Expert Tips on Maintaining Weight Loss

Expert Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss

I recently came across an article about weight loss maintenance. It had some helpful and common tips that I thought could be beneficial to share, but I also wanted to use it to highlight how difficult it is to maintain weight loss, especially for people who have struggled with weight or food issues for most of their life.

According to the article, 65% of people who lose weight end up returning to their pre-dieting weight within three years. (Other studies have suggested that the number may be even higher.) The biggest reason is probably because people see dieting as a means to an end and not a permanent life change. Once they hit their goal weight, they revert back to the old habits that caused the weight gain in the first place. According to the “experts” in the article, these are the best tips for maintaining weight loss:

  1. Start your day with a workout.
  2. Maintain a food journal.
  3. Do not skip meals.
  4. Plan your meals weekly.
  5. Prep meals in advance.
  6. Eat breakfast every day.
  7. Choose exercises with maximum benefits.
  8. Time Your meals.
  9. Be aware of liquid calories.
  10. Be consistent.

Most of these are great, common sense tips, but I think the most important thing to remember is that for many of us, maintenance will never be entirely simple. If you have struggled with your weight for a long time or have had long-lasting issues with food—like me—you may need to accept that keeping your weight under control will always be something you work on every day.

The best thing you can do is find a healthy lifestyle that works for you—something sustainable that doesn’t feel impossible to abide by day after day. It might be counting calories, avoiding certain trigger foods, intermittent fasting, group or individual therapy, pursuing a sport or athletic goal…Just something that doesn’t feel completely contrary to who you are and what you enjoy. And then try to keep an awareness of how you are living. Check in periodically and honestly assess how you’re doing. If you’re struggling, maybe try something new. The real danger is just going on autopilot. Because if you are like me, your autopilot feature is permanently broken, and will always eventually steer you right into a mountain.

What is your number one tip for maintaining weight loss? 



17 thoughts on “Expert Tips on Maintaining Weight Loss

    1. Karl

      I can’t speak to the research but I know for my weight loss clients eating on a regular schedule can be very important for maintaining their focus on eating healthy. I haven’t seen one schedule be any more effective than any other. I have clients who lose weight eating a big breakfast, skipping breakfast and eating right before bed, or doing six small meals per day. My guess is that meal timing means finding a routine that fits within your daily schedule.

      Time spent eating is another interesting topic too. What works for you?

  1. Laura

    “The real danger is just going on autopilot. Because if you are like me, your autopilot feature is permanently broken, and will always eventually steer you right into a mountain.” That is definitely me. I cannot even make it to maintenance because of this but I keep trying. Thanks for the good reminders.

  2. Jennifer

    Laura, you are not alone! I am no where near the maintenance part of this journey. It is helpful to know that it will always be work. Not easy, but simple.
    Andie, I read your book and it really impacted me. I’m so glad you are doing this blog! You are an amazing example of perseverance. Congrats on your recent marriage:) Many Blessings to you.

  3. Anita Humphries

    As hard as weight loss is, maintenance is just as hard. Two years ago I lost 60 lbs. Over the last year, I let 25 slide right back on. I am “deadline” motivated, so with another round of hard work I have lost 20 lbs. as my “mother of the bride” June wedding looms. I am determined to let myself have a 5 lb leeway this time around….but no more! Life has to be lived. You can’t deprive yourself of all fun and foods….so here’s hoping that I can achieve that 35% status of keeping the weight off. Thanks for this article!

  4. Alison

    Great article. The success I have had is because I found losing weight to be a lifestyle choice — I found a plan that made it possible to eat foods I like, cook and not have to be a rigid plan where I felt shamed or penalized when I “broke” a rule. This time it has worked and I have kept off the weight, sometimes going up a pound or two or as much as five, for about 3 years. Losing the 70 pounds was something I never thought I could do.

  5. Courtney

    Another tip would be that once you’re at a maintenance point, to regularly check the scale or assess how clothes are fitting in order to make sure an extra 5 pounds doesn’t turn into 15 and then 30. I really like what you said and think it’s important to remember that this is a lifetime decision. Weight and food issues aren’t like smoking where you can just quit cold turkey – we all obviously have to have food to live. But unfortunately we don’t need excess or chocolate cake every day to live! :)

  6. Michele

    Thank you for the great information; amazing how many of these things I DON’T do. *gasp*
    I recently started intermittent fasting – recommended by two different trainers – and it’s going well; so now I’m in that group that doesn’t eat breakfast.
    Obviously if I’m starving, I don’t force myself to wait but will eat something healthy with protein.
    I also don’t work out in the mornings, it just doesn’t work for my schedule; but hopefully the changes I have made (down 44 pounds in 4 years – L-O-N-G journey) are lifetime changes and will keep me on track!

  7. Almost There

    I’m getting to the next stage of my journey-I only have 10 more lbs to lose. I’ve lost about 105 lbs over 4 years: 45 lbs the first year and a half, then maintained for a year and a half, then broke through and lost 60 lbs in the past year. So I feel like I’ve learned something about not only the weight loss but the maintenance aspect as well.

    So I would say I agree with absolutely everything Andie says, you have to find what’s right for you, what can become part of your life, not just as a phase. What I would add is something that I’ve found in the last year to be very true: passion. When we’re focused on losing weight we’re focused on what we need to lose, and rightly so, but I don’t think I could have done it without finding something I’m more passionate about than food. For me, that’s swing dancing, and music. And with less weight I more better, more freely, for longer, and it feels so much better, and I get this huge high from it. And I’m passionate about the music too. When I’m upset, I just want to curl up with my hubby and my records, before I would have wanted to curl up with some chocolate cake. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want cake sometimes, but I’m cultivating cravings that are healthier and nurture me in different ways.

  8. Vince

    My biggest one would be to find something that works for you. Everyone has different priorities and strengths. Trying to brute force a diet or lifestyle approach that is a poor fit makes weight loss much more difficult.

  9. Mark C.

    These are great tips that will help keep weight. I would add that the portion of food should be small. It is better to eat more often, but in small portions.

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