Weight loss vs. weight maintenance: 5 Dietitian-approved tips on how to maintain weight after losing It
- 3 Minutes Read
Congratulations! You've achieved your weight-loss goal; see what's next with these tips on how to maintain weight after losing it. You'll learn what it takes to keep the weight off and prevent sliding back into old habits.
Unlocking your inner motivation likely helped you at the start of your weight-loss journey. If you have been working at weight loss for awhile, your inspirations may differ in the maintenance phase. Pause to reflect on what motivates you to continue with your healthy lifestyle: feeling better, having more energy, fitting into smaller clothes, improved sleep habits, etc. Write down your motivations, as this intentional act will help you clarify your future vision and make it easier to stay the course. Keep this list of motivators visible at home and at work as a reminder of why it's worth it. It will help you make positive choices like avoiding a second helping at dinner rather than choices that pull you toward old habits resulting in weight regain.
Numerous situations can throw your weight-management plan off track. Some people identify work meetings (known for high-calorie treats) or empty fridges (pizza for last-minute dinner) as a high-risk situation. Also, stressful life events such as sick family members or travel can throw you off track. Such events interrupt your healthy lifestyle by leaving you little energy to cook healthy foods and little time to fit in planned exercise. Anticipate problems ahead of time and then have a plan to stay on track. Every time you follow through with your plan, your confidence will increase, making it easier to maintain weight after losing it.
Research shows that individuals who track their weight and food intake more often with an interactive weight management website or app, have a better chance of keeping the weight off long term. Consistency is key, meaning it is important to log your food regularly. Make logging easier and more accurate by logging when you eat or prepare your meal, so you don't forget to do it later.
Also, make sure your logging is accurate by paying close attention to portions and choosing a food that accurately represents what you have eaten. Finally, long-term tracking can help you become more mindful of what you eat and when. This can help you identify habits that no longer serve you or contribute to weight gain, to begin with.
MyNetDiary is a comprehensive weight-management app that offers you a personalized calorie budget for weight loss and maintenance. Its user-friendly platform makes tracking weight, calories, exercise, and health data extremely easy. Their tips and blog are written by nutrition experts. In fact, MyNetDiary's in-house dietitians make sure you are getting up-to-date nutrition information to support you along your weight-loss journey.
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) is a collection of people who have lost weight and kept it off for at least a year or more. Using detailed questionnaires and annual surveys, the registry has been tracking the habits of successful weight-loss maintainers since 1993 and has over 10,000 participants. To qualify for the registry, you must maintain a loss of more than 30 pounds for at least one year. Various commonalities have emerged over time, highlighting habits that have contributed to successful weight-loss maintenance.
Common behaviors among NWCR registrants:
Another behavior that NWCR folks engage in regularly is checking-in with the scale. In fact, 75% of individuals in the registry share they check their weight at least once a week. They then use this information to determine if action is needed. For example, suppose you just went on vacation and tried your best to be active and avoid rich meals; however, your clothes were snug at the end of the trip. A successful weight-loss maintainer would step on the scale when they got home and, seeing the higher number, would come up with a plan. Instead of throwing-in-the-towel, they would acknowledge the information and make some dietary changes immediately.
Experiment with weigh-in frequency and find a system that is right for you. If you discover that routine weight checks lead to obsessing about food intake and poor self-image, then come up with another strategy. For a small group of individuals, regularly weighing themselves can fuel eating disorders. If you are unsure whether your habits are healthy or not, talk with a registered dietitian or professional therapist. They can help you make sense of what you are going through and guide you towards a healthy mindset about your body, weight and food.
Traveling for the holidays or skipping workouts due to a busy schedule are 2 common situations that may result in weight regain. Yet, these occasional lapses are a normal part of life. By remaining positive and looking for ways to get back on track quickly, you will feel more energized and motivated to continue working towards your weight-maintenance goals. Positive self-talk has been shown to produce better outcomes than beating ourselves up for past mistakes. For more on positive thinking and relapse prevention, check out these MyNetDiary articles:
Is your self-talk helping or hurting your progress with healthy lifestyle?
Sick of relapsing? Here are 4 tips to help you keep the weight off for good!
How MyNetDiary determines your weight loss and weight maintenance calorie budgets:
Planning weight and calories
Ten ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle for life:
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important to long-term weight loss. Here's how!
Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.Weight Maintenance->Behavior Weight Maintenance->National Weight Control Registry