6 Tips to Maintain Weight Loss


Congratulations! You’ve been eating well, stepping it up, and finally losing some weight. But with summer coming to a close, and the holidays just around the corner, are you worried about the pounds sneaking back on? It’s a sad statistic—dieters regain almost 80 percent of their lost weight within 5 years. But don’t let that dampen your spirits. If New Year’s Day comes around and you’re the same weight as you are now, you can view that as a success! And going forward, weight maintenance doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a positive attitude, and these six simple tips, the leaner, healthier you will be much more likely to stick around for good.

1. Keep Moving

When it comes to weight loss, diet is key. But for maintenance, exercise is essential. Many studies show people who exercise more are able to maintain weight loss compared to those who exercise less. Whether it’s spinning and weight training or neighborhood walks, find an activity that you love doing so you want to do it often. Aim for 30 to 45 minutes of planned activity every day, or 200 to 300 minutes every week.

2. Embrace Healthy Eating

Avoid an “on-diet” versus “off-diet” mindset. Returning to old, unhealthy behaviors will almost certainly bring back the weight. To keep it off for good, you need to change the way you think about food. Make a lifelong commitment to stick with the healthy habits you learned along your weight-loss journey—at least 80 percent of the time. Planning your meals and cooking more at home can help. Many high-calorie, fast foods can easily be made with fewer, simpler ingredients, which will be better for your waistline. Fill your plate with low-calorie, filling foods, like veggies, fruit, whole grains, fish, eggs, nuts, and legumes. And why test your willpower? Keep temptations out of the house, and when you do have the occasional treat, enjoy it mindfully.

3. Accept Your Metabolism Has Changed, but Only Slightly

A recent Biggest Loser study created fears that weight loss can drastically slow your metabolism, forever. It’s true metabolism adapts to a lower weight—a small car needs less gas than a bigger one—but not usually to the extent seen in the show’s contestants. Consider how fast and drastic their weight loss was. It would be almost impossible for them to maintain that level of dedication towards diet and exercise in their real lives. It’s a good reminder that slow and steady (weight loss) wins the race, as metabolism changes are less with more moderate weight loss. But even if you’ve just dropped 10 or 20 pounds, your calorie needs are still less than before, so you will need to eat fewer calories, or exercise a little harder than you used to, in order to stay lean. Accept it and own it!

4. Weigh In Often

Regularly hopping on the scales means you can notice small weight gains before they become bigger ones. And research agrees—regular weight checks lead to better maintenance. Daily is ideal, but if this starts to mess with your head, stick to weekly. Pick the same time, each week and make it a habit so you will be able to see any patterns or trends (remember small 1 to 2 pound fluctuations are normal.) Be proactive if you notice the weight creeping back on. Start logging your food intake, so you can spot where those extra calories are sneaking their way back into your diet.

5. Don’t Go It Alone

Get support from others. Whether it’s a registered dietitian who can help with monthly check-ins, or a local support group of people with similar health goals, find someone to keep you accountable. While you’re at it, spend time with friends who share the same health and fitness philosophy, rather than those who sabotage your efforts.

6. Anticipate Setbacks

Go easy on yourself. If you regain some of the weight you lost, don’t view it as a failure or throw in the towel! Pick yourself up, and remember even small amounts of weight loss still mean big health benefits. Have a plan to get back on track again. And when you’ve lost weight, celebrate with a massage, not a cookie! Then refocus your efforts on keeping those pounds off for good.

14 Comments   Join the Conversation

14 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have a hard time sticking to healthy eating when I get sugar cravings. I’m reducing the amount of sugar in my meals, but by the end of the day I want something sweet. Any recommendations on how to satisfy the sugar cravings without derailing my goal to lose weight?

    • Hi Allie, My sister went through the same where she cut all “Added- Sugar” intake in her diet to prevent diabetes that runs in the family. She went through a lot of mood swings and depression at the beginning, but is now completely sugar-free and loving it! I think it would have helped if you reduce the amount of sugar in your tea, cakes etc gradually every week so that your taste buds get accustomed to the new taste and flavour. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for your feedback. I gradually stopped the added sugar in my coffee and you’re right it helped and now I am sugar free. I’ll try that approach with my other foods,

    • I have a friend who has done the same thing. She “rewards” herself with a couple pieces of dark chocolate at the end of the day. Delicious and healthy!

  • Thank you for this article. I am a former Weight Watcher member as well as Weight Watcher leader who put back on all the weight I had lost once I stopped attending the meetings. I bought my first Fitbit (Fitbit one) in January 2015 and carried it in my picket with a daily step goal of 5000. It was hard for me to reach that goal. I lost that Fitbit in January 2016 and within 24 hours had purchased the Charge HR and left the goal set at 10,000 steps. Since that time, I have reached the goal of 10,000 more days than not and last week raised my goal to 12,000. I have lost 15 pounds and gone down 3 pant sizes! I still log all of my food……good and bad choices…..on my fitness pal which syncs with the Fitbit app. When I go over my calorie limit, I don’t beat myself up, I just get right back on track with the next meal. I had to laugh at a news spot on tv a couple weeks back that proved wearing an activity band did not promote weight loss……Of course wearing it doesn’t,…..you have to put the tool to work!

  • It is well known fact that food is the key of our overall health whether it is our mental health or physical health. I think mental health with diet is the best way to keep our-self healthy. I have also read summer health news tips over your site which seems very interesting and easy to do. I think if anyone wants to live healthy life and want some idea to be healthy, they should visit this site.

  • I have a 15 year old daughter weighs 101 kg, dies not exercise ,diet cannot be maintained by her, has Insulin issues as well ,please advice a way out to motivate her

  • I think your mis-interpreted the study linked to in item #3 (“Biggest Loser”). What is important is that their RMR is still approx 500 kcal/day lower than predicted requirements 6 years later. This level is way below the reduced RMR caused by weight loss. Caloric reduction diets cause more problems than they solve because the body over-adapt. Intermittent-fasting diets make more sense because the body can never adapt to “starvation” conditions so the RMR doesn’t drop more than predicted. Read “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung – he sites numerous studies of the long-term failure of calorie reduction diets and states that intermittent-fasting diets don’t cause the same drastic drops in RMR, only RMR reductions that are in-line with weight loss. 6 years ago I lost 40 pounds by calorie-reduction and had my RMR drop way below what it should have been while experiencing a resting pulse of 40-45. I intentionally slowly regained the 40 pounds and 6 months ago eliminated simple carbs and alcohol and subsequently lost 40 pounds without affecting my RMR more than predicted by weight loss. I have recently started a intermittent fasting diet so we’ll see if Dr Fung is right.

  • I’ve been really good on dropping my sodas but still no weight loss but I can see a difference in my belly core size ,not eating enough through the day due to fear of aging an not loosing which is not good either .

    • Increase your water intake, snack on portioned snacks of carrots, celery, nuts, cherry tomatoes, etc.

  • I have lost 57 lbs since august but i need to lose 50 more i am following the southbeach diet . my weight loss seems to have stopped what can i do

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