How can I make sure to maintain my weight loss?

To borrow a phrase from the realm of religious philosophy: Don't hate the dieter. Hate the diet. This isn't to say that diets don't work. They do -- sometimes spectacularly well. The only problem is that the successful results from fad diets and other short-term eating plans don't last the long haul. All too often, quick-loss plans give way to nasty rebounds. Sometimes the "yo-yo effect" can be worse than the original fat gain.

The causes for this are many. Researchers are finding there are a multitude of reasons some people can't maintain weight loss or achieve it in the first place. Some are based in genetics, others on a lack of activity. No matter what hand nature dealt you, smart eating and an effective exercise program can give you a fighting chance. But you can't expect willpower alone to change a lifetime of bad habits. You must change your focus by changing your ultimate goal. Think of it this way: It's not about weight loss. It's about health gain.
To ensure you maintain your weight loss it’s important to track your activity levels and your calorie intake, this will help you to keep track and make it easier to maintain your weight loss. To maintain your weight the amount of calories you eat has to equal the number of calories you burn through daily activity and exercise.  By tracking your daily activity through a pedometer or body monitor like the exerspy or body bug you can track your daily calorie expenditure. There are several monitoring programs that you log food intake into and get an accurate idea of total calories eaten.  If you burn as many calories as you eat then you will maintain your weight. 

As you plan your weight loss program, think ahead about how to maintain your new weight. Many people are successful in losing weight but have a hard time keeping it off. What are the strategies used by people who get it off and keep it off?

Weight Loss and Physical Activity Together

  • Remember that weight loss and physical activity go hand in hand. Studies show that exercise is an important part of both taking the pounds off and keeping them off. People who keep lost weight off say that daily exercise is an essential part of their lifestyle. They also report eating more fruits and vegetables than before, a healthy habit they hung on to even after they went off their “diet.” 
Dee Sandquist
Nutrition & Dietetics
Maintaining weight is a challenge. Eat breakfast to help you consume fewer calories throughout the rest of the day. Exercise and physical activity is extremely important to prevent weight gain. Schedule it if you don't think you have time; you'll find it's a matter of priority. Never get overhungry. When you get too hungry you will eat fast and eat too much. Continue with the lifestyle change that helped you lose the weight and avoid returning to your previous habits that caused the weight gain in the first place.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.