In this weight maintenance series, we interview some of our Lost It participants who have previously shared their successful weight loss stories. In this series, we revisit some of their fitness and eating habits, and find out how they really keep up with maintaining their new bodies and mindset.
Who: Rob Loschiavo (Read his original Lost It feature here)
The Numbers: Current weight: 180 pounds and a total weight loss of 125 pounds over the years.
After Losing The Weight: If you thought losing weight was hard, maintaining it is an even bigger battle. You find yourself constantly examining everything youâ€™re eating. Yes, itâ€™s a good habit to have, but for myself I found it to become an obsessive hobby.
One thing nobody ever told me about losing weight in the first place is the psychological side effects of self-judgment on a daily basis. You donâ€™t notice how bad it is until you talk to someone about it and you hear what youâ€™re actually saying. You will never be exactly how you want to look, and youâ€™ll tell yourself you couldâ€™ve eaten better. You put yourself down for the smallest things, even though you do feel and look great. Your mind is your biggest enemy.
"There isnâ€™t much I would change about my weight loss, as it was one of the most positive experiences in my life."
Most reactions to my weight loss were shock for the most part; many people didnâ€™t realize the transformation I went through. Overall, everything was very positive. People felt inspired by my story, my success, and what I had to say.
Your New Mindset: I totally feel like a new person. Itâ€™s almost like a rebirth. That may sound a little dramatic, but youâ€™re given a chance to start over. Losing weight allowed me to transform into a person I wanted to be.
My weight loss changed my day-to-day lifestyle as I found my days planning around my eating schedule, meal planning/prep, and when I would get to work out. As someone who has a busy life, living a healthy lifestyle has become a priority. You and your health come first.
"Eat fresh always! I canâ€™t stress this enough!"
As much as I love my body and the transformation I have undergone, I am still currently undergoing one of the hardest parts of a transformation and that is the toning process. There isnâ€™t much I would change about my weight loss, as it was one of the most positive experiences in my life. My only comment would be that I wish I didnâ€™t discipline myself so much mentally.
The Food Element: To this date, there are many foods I donâ€™t eat. Fast food being first and foremost on that list. Iâ€™ve completely cut out white breads, pop, store-bought juices, and processed or manufactured foods as a whole. Eat fresh always! I canâ€™t stress this enough. This is one of the keys to changing your lifestyle. Iâ€™ve also found myself eating less and less red meat.
My typical meals for breakfast would include a fresh green juice, which I have during the work week. I get people asking me all the time whatâ€™s in my juice as itâ€™s been my secret weapon to getting fit. When Iâ€™m in a rush and on-the-go Iâ€™ll even shake up a Vega smoothie, which also works as a great boost to your current smoothie or juice recipe.
On the weekends Iâ€™ll sometimes have steel cut oats with superseeds and fresh fruit, avocado toast on a slice of ezekiel bread, or an egg white omelet with fresh vegetables. Lunches vary from leftovers, soups, salads, or even a Vega protein shake. I like to keep my lunches filling but also light. The most important thing is ensuring youâ€™re consuming a protein of some sort with your meals.
"Ensure youâ€™re always wearing the right gear when working out as well."
For dinner itâ€™s always been a plate portioned with three different items. These include one protein, such as chicken, fish, turkey, and two vegetables. I usually like to keep one vegetable green. When I'm not making these types of dinners, I would make some of my favourite dishes like stir-frys, pizza, or burgers, and flipping them in a healthy way, eliminating what was bad about them. For example, when youâ€™re craving a hearty pizza, but want to eliminate all the carbs, make a cauliflower crust pizza dough. One of my favourite places for recipe inspiration for meals like these has been by Catriona Smart on her blog, Coco & Cowe.
Of course I have cheat days, who doesnâ€™t? I donâ€™t think I would be able to make it through this process without them. I think once every week one meal should be a cheat meal. You have to be happy and enjoy the life youâ€™re living!
Portion size is also key! The amount of food you consume can dictate how likely that workout was worth it. So if youâ€™re going back for seconds, or your plate looks like youâ€™re dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet, thereâ€™s a big problem. I learned by researching from experts in the field and even tried a meal prep delivery service that specialized in this. Eat. Train. Live is amazing at this!
The Exercise Factor: I have remained true to my original workout strategy of three to four times a week for about an hour or more. I typically like to start my workouts with stretching, followed by about 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weigh training, from abdominal workouts, to arms, chest, and legs.
"My weight hasnâ€™t changed much because of muscle gain, but I have noticed a difference. I learned a very important lesson the hard way, which is to stop looking at the scale."
Ensure youâ€™re always wearing the right gear when working out as well as thereâ€™s nothing worse than wearing the wrong shoe for a run and causing pain to yourself.
Iâ€™m not an expert in exercise by any means, but I am someone who was driven to learn, and accomplish this on my own terms. Of course, there are people who help along the way and give you advice. The best people Iâ€™ve found to be fitspo leaders and influencers have been individuals like Sasha Exeter, Eva Redpath, and Jose Lopez, who all provide inspiration, motivation, advice, tips, tricks, and more.
My weight hasnâ€™t changed much because of muscle gain, but I have noticed a difference. I learned a very important lesson the hard way, which is to stop looking at the scale. It has become an obsession and itâ€™s not as accurate when youâ€™re toning and defining your body. Whatâ€™s most important is how you feel and look, not what a number tells you to feel.
My fitness goals today mainly include finding happiness in loving my body for what it looks like.
The Current Day-to-Day: These days I feel like my accomplishments are astounding. When I see old photos of myself, I canâ€™t believe the person I was. I still amaze myself at my progress and success. It truly reinforces that you can do anything in this world if you set your mind to it.
My biggest concern right now about maintenance is less of a concern and more of an obstacle. I find maintenance has been harder than losing the weight itself. It is a lengthy, time consuming, and tough battle, tacked on with trying to further lose weight and tone my body in the process. Itâ€™s not easy, but Iâ€™m always up for a challenge.
There have definitely been some slip-ups where Iâ€™ve gone back to older habits. Itâ€™s going to happen, but like I mentioned itâ€™s taking a step back, seeing what youâ€™re doing and changing it.
Do you have a weight loss maintenance story to share? Send us an email at CanadaLiving@huffingtonpost.com to be featured on our Lost It series.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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"I don't think about [weight] in terms of turning people into bikini models, because really for most people that's not going to be what happens. It's much more about getting people to medically significant weight loss that they can sustain. If you're obese and you reduce your weight by 10 per cent, it reduces your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 60 per cent. A relatively modest amount of weight loss can have a huge impact on your health, how you feel and yes, how you look."
"I usually have the same breakfast, and it's regular oatmeal with fruit and a non-fat Greek yogurt. It's a lot of food, it keeps me full, I think it tastes good, I'm happy having it, and I'm not making a decision. I just have the same thing every single day. What I now believe is that it's really the only way to keep it off, to get these types of little routines and habits established so that you don't have to make decisions anymore." - David Kirchhoff, CEO Weight Watchers International
"There's only so much we can do about the food environment. But the one thing we can do is change our personal environment. We can reengineer our kitchens, and make it basically safer places to exist by taking trigger foods, taking them out of sight, giving better visibility to healthier foods, making sure the kitchen's stocked with stuff that, if you're going to need to nosh at 9 p.m., don't deprive yourself of it, eat something healthy. Eat an apple, as opposed to having a bag of 100-calorie cookies."
In meetings in London a few weeks ago, Kirchhoff saw a big bowl of Weight Watchers treats, and despite not being hungry, eventually gave in and ate one. What does he wish he'd done? "I could have just said, 'you know what guys? Do you mind if I actually just put that over on the side table over there so I don't have to see it?'"
"We have a tendency to think of habits and routines as kind of obsessive compulsive, or boring -- but they're not. Because there's other things in life where we can still be as spontaneous as we need to be, but do we really need to have a really super exciting breakfast every day where it's just a great big surprise what we're going to have for breakfast? No."
"If you're keeping a food diary and there's a currency associated with the food, it's allowing you to distinguish between smart choices and not-so-smart choices, as well as forcing you to think about portion size."
It took Kirchhoff nine years to get to his goal weight because, by his own admission, he wasn't committed. "I was in kind of a dieting mentality where I'd be super hardcore for a couple of months, but I was never really thinking about fundamentally saying, 'This eating fruits and vegetables? It's not for these next two months, it's really for the next 20 years.' Which is one of the reasons why I give the advice, whatever you're doing while you're losing weight should be something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life.'"
"For someone who is already trying to make healthier choices, equipping them with information helps them facilitate it ... Because I'm constantly trying to make good decisions, when I see a lemon pound cake is 500 calories, I think, this is bullshit, I'm not spending 500 calories on that. It's like money. The question is like, 'wouldn't it be better if there wasn't pricing on products in the grocery store?' I want to be aware of where I'm spending money, and I want to be aware of where I'm spending calories. I want foods that are a good bargain, and I think frankly, people who are generally making the effort will feel the same way, so it's always going to be helpful to be able to rely on."
"Music is a big thing for me when I'm working out, so that's something to look forward to," Kirchhoff says. He cites AC/DC, Guns 'N Roses and Aerosmith as bands that push him when he's not feeling quite as energetic, and REO Speedwagon and the Bee Gees for his 'Big Ball of Cheese' mix.
"I really try to be mindful of what I talk about around [my teenage daughters], because I want them to be balanced and normal. But they are much more normal, not-compulsive eaters than I am ... I think it's good that they see me being healthy, I think it wouldn't be good if I sat around and talked about my weight all the time."