How to maintain weight after weight loss

How do I keep to my new weight now that I am at target? You work on Weight Loss Maintenance. Some of the strategies you will now use may be the same as for weight loss. You might use those strategies to a lesser degree eg rather than weigh yourself every day, you might now weigh once per week. Other strategies may be new. Below I have outlined important things to consider when you have achieved your goal weight.  I hope you find this information helpful.

Important things to consider when you achieve your weight goal

  1. Outline your motivations for wanting to remain at this new weight –  be clear on how different you feel now to how you felt at a different weight
  2. Employ a system of accountability to yourself and ideally to another – this could be inputting data to a phone app, or discussing things with a friend, your partner, your GP, or a dietitian
  3. Be able to identify the habits that you have managed to embed that helped you with changing your weight. Work on maintaining these new habits so they really do become defaults
  4. Set goals in terms of managing your weight short and long term –  this can be weekly, monthly, yearly
  5. Think through the challenges you might experience on a daily basis and how you can work through them to ensure you stay on the right path eg working from home or working in the office
  6. Be aware of your triggers to unhealthy behaviours and consider ways to adapt how you might previously have responded eg how you handle stressful situations
  7. Seek support from the people you mix with regularly eg your family, work colleagues or friends
  8. Ensure your environment supports your continued efforts – fill your cupboards and fridge with healthy food, make choosing well easy

Those individuals who have managed to maintain a new weight in the long term are a really interesting group of people. We know they are the minority not the majority. Below is a list of things which differentiate between those of us who maintain a weight loss and those of us who don’t. We can all maintain a new weight – see how successful individuals manage to do just that.

Successful weight loss maintainers

  1. Employ continuous self regulation eg weighing once per week, or keeping a food diary one week per month
  2. Revisit their reasons, their motivations for their goal weight frequently, reminding themselves WHY they feel better or different at this new weight
  3. Actively manage themselves in terms of ensuring they maintain a healthy lifestyle – keeping a focus on the drivers of a healthy weight eg scheduling activity, choosing healthier foods, employing good sleep hygiene, meeting up regularly with friends and family
  4. Experience a change in how they see themselves, now as someone who can work hard to achieve a personal goal, and be prepared to  act differently and do different things to the person they used to be. Successful weight loss maintainers are prepared to see themselves as different to who they were before they lost the weight
  5. Have changed their habits eg they may  get up earlier in the morning to exercise, or always plan their food across the week
  6. Find fulfilment in different ways than previous to their weight change programme. They  find strength in positive experiences they attribute to losing weight

Success is linked with

  1. Strong self knowledge eg using a journal to capture how you are dealing with pressures or triggers as well as capturing successes
  2. Self accountability eg prepare yourself to  step on the scales even though you might not want to
  3. Active continuous self monitoring, resulting in actions when required eg paying attention to if  your weight increases and drawing upon measures to reduce it again. You might complete a food diary for a week
  4. Trust in the approach, the process and the measures taken – having faith that your personal ability to work hard on maintaining weight, will enable you to do just that.

If you would like some help to work on reducing your current weight, or keeping to a weight that you have achieved yourself, please get in touch. I will be happy to help.

Felicity Lyons

Hi there! My name is Felicity. I am a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist with a proactive approach to healthy living. My job is to interpret the complexity of nutrition science and translate it into messages and guidance that you can understand. Healthy Living? It's easier than you think!