Just because you’ve lost weight doesn’t mean it will stay lost. On average, people who lose between 10 and 20 percent of their body weight are able to maintain that loss only two years later, while those who lose more than 20 percent of their body weight are only able to maintain that loss five years later on average (1). The key to successful weight loss maintenance, then, lies in understanding what factors contribute to long-term success and taking steps to address them as soon as possible. Here are 10 tips for maintaining your weight loss for good.
1) Weigh yourself
By keeping track of your weight, you’re forced to confront how much (or how little) progress you’ve made. Also, note that research shows that people who weigh themselves regularly are more likely to succeed in their weight-loss goals. If a scale makes you nervous, don’t worry—you can also monitor your body fat percentage through a simple at-home skinfold test.
2) Get Moving
Aside from following a healthy diet, you also need to exercise. Regular exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining weight loss because it helps you burn calories even when resting. So don’t slack off on your workout—it’s an important part of your weight-loss journey. Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, though—you can get in shape by simply walking more often and doing household chores.
3) Eat Better Foods
When you lose weight, you’ll feel hungrier. That’s because your body will burn fewer calories per day. To avoid overeating, you need to eat foods that fill you up and stave off hunger. Healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods like beans and nuts are perfect choices. The key is variety: You don’t want to get tired of eating a very limited set of foods in large quantities.
4) Take Action
If you find yourself slipping into old habits, try to figure out what triggered that. Were you stressed? Did you go out with friends? Whatever it is, think about how you can avoid that situation in future and stick to your goals. The secret is taking action! Don’t let yourself slip back into unhealthy habits.
5) Believe in Yourself
To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important not only to lose that extra weight but also keep it off. The best way to do so is by believing you have what it takes. When you believe in yourself, you are likely to find success and continue being successful. Believe in yourself today! You can make it happen!
6) Listen to What Your Body is Telling You
Take some time every day to simply be quiet, and tune in to your body. Does your stomach feel uneasy? Are you full of energy or lethargic? Do you have a headache? These are all signs that you might be overindulging. Tune into your body, eat when it needs food, and stop before it gets full. When you listen and respond accordingly, it will train your body to do what’s best for it in terms of weight loss.
7) Eat Only When Hungry
You’ve just lost weight, so it can be tempting to reward yourself with a little treat every time your stomach growls. But hold off! Eating only when you’re hungry can reduce your food intake in a sustainable way. Plus, it will make you savor your food and eat more mindfully. Plus: Studies show that people who eat fewer meals tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and are less likely to be obese than those who eat more frequently.
8) Keep a Food Journal
Write down what you eat, and how much of it, each day. Studies show that people who monitor their food intake closely (and log it in a journal) tend to be thinner than those who don’t. Why? It’s harder to overeat when you can see exactly how much you’re consuming.
9) Don’t Obsess About Pounds
It’s tempting to weigh yourself every day (or even multiple times a day), but all those extra trips to your scale can be discouraging. Focus on how you feel, not on how much you weigh. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re exercising consistently and increasing strength, your weight might not change—but your body will change shape. To keep your sanity, step away from that scale once in a while!
10) Set Realistic Goals
The first step in losing weight is figuring out how much you need to lose. Instead of setting an unrealistic weight-loss goal, use a BMI calculator or body measurements chart to determine what your healthy weight should be.