Advertisement

Why do I find it difficult to keep off the weight I've lost?

Chris Embry
Fitness
People that have a hard time keeping their weight off have usually stopped doing what got them losing it in the first place.  When someone goes on a diet, they pay attention to the type of foods they consume and how much they are eating, as well as incorporate some form of exercise into their day.  When you reach the point where you are satisfied with your weight, it is important to slowly come off the diet.  You can start eating a bit more to maintain your weight since you do not need to be in a calorie deficit any longer.  However, you cannot go back to the same habits that put on the weight in first place.

A more realistic approach would be to make a gradual lifestyle change by incorporating more lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables in your diet.  You can still enjoy your favorite foods, but keep it in moderation.  In fact, you may enjoy them even more since you are not eating them all the time.  Healthy eating and regular exercise should always be part of your lifestyle; not just when you are trying to lose weight.
Many times because one reaches a goal and then relaxes...becomes complacent. Slowly old lifestyle habits make there way back in to our lives and we are headed in a backward direction.  The approach taken to lose the weight is also important to consider.  Quick fix diets that are not sustainable become very difficult to maintain. They don't teach us how to gradually change our lifestyle and replace unhealthy habits with new healthy sustainable ones and so when we reach our goal and stop, we don't know what to do next other than what we did before the given diet.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Is your brain sabotaging your attempts to keep weight off? In this video, Dr. Robin Miller explains the sneaky way obesity changes the brain.
Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

Most experts agree that keeping weight off after you have lost it is harder than losing the weight in the first place. There are several reasons for this. One, people tend to experience diet fatigue after they have been on a diet. They are able to maintain their enthusiasm for a diet in the short run, but after a while, they get tired of paying such close attention to what they are eating and not being able to enjoy whatever they want. What's more, people who have lost weight need fewer calories to sustain that lower weight. Generally, for each pound you lose, you need eight fewer calories per day to maintain your new weight. Often, the increased exercise and muscle mass from a good exercise program have increased your resting metabolism to compensate for some of the energy gap. But chances are that if you've lost a significant amount of weight, you are going to need to stay at a lower calorie level just to maintain your new, lower weight.

Continue Learning about Weight Maintenance

4 Ways to Fight Winter Weight Gain
4 Ways to Fight Winter Weight Gain
Picking up a few extra pounds in cold weather -- that dreaded "winter weight gain" -- is maddening. Even though your metabolism speeds up a bit to kee...
Read More
How to Stop the Lose-Gain Weight Cycle
How to Stop the Lose-Gain Weight Cycle
In their own way, classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma and feminist hip-hop innovator Yoyo make inspiring, gut-grabbing music. That’s a lot more than can be sai...
Read More
What is the key to lasting weight loss?
Dr. Mike Clark, DPTDr. Mike Clark, DPT
Most people who attempt to lose weight eventually gain it back. This may be because those who tr...
More Answers
How can I tell if my child needs more sleep?
Margaret A. Gunning, MDMargaret A. Gunning, MD
Children who are not getting enough sleep tend to be very irritable, they cannot concentrate and do ...
More Answers

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.