Ep. 304: Four Weight Loss Habits That Make Maintenance EASY

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Of course you’re creating weight loss habits to lose weight, but did you know that some of the actions you’re taking will help with maintenance, too? In this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, I’m sharing the four best weight loss habits you can build today to make maintenance easy.

When it comes to weight loss habits, most of us focus on things like eating in a caloric deficit, or exercising regularly. But there are other habits you can create now that will pay off big maintenance dividends later.

Four Weight Loss Habits That Make Maintenance Easy:

  • Planning your meals ahead of time
  • Looking at the big picture of your weight
  • Complimenting yourself
  • Drawing from success in other areas of your life

Losing weight successfully requires you to pay attention and act with intention – and maintenance is more of the same. This episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast will show you the way!


Hello, hello, GOALfriend. Welcome to episode number 304, where we are talking about Four Weight Loss Habits That Make Maintenance EASY. After last week's whole conversation, we should be talking about apples in September and things like that. I did not intentionally offer 4 weight loss habits today for episode number 304. Actually, today's episode was gonna be like 10 things, or maybe even more than that. And then I started listing out some of these habits. I very easily could have actually done many habits, but as soon as I started making notes on any of them, I didn't even make it all the way through the first one. I was like, this should be a whole podcast episode by itself. So I am intentionally kind of splitting the difference with myself. I notice that it is my natural inclination to take one top and just drill down forever. Just dive really deep into it, take apart all the nuances, and really, like, really get into it, peel in the onion. And that's not always as helpful as it can be. Sometimes that's the way that I like to listen to podcasts, really specific I've been thinking about this. I just started listening to a new podcast. It's a business podcast. Probably has nothing to do with anything that you would necessarily care about, but if you are an entrepreneur, I highly recommend Colin Boyd. He has a podcast called The Expert Edge. He's Australian, so I love his accent. But also he got recommended to me actually, no, that's not true. His ads were shown to me on Facebook and Instagram over and over and over and over and over again, he finally wore me down. I bought his story conversion, I don't know what it's called, course, or whatever. And now I follow him. I listen to his podcast. All of a sudden, he's like my new best friend. So in any event, a lot of his podcasts are these lists of 3 to 5 things that are really helpful for you. And I was thinking about how much I would like to be that helpful to you. This is the direction that I'm really going with my business, where I'm not creating short videos anymore for YouTube and Instagram. I really want to dive into one topic and drill down deeply, but also take one topic and really pull out the most important things that I can tell you about it. That's what this episode is today with the 5 minutes of preamble because it's me. Have you met me? This is how we roll. The other thing that I want to tell you before we start talking about the 4 weight loss habits, I got this new camera, and I'm very excited about it. If you are still listening to the podcast via some podcast with you. This feels so much more like a conversation to me than it did even when I was sitting on my couch or sitting in my car just talking with the microphone. I love having the camera because for 10 years, 10 years? Longer than 10 years. almost 12 years. Me talking to the camera means I'm talking to you, this totally feels like a conversation with my friend. So my friend, here are the 4 weight loss habits that make maintenance easy because I know that sometimes we get really caught up in, like, thinking about the minutiae of weight loss. Like, I have to eat in this caloric deficit, and I have to exercise this certain way. And we think about habits being really specifically only for weight loss. And then we get kind of nervous, like, well, how are things gonna be different in maintenance. In fact, this is one of the questions that I get asked very, very frequently. What do I do with my calories? What do I do with my exercise? This is not actually that podcast where I'm gonna tell you the very specifics. Here's exactly what you do with your calories, and here's exactly what you do with your exercise because the larger answer here is that you can kind of do anything, and you have a lot of options. So what we're talking about today is actually to help you not have so many fears that maintenance is gonna be this whole completely different thing. There are parts of it that you can start practicing right now, and these are those habits. Number 1. And in fact, these are in no particular order just so you know, like I said, I was gonna have more, and then I started to get these. So this first one was the one that I have a lot to say about planning your meals ahead of time. I can feel your resistance through the camera. I can feel how much you're like, No. I'd rather not. Here is my argument pro planning your meals ahead of time because I don't know that I've ever told you this. I used to absolutely 100% hate planning my meals ahead of time. I was the girl who went to the grocery store every single day because at 3 o'clock I was like, well, what are we supposed to want for dinner? And here's what I have learned about that habit because that is a habit that we get into, and I suggest not that you break the habit, but that you create a slightly different habit for yourself, which is to say plan your meals ahead of time. Here's what I've learned. As I got further and deeper into my business and it became harder and harder to make dinner, I got to this breaking point where I realized that I didn't want to be making that decision every day. It was actually when I was losing weight. I started planning my meals. Oh gosh. About 7 or 8 years ago now, maybe. Maybe not quite long, but a while ago. And then when I was losing weight, I realized what a help it was. But here's the thing, every time you have an open decision in your mind. It is like having an open browser on your computer. Have you ever had dozens of open browser tabs? I did this just recently. When I was creating the 4 courses of the apocalypse, I'm just gonna continue calling it that. I hope you hear that as funny and interesting because that's how I'm saying it. The 4 courses that I have created for my weight loss group the Get Your GOAL group, which is a coaching accountability mastermind group that I have, and you can come to find out about it: https://getyourgoal.com/work-with-me/. But here's the thing about the 4 courses. This is what I was telling you. Sorry. that was if I was trying to just record this on audio, that part totally would have been cut out. But here we go. It's just one take. I'm gonna talk to you how I talk to you. So when I was doing the 4 courses. I created scripts for each of them so that I knew exactly what I was going to say, and each of the courses has like 9 videos in it where we cover one part of the topic of one section of losing weight, which by the way, the reason I call it the four courses of the apocalypse is because there are four stages of weight loss where you're Losing the First Five Pounds, you're Losing All the Five Pounds in the middle, you're Losing the Last Five Pounds, or you are Maintaining (Maintenance and Other Exciting Goals). So while I was creating these courses I wanted to see everything that I'd been talking about. So at any given time, I had as many as, gosh, how many would that have been? If there are four core courses, and there were approximately, oh gosh, you're watching me do math. There were an average of like 7 videos in each course, so I had like 20 browser tabs open, plus I had my spreadsheets open so that I could keep track of them all. So I had probably 30 browser tabs open. I have never seen browser tabs so tiny before, because normally I have maybe 2 or 3 of them open at a time. I had them all open, and it was so hard to keep track of them, and I kept having to, like, click on every single one of them. And because they were so tiny, I kept accidentally clicking the x, which made it go away, and then I had to find it again. This is your brain having open decisions all day long. The more open decisions you have, the harder your brain is working. This is a thing called cognitive load, and it's a real problem if you are making decisions elsewhere in your life. This is why I suggest planning your meals ahead of time is excellent for you if you have a job, you run a business, or you are doing literally anything else. If you have all the free time in the world to make any decision anytime you want to, this might not apply to you. However, If you have experienced that cognitive load, people call it decision fatigue. I don't love that phrase, and I am gonna tell you why, even though I still have like 3 other things to talk about. The thing about this decision fatigue is it makes it sound like you can only make so many decisions, and then you're done. Decision fatigue is actually a lot like muscle fatigue, which is to say that you get to a point where you don't wanna make any more decisions, but then you just need to rest a little while and you can make more. However, you fatigue faster the more decisions you make even after you've rested. So thinking about cognitive load, thinking about how many open decisions you have in your brain at any given time can help you and how to manage your energy. When your brain is taking energy, your body is using energy. Thinking about how that affects you and how it makes it much more difficult to make any other decision. When you plan ahead, you close all those browser tabs, put them all in your Google Drive folder, and you ship them off to your video editor. It's all somebody else's problem after that. The other reason that I actually think is even more important than cognitive load. The reason why I suggest that you plan your meals ahead of time is because you make decisions from authority rather than urgency. It practices a whole different side of decision-making that will 100% help you, not just in maintenance but in every part of your life. We all are so used to making urgent decisions all day long. It's all about, well, what do I wanna do? What room do I have? What fire do I need to put out? What do I need to do now? What do I want to do now? Making a decision from authority feels so calm. It feels so centered. It feels very grounded in a way that urgency doesn't. And here's what I mean about urgency authority. When you make a decision on, for example, Saturday morning, before I go grocery shopping for the week, I stand in front of my white board and I yell at everybody in the house. What do you want for dinner this week? Cause I already know what I'm gonna have for breakfast and lunch. Those decisions have been cast in stone for decades now at this point. But so I'll stand in front of the whiteboard with my pen and I'll erase last week's dinners and I will yell at everybody in the house because they're almost always in another room and I'll be like, What do you want for dinner this week? And they'll shout out suggestions, and I'll say no, or yes, or whatever. And so then I will write down whatever it is that we somewhat agree upon through yelling. Then I will make my grocery list based on the things that we're going to eat on those certain days, and then on those days, I never have to worry about it. And my favorite day of all is leftovers, which happens to be tonight, all day long. I'm like, I don't have to think about dinner at all. It feels so lovely. And here's the problem that I think a lot of people have. This, making a decision about what to eat based on what sounds good, what you want, that this new idea of making a decision from authority feels I'm gonna say boring, but it might also feel scary or threatening, or like, well, I can't think that far ahead, or I don't know what I'm gonna like, or I don't know what I'm gonna be able to do, or I just I'm not really good at planning ahead. These were my excuses for a long time too. So I'm gonna offer you a step-by-step procedure for exactly how you can make decisions from authority. And what I'll tell you here is that you're just practicing making decisions from authority. And I don't think I told you, the reason why it's such a good idea to make decisions from authority is because you know that you're always gonna hit your calories. Like 100%. When you plan ahead, you track ahead. You already know you're gonna meet your calorie target because it's already planned. It's a done deal. You could have all of your calories planned and tracked, again, I'm just offering you my example, Saturday morning, versus on the fly trying to figure out exactly what you've got left and how far over or how far under you are. You could have it all done for the entire week. That would be really amazing, right? However, for those of you who just got overwhelmed, let me tell you. Number 1, you're gonna start by noticing what you already plan, because here's the thing - you’re probably planning more than you realize. If you drink a cup of coffee every morning, you already plan ahead because you know you're gonna have coffee tomorrow. You know you're gonna have coffee the day after that. If you know for sure that there are some foods that you just like to eat. My friend, those are already planned. You don't think about it that way right now, and that's why I'm offering you this as step 1. There are foods and beverages that you already plan for and you just haven't thought about it that way. Thinking about that way can help move your brain into this arena of planning ahead for things that you don't currently plan for. So step number two is to plan one thing at a time instead of trying to plan your whole life. Here's what happens. Here's what happened to me. Let me rephrase that. I start watching organization videos on YouTube, or I start listening to an organization podcast, which by the way, just in case you are a life coach I don't know if you are. I don't know. Maybe you are. I have another recommendation for you, Colin Boyd, by the way, is a coach for coaches. This other podcast that I just started listening to is called The Organized Coach by Tracy Hoth. I really hope that's her name. She says it every time. I have not memorized it. I just like her voice, and she is so organized. I listened to one of her podcasts and felt the urge to organize my entire life. I cleaned out my desk. I cleaned out my digital files. I cleaned out my email. I was gonna go clean out my closet and then I got decision fatigue. If you are like me, and you hear something like this, and it sounds very easy, and you're like, I'm gonna plan my meals for the rest of my life, what I'm gonna offer you is just start by planning tonight's dinner. If you have never planned for your meals before, just start really, really small. Plan for one thing and then follow through on it because, a, it's going to be harder than you think, and, b, it’s going to be easier than you think, but just altogether, it's going to be different, which means that your brain is gonna have trouble with it, which is actually step 5, and I'm gonna get to that when I get to that. So step number 2 is to plan one thing at a time instead of trying to plan your whole life. Step number 3 is to write it down or keep notes in some manner. You really want to have some sort of a process over time. And again, trying to keep something in your memory keeps that cognitive load, keeps those tabs open, write down your decisions so that you don't have to think about them anymore. It also helps you with step 4, which is to revise your process as you pack if you've got some kind of notes, if you see what you've done, what worked, and what didn't work, you'll be able to revise the process without being, like, again, trying to use your brain and be like, now what did I do last time? How did that work out? Did I actually like that meal? Did I not like that? How many calories was that? Did that really fit in with my day? When you're keeping notes, it keeps it all in one place where you're organized. You can refer back to it later, and you can revise your plan over time, and then step 5 is to expect it to feel scary. Here's the thing, anytime you do anything new, like truly anything ever all the time. Your brain is hardwired to think it is going to be scary or hard or not for you or offer you all kinds of reasons why you shouldn't do it. The only reason that this happens is because your brain wants to be efficient. That's all. It's the only reason it's not because you can't plan. It's not because it is hard. It's not because you actually love to be spontaneous. It's not because of any of the reasons that you hear. It's just because it's different, which is why we take it in baby steps and revise as we go, as we practice. Alright. Finally, thing number 2, habit number 2 that can make maintenance easy peasy lemon squeezy is to look at the big picture. Now you might have been weighing yourself for a long time. Maybe my advice about weighing yourself every day doesn't actually feel like a big deal to you. What I hear very frequently though is that when you do the 5-0 method, which is my free weight loss program for women you can get it from GetYourGoal.com. What I hear is that they start freaking out. And in fact, I hear even after you've been on it for a while, sometimes you're still kind of rocking and rolling with all of the fluctuations. Your body will fluctuate. It will. It has nothing to do with what you ate yesterday and everything to do with the 1,000,000,000 processes that your body is going through every single second of every single day, all of which take energy in, do some sort of a process and then have some sort of waste out, which means that your body's weight is constantly fluctuating constantly because of everything that you have surely no control over. There are a couple of things that you do have control over. You have control over what you eat and how much of it you eat. You have control of whether you are drinking, and how much of it you drink. You have control over what time you go to bed, what time you wake up in the morning, and get out of bed. It's what I actually meant to say. because you don't always have control of when you wake up, you have control of when you get out of bed. You have control of when and how much and how intensely you exercise and you have control of managing your mind. These are the 5 inputs of the 5-0 method. These are the only things that you actually have control over everything else is up to your body. So here's the thing about looking at that one point of data. It's one point of data, and it's going to fluctuate. Every single day your weight is going to be either slightly or somewhat aggressively different than it was the day before. It's completely normal. It's completely okay. When you are losing weight, you are simply looking for trends over time. Even when you are maintaining, and this is where I'm going with looking at the big picture of your weight, is that you're gonna maintain in a window. You're not gonna get to one number, and all of a sudden, your body's gonna stop fluctuating. The truth of it is your body will always fluctuate. My recommendation is that you give yourself 5 pounds on either side of a 10-pound window that you consider maintenance. I know I just blew your minds on some of that. Here's what I want you to do even further to that. Today's weight is one point of data in 31,390 points of data if you live to be exactly eighty-six years old, and, of course, I Googled that, which means that today's weight is truly insignificant when you think about weighing yourself or not even weighing yourself if you think about the fact that you weigh something every single day of your life, it's really insignificant what you weigh today, truly, wildly insignificant, and here's the even more important thing, especially when you're losing weight. You don't even have all the data yet. I mean, today is not the last day. you are missing almost half of the data. For example, I looked it up. I personally am 19,604 days old at the recording of this podcast, which means if I live to be 86, I've still got, can't do math in my head, but almost 12,000 more points of data ahead of me. So do you. My friend, today's weight is really insignificant. While you're losing weight, you don't have all the rest of the data so you can't even analyze what's going on with today's number. Here's the reason why I tell you to weigh yourself every day. There's this really well-known principle in psychology called exposure therapy, which is when you have a phobia, or I think is mostly used for phobias, you are exposed to it again and again and again to normalize that thing that you're afraid of normalizing, meaning that it gets normal. Like, you start to see it as ordinary. The thing about that though is that it works in therapy because it's intentional. When you drive to the therapist's office, you know that the therapist is showing you the thing that you're afraid of, like, you're doing it really intentionally. And I think that sometimes, in fact, I think most of the time, when I offer you, even if I explain to you that weighing yourself every day is exposure therapy. I think there's a part of us that wants the scale to just make itself feel better as opposed to us intentionally creating a better relationship with the scale. When you weigh yourself and look at the big picture of your weight, it can help you if you are intentionally thinking about it that way. When you are practicing this habit on purpose intentionally by paying attention to what you think when you get on the scale and what that thought creates as a feeling inside your body and recognizing that it has nothing to do with the number on the scale and recognizing that it has everything to do with how you’re thinking, and that you could think differently, which is exactly why I offer you the mind management tools in The 5-0 Method. This is how we intentionally change our minds about the number on the scale. This is how we can look at the big picture of your weight as part of your life. It could be an entire podcast in itself, and I have 2 more points to make. I'm gonna let that one lie. Step number 4, which is not really number 4, and it's not really a step, and it's not really an order habit number 4 for our podcast today is complimenting yourself. Speaking of topics that could be an entire episode. And I did not save this one for last, even though I know some of you were like, well, I'm done listening. Some of you just got really uncomfortable with this being a habit that A, you can practice right now, and B will help you in maintenance. I think if you're anything like me before I came to mindset work and understanding how my brain works, how my body works, how all of this stuff works, I really, truly thought I would get to my goal weight and suddenly, magically in my brain, there would be nothing but compliments for my body. Weirdly. That is not how it turned out at all. I got to my goal weight and still hated all the things I hated when I was fat. I still picked myself apart. I still, and this is not the most recent time, by the way. This is really when I was, like, a lot younger, like, a lot younger. I was a fantastic weight and had nothing but self-loathing in my brain constantly on repeat. Here's the thing about complimenting yourself. You're capable of it. You can, and it actually has nothing to do with your body. I want you to think about that. Just really quickly, I know that when you feel that deep resistance to saying something like my body looks fantastic. I'm really beautiful. I love the way I look. Any of those sorts of things, I love my weight. Today's weight is what I wanted it to be. Any of the helpful thoughts that I offer you. They're not helpful if they feel completely cringy, by the way. Helpful thought is one that feels good. So I want you to find a compliment that feels believable and not completely cringe just so that you can start this practice. When you practice complimenting yourself you will, 1st of all, you'll get better at it because it's a skill to practice just like you practice literally anything as you practice it, you get better at it. But here's what I wanna offer you about why you want to practice it now. Your compliment has nothing to do with your actual body. That thought I love my body, even if it doesn't sound believable, is available right now. You heard it. You know what it means. You could speak those words out loud. It's not your body that's resisting that compliment. Your body. Truly. If you wanna know the truth, your body would love that compliment. Your body would be thrilled with that compliment because if that compliment sounds, believable to you. Your body would experience a rush of endorphins and dopamine and serotonin and all those feel-good chemicals because that's what happens when you compliment yourself and believe it. Your body would love it. Your body is not the determiner of whether or not you can compliment yourself. It's your brain. And let me be very clear. The only reason your brain resists complimenting your body is because it's new and different. We already covered this with habit number 1. When you think of something new and different, your brain's like, nope. Nope. I can't think that because that's not efficient. That's not what you hear. You hear something like, no, my body is gross, or it's so ugly, or I'm so big, or whatever chitter chatter you hear. None of those are actual reasons why you can't compliment yourself. You can. You're capable. You can practice this skill a little bit at a time with small believable compliments so that by the time you get to your goal weight, you will magically have a head full of beautiful thoughts about your amazing body that feel really good and really believable. This is why this is a habit that you could start practicing now, that will help you in maintenance. When you are in maintenance, if you are thinking, I'm gonna say nothing but good thoughts. There's room for some chatter. But when you're thinking mostly good thoughts about your body, it's gonna be so easy to maintain your weight because you love your body. Because if you are so good the habits that you have created are so easy to continue with. This leads me to habit number 4 drawing from your success in other areas of your life. When you think about weight loss and maintenance as skills, as opposed to, like, things you've gotta do right now to get a result, and then you can go back to living your real life. When you think about it as a skill that you are practicing right now in order to get better at it and continue doing it forever, it feels very different. When you think about a skill that you have acquired, I'm thinking I mean, I am always my go-to because I think everybody in the world plays a musical instrument except me. I always think about musical instruments as a skill that I wish I'd had more patience in order to learn when I was younger. I told you that story before about how I took piano lessons when I was like, 14, I think. And if I remember correctly, it lasted maybe 3 or 4 months. Maybe. It was so boring. There was no payoff for it. I just wanted to be good. I wanted to be done, which is what I think a lot of us think about weight loss too. However, as an adult, there were plenty of skills that I found interesting enough that I wanted to get better about them. Running actually comes to mind very easily right there. I was terrible at running. The first time I ran, I ran fifty steps, and then I was exhausted, and then I walked 100, and then I ran another fifty steps, and then I walked a 100. It took me How long did it take me? Well, I had already been walking for like 9 months. And then it took me, I think, 3 months maybe. Probably 3 months of doing like 1 run, not 1. Run walk intervals before I could run for any, like, any kind of distance. And then, even then, it still took me like years to get good enough at it that I wasn't constantly injured, or I wasn't, not improving. I really came to running wanting to improve. So I had like 3 years' worth of improvement because I wanted to because it felt good because I enjoyed it so much. When you think of taking a skill that you have learned somewhere else in your life. And just picking up all of the the way that you think about that and applying it over here to your weight You'll recognize that there are skills that you can do that help you lose weight, that will help you maintain it, and that you can reach into your bag of tricks and find things that enjoyable about it the same way that you did when you were first practicing learning how to play the piano, for example, or learning how to run. I made a game out of learning how to run. That's why I did the whole thing like walking 50 or running 50 steps, walking 100. I made a natural game out of it that helped me develop the skill. You have developed skills somewhere else in your life that you can simply look at and be like, oh, this is exactly how I made this fun. This is exactly how I made this pleasurable. This is exactly why I've been able to stick with it all this time, and just plunk it right down on top of weight loss. so that weight loss doesn't constantly feel like a grind. The more you enjoy any of your weight loss habits, not just these 4, but any of them. The more you'll be able to stick with it, the better you'll be at getting where you want to go and the easier it will be to maintain. To recap, here are the 4 habits, the 4 weight loss habits that make maintenance easy. Number 1, planning your meals ahead of time. Number 2, looking at the big picture of your weight. Number 3, complimenting yourself, number 4, drawing from your success in other areas of your life. My friend, I really hope this was helpful for you today. Thank you so much for joining me. I'll see you again next week.

Listen to the full episode here, and be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired September 10, 2023
Of course you’re creating weight loss habits to lose weight, but did you know that some of the actions you’re taking will help with maintenance, too? In this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, I’m sharing the four best weight loss habits you can build today to make maintenance easy.
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Meet Your Host

Mindset expert and certified life coach Pahla B knows a thing or two about changing your mind to change your weight and your life. She’s the creator of The 5-0 Method, Amazon-best selling author of the book “Mind Over Menopause,” and former yo-yo dieter who has cracked the code on lifelong weight maintenance. Join Pahla B each week for the personal insights, transformative mindset shifts, and science-backed body advice that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.