You’ll Be Surprised By What It Really Takes to Keep the Weight Off Once You Lose It

Many people who lose weight gain it back, often because of fad diets that can promise fast weight loss but not long-term results. It turns out maintaining weight loss isn’t as hard as you think. Keeping up the following habits and making a few more small changes will keep you at a healthy weight for life.

Get support

Female workout in gym with barbell

Working out with friends can help keep you motivated. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Support isn’t just important during periods of weight loss and other lifestyle changes. Social accountability can also help you maintain these changes even after you’ve made them. If family and friends aren’t the kind of support system you need, you can always look for either an online or in-person support group.

If your friend or significant other wants to join in your new exercise and eating endeavors, both of you might benefit from setting and working toward new goals together.

Keep a food diary

Overweight Woman On Diet

Keep track of your progress. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Tracking food intake helps some people successfully maintain their weight loss over time. It improves self-accountability and helps you become more aware not only of what you’re eating, but why you’re making certain food choices.

You can use an app or journal to maintain a log of what you’re eating from day to day. Reviewing those records could help you avoid weight gain in the future.

Don’t stress yourself out

Woman weighing herself on scale

Improvements won’t happen overnight. | Tetmc/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Have you ever wondered why you crave food when you’re stressed? Increased stress hormone levels can affect your appetite and prompt you to consume more calories than your body actually needs.

Therefore, practicing healthy stress management can help you avoid regaining the weight you already worked so hard to lose. Avoid habits that might be stressing you out, like overthinking, eating too much junk food, and sacrificing a good night’s sleep.

Continue eating plenty of protein

Paleo diet products on wooden table

Don’t abandon your healthy eating habits once you lose weight. | iStock.com/Magone

Many people abandon their “dieting” habits when they reach their goal weight. If you lost weight through healthy eating, you can continue using what you learned to maintain your weight loss in the long-term.

Incorporating plenty of protein into your diet helps promote fullness, especially since protein-rich foods also tend to contain other essential nutrients and quality calories. Processed junk foods usually aren’t very high in protein, which will only leave you feeling hungry and craving less healthy foods.

Stay hydrated

Girl drinking water bottle

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. | iStock.com/jasam_io

Hydration is important for maintaining normal biological functions, but it can also help you avoid unwanted weight gain. Drinking water before meals helps increase fullness, especially if you tend to mistake hunger for thirst.

Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages like soda to avoid unnecessary weight gain. Even all-natural fruit juices can add sweet but empty calories to your daily total.

Exercise regularly

close-up of a man performing a row exercise

Abandoning your workout is not the way to go. | iStock.com

The workouts shouldn’t stop just because you’ve reached your weight loss goal. In fact, exercise might be more important now than ever to make sure you’re staying at a healthy weight. People who engage in regular physical activity after losing weight are more likely to keep that weight off.

At least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week is all you need, fitness-wise. These exercises will help you burn calories and stay fit.

Get enough sleep

man and woman fast asleep

Quality sleep is imperative to keeping your body properly functioning. | iStock.com

Sleep deprivation in both children and adults contributes to weight gain, and makes weight maintenance more challenging.

Practice good sleep hygiene to avoid restlessness. Make sure you’re eating well-balanced meals, and avoid foods that upset your stomach. Keep your afternoon and evening caffeine consumption at a minimum to avoid yet another sleepless night.

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