For those that have reached their weight loss goals, congratulations! For those still working on shedding the pounds, do not give up! Losing weight is a huge accomplishment, and keeping the weight off is an even bigger feat! There does not seem to be a great success rate for keeping off the pounds. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, about 20% of overweight individuals have been successful at long term weight loss, "when weight loss is defined as losing at least 10% of initial weight, and maintaining the weight loss for at least 1 year." (1)

tips for maintaining weight lossAlthough you may want to lose a large amount weight, it is helpful to shoot for small weight loss goals, and once reached set a new goal and so on. For individuals trying to prevent Diabetes, or have been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes, remember according to the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), as little as 5-7% weight loss can help prevent or delay Diabetes. If you have Diabetes, weight loss is still beneficial for your overall health, including Diabetes control and cardiovascular health.

Have you reached your weight loss goals? How quickly did you lose the weight? How much did you cut out from your diet? Is it realistic to continue what you are doing and still maintain energy levels, and happiness? Keeping the weight off is difficult, and the odds are against you. One study found that more weight gain was associated with the consumption of potato chips, processed meals and sweetened beverages versus individuals that consumed vegetables, nuts, fruits and whole grains (2).

Tips to prevent weight regain:

  1. Breakfast- eat it. You may have found this is something you included in your day when you were trying to lose weight. There is no reason to stop now, continue having breakfast daily. Breakfast will help you have more energy, and decrease overeating later in the day.
  2. Portion size is key. You may feel like you can determine a serving size of pasta in your sleep, but eventually your keen eye will wear off and this is when you need to take out the measuring cups and food scale and refresh yourself.
  3. Do not skip meals. Always have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and increase your likeliness of over eating later or at the next meal.
  4. Do not drink your calories.
  5. Continue physical activity, at least 30 minutes/day of cardiovascular activity.
  6. You may have had a dietitian to help you lose weight; it is a good idea to stay connected with that person for further reinforcement and encouragement.
  7. Do not fall back into your old habits. Did you stop eating fast food? Have you been avoiding calorie containing beverages like juice and soda? If so, this was critical to your weight loss, adding these foods back into your diet is a recipe for disaster.
  8. Plan, plan, plan. Plan your meals, Plan your menus.
  9. Stay accountable, continue logging your food, stay honest, and understand there will be "bad" days, and that is okay.
  10. Motivation. What was your motivation for weight loss? What is your motivation for keeping the weight off? Remember you are worth it.

For more information about weight loss visit our nutrition and fitness section.

If you're looking for a complete weight maintenance program check out our STAR Program - Steps To Avoid Regain.