Dieting is a challenge, and requires a certain set of skills, determination, motivation, and patience.
But, the real challenge for many individuals is maintaining the results they get after completing a transformation challenge or fat loss endeavor.
While research shows that many individuals are able to lose weight (even following dramatically different diets)[1,2], the body of scientific evidence also shows that the vast majority of people regain the weight they initially lost.
And, even worse, most of those individuals also gain a few extra pounds.[3,4]
But, all hope is not lost.
Today, we’re going to give you three simple strategies to maintain your hard-earned results and keep the fat off for good!
3 Ways to Survive After Losing Weight
#1 Maintain High Levels of Physical Activity
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, one of the main things that researchers find is that the most successful people maintain high levels of physical activity, even after they’ve reached their fat loss goal.
That means, just because you’ve hit your goal weight, that doesn’t mean you can just sit on the couch and #netflix and chill all day.
Stick to your daily step counts, and make sure you’re still crushing your workouts each week. You
Also, don’t restrict yourself to the same old boring cardio modalities. Get outdoors -- run, bike, hike, walk, etc.
The human body is meant to move!
Make the most of the body you have and keep up your high levels of activity, even if it’s low-intensity.
You’ll be doing great things for your overall health, mood, and helping keep your weight in check.
#2 Don’t Slack On Your Nutrition
Now that your cutting phase is over, you get to eat more calories...but, that doesn’t mean you can get sloppy and go ham at the buffet or binge on junk food each day.
In addition to maintaining high levels of physical activity, individuals who are the most successful with keeping the weight off also stay on point with their nutrition.
They regularly track their calories and weigh themselves consistently.
Put into practice, this means that if you’ve been planning your meals, cooking your food, and tracking your nutrition -- keep it up!
Just because you’ve hit your goal doesn’t give you free reign to abandon what got you the results in the first place.
Keep doing what you’ve already been doing. You just get to eat more of the good stuff that you’ve already been eating!
Keep it clean and tight during the week, and on the weekends you can loosen the reins a little.
#3 Avoid Extremes
This applies to all facets of life -- work, exercise, relationships, etc.
When you go to extremes, you very often force your body and mind into two things:
- An untenable (unsustainable) situation, and
- Lots of stress
When you’re trying to maintain your results, you don’t have to follow some extreme diet or exercise program, nor do you “have” to take egregious cheat days each week.
Keeping an even keel and being consistent is the path to success for keeping the weight off for good.
Don’t let yourself have wild swings in your nutrition or exercise plan.
If you’ve been exercising 4-5 days per week, keep it up. Don’t go one week with no exercise and then a week full of 2-a-days. Similarly, don’t go off the rails with your diet for a week, and then severely restrict your calories the following week.
Putting your body (and mind) through chronically stressful situations is a recipe for disaster. It elevates cortisol levels, which can lead to intense cravings for high sugar, high fat, high calorie foods. High stress levels also disrupt normal sleep habits, impair energy metabolism, and increase fat storage mechanisms for the body.
Therefore, to have success with maintaining your transformation challenge results, try to keep an even keel to your daily happenings. Don’t fall for the latest fad diet, exercise program, or “magical” supplement.
Keep doing what you’ve been doing -- wild fluctuations only lead to the on-again, off-again dieting bandwagon, which never leads to sustainable results.
Maintain the course that got you the weight loss results you wanted, and you’ll keep the weight off for good!
- Oh R, Gilani B, Uppaluri KR. Low Carbohydrate Diet. [Updated 2020 Jul 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/
- Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, Hauser ME, Rigdon J, Ioannidis JPA, Desai M, King AC. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion: The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018 Feb 20;319(7):667-679. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.0245. Erratum in: JAMA. 2018 Apr 3;319(13):1386. Erratum in: JAMA. 2018 Apr 24;319(16):1728. PMID: 29466592; PMCID: PMC5839290.
- Hall KD, Kahan S. Maintenance of Lost Weight and Long-Term Management of Obesity. Med Clin North Am. 2018;102(1):183-197. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2017.08.012
- Tae Jung Oh, Jae Hoon Moon, Sung Hee Choi, Soo Lim, Kyong Soo Park, Nam H Cho, Hak Chul Jang, Body-Weight Fluctuation and Incident Diabetes Mellitus, Cardiovascular Disease, and Mortality: A 16-Year Prospective Cohort Study, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 104, Issue 3, March 2019, Pages 639–646, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-01239