still enjoying your favorite foods like Starbucks coffees, drinks with friends, dining out, and desserts!
The last step is to transition completely off of any tracking app that you’ve been using to count calories to achieve your weight loss. This is where your knowledge of balanced plates, nutrient density, meal planning and all of the skills that you have accumulated while working in the active weight loss phase comes in handy! At this point you are proficient in your nutrition and are no longer relying on an app to tell you what your day-to-day should look like with food.
This is the phase where you have not only achieved the weight of your dreams but you’ve now transitioned off of any tracking app and have increased calories out of a deficit. This is where you focus on the fact that everyone has higher calorie days and harder weeks to keep up with nutrition but you don’t let this impact your mood or increase negative self talk. You know after having a few beers and pizza with friends you’ll wake up the next day excited to eat healthy food. You’re focused on consistency over perfection and you know this is what leads to long-term ideal weight management.
After reading about these three phases it may have become clear to you as to what you may be missing within your weight loss plan in order to achieve your goal weight. Some of the hurdles that I see are losing more than two pounds per week which will force you to skip the transition phase and add confusion as to how to stay in the maintenance phase. Another hurdle I see is unrealistic workout routines that don’t fit into your life. It’s better to focus on moving the body throughout the day adding short incremental strength training verses, one to two hours in the gym five days a week leading to total burn out. The last and final biggest hurdle I see is carbohydrate restriction which causes too much weight loss in the active weight loss phase, too big of a transition to add carbs back into the diet, making it the perfect storm for weight gain in the maintenance phase.
I help weight loss seekers, and health enthusiasts reach their step goals and manage their weight without having to do stressful workouts or restrict the foods they love.