How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

How to Maintain Sustainable Weight Loss

Weight loss, and related challenges is not about, nutrition, but are projections of deeper rooted emotional and psychological challenges.

PAUL SALTER is a Registered Dietitian, Coach, Author, and, Sustainable Weight Loss, Expert, believes that, weight loss, and it's related challenges, aren’t related to lack of nutrition or knowledge; but are actually projections of deeper rooted emotional and psychological challenges.  We won’t be able to confidently maintain, weight loss, until those challenges are acknowledged and overcome. His passion is helping men and women just like you re-frame their thoughts and reshape their behaviors so that they can transform their relationship with food and dieting, and finally, lose weight,  once and for all.

Download the full interview here:

Introduction to Sustainable Weight Loss

In this audio and blog, we're going to be discussing how to guarantee a successful, weight loss, how to lose weight, and keep it off.

Since 2013, Paul's worked one-on-one with over 1,437 men and women just like you who have collectively lost more than 10,000 pounds, thousands of inches, and maintained their results.

Myrna: What’s your story? You look pretty lean and fit. Did you have a problem with, weight loss, at one point and how did you become a, sustainable weight  loss, expert?

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Paul: Yes, I appreciate the kind of words. I have quite an interesting and diverse journey. For me, it started off with a late growth spurt. What I mean by that is at 16 years old, as a multi-sport athlete, I was about 5 foot 1 and 110 pounds.

Paul's Story: Becoming a Weight Loss Expert

As you can imagine it was quite challenging to keep up with all of my peers who were bigger, stronger and faster than me. It finally clicked one day, and I don't know why.  I like to give my mother all the credit for what I was eating and putting into my body.  This, nutrition, enabled me to perform better during sport practices and competition. I was able to keep up with everyone despite the size disadvantage that they had. I took that nugget of knowledge with me and carried it into College, where I shared my new found love for exercise, weight lifting, and, nutrition, with friends.

Quickly I realized that my peer group was turning to me more often than not for advice related to, nutrition, and, weight lifting. It finally dawned on me that maybe I could get paid to just talk about, nutrition, and, weight lifting, all day. That was how I began to study for my, personal training, certification. I still remember to this day exactly where I was reading and I believe it was chapter 23 of the big exam book, it was called, sports nutrition.

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Using Sports Nutrition for Weight Loss

That was my light bulb or the moment that I finally realized there are actually people out there who are helping others or helping even athletes pay attention to what they're eating and when they're eating, so that they can feel look and perform at their very best.

The very next week, I went into my supervisor (counselor's office) declared my major in, dietetics, and then went down the path of studying, nutrition. I really wanted to get into, sports nutrition. At the time there were only seven, sports dietitians, in the whole nation. Crazy to think about right? So, it was definitely a very new area of focus, but I was fortunate enough to be proactive and a bit aggressive.

If you will put my resume everywhere to meet the right people to lead me through a path as a, sports nutrition, expert.  I spent time in a hospital as a, dietician,  I knew that wasn't for me, but that was part of a, dietitian,  training so I had to do it. I also spent a lot of time doing competitive body building as I went through this journey of self-discovery.

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This is where I started to really understand the holistic, specifically the emotional and psychological impact that, dieting, has on people. When we finish a, diet, trying to return, I guess to a sense of normalcy is a lot easier said than done.  This revelation birthed if you will a passion for helping people, maintain weight loss .

How to Lose Weight: The Definition of Diet

Myrna: Alright, so let's transition to our topic for today.  As I said, we're going to be focusing a lot on, diet, and, nutrition.

What is the, definition of diet?  I know it fluctuates How does the, definition of diet,  affect us, maintain weight loss?

I ask the question because, diet, is the number one influencing factor that people can't maintain, weight loss.  They go on a, diet,  and six months later, they're back to the same weight or even sometimes they gain more. What's that about?

Paul: I think there's two major driving forces behind this occurrence. The first one fits right into the, definition of diet. It's a perfect opportunity to talk about this because there are actually two definitions to the word, “diet”.

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Diet – Eating fewer calories to Lose Weight

There's one that we are all so familiar with – which is intentionally eating fewer calories to, lose weight. That's the one that the, weight loss, industry promotes very heavily and tries, for lack of better words to brainwash us with.

The second definition is simply “a habitual way of eating, “and the best example I like to describe to illustrate that definition difference is a vegetarian or someone who follows a, plant-based diet,  doesn't necessarily mean that said person is eating to try to, lose weight.

What that, diet, encompasses is a lifestyle, a foundation of healthy behaviors in a healthy relationship related to our food choices. Where we all go wrong as a whole population, is we focus on the former definition only (i.e. intentionally eating to, lose weight)

What happens as a result of focusing on the wrong definition, is we develop a very short-term focus.  Where things go wrong is we commit ourselves to:

  • 30-day cleanse,
  • 90-day transformation
  • a 12-week this and that.
  • We never have a plan for day 31, day 92 etc. It's kind of like, oh crap what do I do now? I just made all these massive changes for the short term because I was really committed, motivated and exciting.
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Dieting to Lose Weight is a Major Stressor on the Body

After you complete your 30 day cleanse or your 90 day transformation,  motivation has now waned, excitement has now waned and now you realize you do not have a foundation of healthy eating habits to fall back upon. So you fall back on your past lifestyle and then the weight comes back.

Myrna: Okay, you're saying that the, weight, comes back because they eat and fall back on their bad food choices, but I've been told or read that a lot of times, people gain the weight back because they changed their metabolism. The lowered their, metabolic rate, from, dieting. Can you talk on that?

Paul: One of the biggest things that we have to remember is that, dieting, is a major psychological and emotional stressor.  Your body wants nothing more than to bring you out of that, diet. What happens when we begin eating fewer calories to initiate, weight loss, our body starts to enter this protective mode. It begins to hoard food and anytime we get excess calories it holds onto them for dear life, and store them to protect itself from future stress of starvation.

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How Dieting affects your Metabolic Rate

What happens is when we begin, dieting, our body wants to conserve energy and the way this manifests is simply our, metabolic rate, or the number of calories we burn per day begins to slowly decline. What also happens is there are hormonal changes that actually make you hungrier and less likely to want to stay on track with your plan. Our cravings increase. Our body is almost like a professional kick boxer, it's going to punch and kick from any angle to fight, to get you out of that calorie deficit and you have to be prepared to handle the punches.

The kicks maybe head butts. The occasional elbow who knows what? That's basically why you gain back the, weight loss, faster because you're changing your cylinder structure.

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The #1 Reason Diets fail

Myrna: Would you say that's the number one mistake that people make that leads to regaining the, weight loss?

Paul: The #1 reason, why diets fail, is this.  I think it's important to note, diet, to really initiate, weight loss, you have to be in a calorie deficit or there has to be some form of calorie restriction.  . It's literally an essential step, but what happens is, the harsher your, calorie restriction, or the longer your restriction, your body is so dynamic and adapts quickly.

Let me give a numerical example to help. Let's say somebody's eating 2000 calories per day, they decide they want to lose weight and they slowly drop their calories to 1600 or 1200, maybe even a 1000. People get too excited and make such harsh changes in their, calorie restriction, that their body adapts so quickly and then when they get to day 91 for example, and they just return to their old eating habits now, they've been accustomed to eating a thousand calories per day.

They go right up to 2000 calories or even more. Like I mentioned earlier, their body just wants to hold on to all of those excess calories to protect them and there comes the, weight gain. That's the number one reason, why diets fail,   harshly restricting calories.

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The proper way to Lose Weight

Myrna: Do you have another suggestion on the proper way to, lose weight?

Paul: Absolutely. The two points to keep in mind, the first is you want to try to, lose weight, eating as many calories as possible. Let me explain, I know that sounds a little funny.

Myrna: That's what you call a paradox or something.

Paul: Yes like an oxymoron.

Myrna: Okay I got it. What's the difference between a, pre maintenance diet, and, post diet maintenance? You just talked about the, post diet maintenance, phase which is where you gradually bring your calorie level back up so that your body can get accustomed to all this. What you're doing to it? What should we do as a, pre diet maintenance?

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What is the Pre diet maintenance Phase

Paul: Fantastic question. The way I like to talk about a, pre-diet maintenance, phase is when somebody comes to me and it's about 99% of those I work with, they say hey I want to lose X amount of weight and I want to lose it yesterday.

It's typical we want all of our results yesterday. When I go through their questionnaire and have these initial conversations with them, I get a really good picture of their current foundation of eating habits and relationship with food.  More often than not,  people who want to start a diet don't really have any foundation in place.

Maybe they're dining out seven times a week or they're skipping meals here and there, and then they're binging later etc. So, this, pre-diet maintenance, phase is a point or an opportunity rather to start building a unique, sustainable weight loss, structure for that individual and because changing habits can be a stressful process on its own.

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Pre Diet Maintenance reduces stress

We don't want to add additional layers of stress from, calorie deficit, like as we just mentioned that's a psychological emotional and physiological stressor on its own, so it's during the, pre diet maintenance, phase we're not trying to, lose weight, whatsoever. We're simply working on rebuilding a foundation of healthy eating habits, one that is unique and sustainable and also reframing or rebuilding our relationship with foods.

Myrna: Is this a diet?

Paul: Yes.

Myrna: Explain that so that someone's reading can understand what that means.

Paul: Absolutely. In the 10 plus years of doing this, working with 1400 plus people those who have had the most success, it all boils down to three common principles and that's related to the foundation of their food and eating habits. Those principles are:

  •  simplicity,
  • individualization and
  • sustainability.
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Weight Loss Mindset

If you and I for example, we're working together from day one I'm really going to ask you a lot of questions, challenge you to think differently about what an ideal day of eating, nourishing your mind and body, your soul looks like. I am looking to see you, weight loss mindset.

For example, maybe you only want to eat three times per day, maybe your best friend eats five times per day and you want to do the same.  So, we focus on you, we really build a structure that is unique to you. If you want to eat three times per day, great.  I'm going to have collected information about what your eating looks like.

I'm going to be able to identify what I like to call areas of focus or areas for growth. And then we're going to start with the one I feel is the most important and that's going to give you the quickest win right away.  We're going to take that and we're going to build positive momentum before we move to the next one.

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Protein is important in your Weight Loss plan

One of the most common ones I get is a person coming to me under eating protein.  So, I look for ways to add in protein throughout the day. I even like to say sneak protein in so you can reap the many benefits protein has to offer without making some completely upheaval change to your current approach to, nutrition, and eating.

Myrna: Alright, I got it. You're just getting them maybe in touch with what they're eating and getting them into starting the, diet, phase and maybe even seeing if they can follow it to be quite honest.

Paul: If you are going to, diet, and then maintain your ,weight loss, successfully, you should probably only spend about one percent of the rest of your life ever, dieting. Think about that for a minute, if you do one good diet and you learn how to, maintain weight loss, you never have to, diet, again which is fantastic.

Myrna: That's where you're talking about lifestyle right?

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Post Diet Maintenance

Paul: Yes. During the, post diet maintenance, phase, we want to pay attention to the gradual increases in your calories. Your portions to get you back to a level that supports everything you want to do and to live life to the fullest. But during this time too, we need to really put a lot of attention and time into redefining what normal or balance or moderation looks like for you as an individual.

We view each of those through the lens of sustainability, so that, weight loss, maintenance continues to happen as you operate on this new version of autopilot with your eating, exercise, and self-care habits.

Myrna: In your program do you include exercise or just a, nutrition, plan?

Paul: We focus a lot on, nutrition, but we actually focus a lot more on the emotion, behavioral and mindset aspects.

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Sustainable weight loss without exercise

Myrna: This whole, sustainable weight loss, equation entails so not much on exercise right?

Paul: Yes, the brain and the mindset.

Myrna: Someone coming into your program:

  • You help them with the, pre diet maintenance,
  • Put them on a, diet, to reduce calories
  • They lose  20 pounds
  • The,  post diet maintenance, phase kicks in where it's a lifestyle shift.  If they do those three things, the million dollar question. Is, weight loss, sustainable?

Paul: Here's the one thing I'll include before someone enters our community and program. Before they receive instructions and the individual one-on-one care to build out their, pre-diet maintenance phase, they actually spend the first couple of months not even focusing on, nutrition.

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Understanding your relationship with food

We spend a lot of time up here and I'm pointing to my head and my heart.  I  am really looking to understand their past. How for example their childhood traumas, relationships with parents, guardians, friends and their environment shaped their current relationship with food.

We use this time as an opportunity to shine a big bright spotlight of awareness on some of the ways our past experience is affecting self-talk, limiting beliefs, thought counterproductive habits. We spend a lot of time there first before even getting to the, nutrition, because, if we can start making changes, they're going to accumulate and compound over time.

Myrna: Tell our readers about your program, how you can help them maintain their, weight loss, goals and how they can contact you.

How the 5 Community Help you with your weight loss goals

Paul: Absolutely. My core focus where I eat, sleep, breathe and live these days is called the, 5 Community. This is where we work with high achieving women specifically mothers, to help them reclaim their confidence, their inner peace and calm through learning how to rebuild not only their relationship with food and dieting; but most importantly, the relationship with themselves, so they can, lose weight, reclaim their energy and truly feel, look and be their best.

The ways we do this is our central focus of the course. There is plenty of coaching such as:

  • one-on-one time,
  • online continuing therapeutic and
  • transformational curriculum that is with them every step of the way, but truly the magic comes within our community. When you surround yourself with a like-minded in a group of like-minded individuals truly is an opportunity to time collapse your results.

One of the worst things that I've observed happening specifically with the mothers I've worked with over the years, is they develop this sense that they are alone.  

But when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, you can actually restore hope, restore feelings that change is possible and it's through the collaborative accountable and supportive efforts amongst our community. We've really seen some fantastic sustainable changes and of course on the scale, and  in the mirror; but more importantly in mindset, relationship and emotions related to food eating and just simply being the best version of us.

The best place to connect and engage with me is on Instagram @paulsaltercoaching. The best website is going to be

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Paul: Remember to trust yourself.  The difference between an appropriate portion size and maybe a not so appropriate portion size is that you already know what to do. Before you spend your money and time energy and effort, trying to outsource to fad, diet,  A B or C,  focus on making one tiny positive change that is geared towards helping you feel a little better.

When you make that change successfully, then insert another one and you're going to start to build, positive momentum, because when you begin feeling better, your energy comes up. Your confidence comes up, you're just exuding this different level of energy that has a nice positive ripple effect on other areas of your life. Now, we're talking about creating a win-win-win situation

Additional Resources

Health is Wealth: How to lose weight without Dieting