6 Ways to Maintain Weight Loss

Does this sound familiar? You go on a strict diet and you lose weight, but once you reach your goal, you find yourself returning to those pre-diet habits, eventually gaining back all your weight (and then some).

I’m the first to admit that it sounds very familiar to me, probably because I dieted for more than half my life. But, I can’t really claim that I ever really reached my weight loss goal while dieting. I gained back all the weight I lost while I was dieting, and then some!

The only time I ever reached my goal weight was when I changed my lifestyle in 2001, but I didn’t gain my weight back. In fact, I’ve been maintaining my weight loss for almost nine years. We’ve all read the statistics that show more than 95% of the individuals who lose weight will eventually gain it all back. Sometimes I believe I am lucky that I haven’t had to struggle during the last nine and a half years, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with luck. The reality is that it’s all about my determination and the way I went about losing my weight.

How do I maintain my weight loss?

This is information I enjoy sharing with others in hopes they can follow in my footsteps and keep their weight off. These are my best tips:

  1. Don’t go to extremes. As you focus on living a healthier lifestyle make sure you aren’t going to extremes that lead you to dread your new habits. If you dread it, you will be much more likely to revert back to the old unhealthy habits and gain back any weight you lost.
  2. Make healthy changes you can live. For me, that means not skipping meals, taking smaller portions, refusing second helpings, drinking only zero-calorie beverages, limiting my visits to fast food restaurants and not purchasing items at the grocery store that are full of fat, calories, and sugar. These are things I still do today because they aren’t extreme, they are doable.
  3. Make exercise enjoyable. When it comes to exercise, I faced the fact that in order to lose weight, I had to do it, so I did what I enjoyed: walking. It wasn’t really anything extreme to me so I didn’t dread doing it daily. I still walk more than one mile every day and I feel that it is the main reason why I have maintained my weight loss.
  4. Get rid of your fat clothes! As my clothes became too large while I was losing weight, I didn’t keep them … I got rid of them. If I wouldn’t have done this, it would have been the same as saying, “I’ll probably need these again someday.” Don’t do that – say goodbye to the fat clothes.
  5. Pay attention to your body. If I ever notice my jeans becoming a little snug, especially around the holiday season, I don’t live in sweatpants and try to ignore it. I simply walk a little faster and a little longer until they fit well again.
  6. Forgive yourself. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty or become upset with myself by going overboard on a meal, I just eat a little less during the next one. Guilt often causes us to go to food for comfort and I’ve learned that food doesn’t create comfort, but being healthy does!

I’m a typical, Michigan mom who lost weight by simply focusing on making healthier food choices and walking daily. It didn’t cost me a dime – remember that nobody can buy a thin, healthy body. It takes believing in yourself. I did, and you can too!

How are you making sure your weight loss is more than a diet, but a real healthy lifestyle change? How do you plan to keep your weight off for life?

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Read 11 Comments

  1. Your speech at whirlpool was very encouraging! I have decided to make a lifestyle change and lose weight for good like you did. I hope it works as good for me as it did for you 🙂

    1. Tutti_mango,

      Thank you soooo much! I’m happy to learn that you found my talk at Whirlpool Corp. encouraging, and I am VERY EXCITED to know that you decided to make a lifestyle change!!! Yippeee~!!!!

      It will work for you, just make sure that you don’t “rush it” – simply enjoy each day & keep a positive attitude, okay? If you ever need any EXTRA motivation, make sure to become a Walkytalk Facebook Fan – and we can connect daily!! I’d love that.

      I believe in you!

      Jodi 🙂

  2. The existing ways are really found just incredible about to lose weight. Just fabulous information. And this one really shows the higher creativity of yours. I am really impressed. According to my sense, we have to eat Bee Pollen, Mushrooms, Dark Chocolates and Bamboo Shoots. These are really the just exceptional foods which are really helpful to discard excess of weight. And we must exercise as per routine. Thanks for sharing some mind blowing information about it.

  3. Nice work on losing the weight and keeping it off. Not many people can do that these days with all of that ‘fad diets’ on the market. I have stumbled upon a few of them and needless to say I’m blow away that people would actually even consider doing them. Anyway, I agree with some of the stuff you have written, but I believe that it can be simplified, and simple is much easier. You started to touch on it with the term ‘lifestyle’ because that is essentially what it is. It’s not a 3 week or 30 day program, it is something you continue to do for the rest of your life, but what you eat is important. I have found that you can literally eat all of the healthy fats and protein you want, keep a watchful eye on fruits and veggies, and stay far far away from refined carbs. I also agree with your zero calorie beverage idea, only that diet soda shouldn’t be one of those drinks. With all of the additives in there in my own experience I have found that my tastes in food have changed dramatically before I quit drinking soda altogether. Tea, water, and coffee are all excellent choices for beverages. The last comment I want to make is when it comes to exercise. Yeah, any form of exercise is good if it means getting off the couch, but for a successfully weight maintenance plan weight training is the answer. It is viable for a couple of reasons. First, lean mass burns calories at rest. When I am putting together a plan as to how to maintain my weight I look to try and keep the muscle I have built. This way I don’t have to exercise quite as often, three times a week for 30-45 minutes is about it. The other reason I like weight training to cardio is the ‘after-burn’. Our metabolism is elevated post workout for a longer period of time than would be with intense cardio. Cardio might only after-burn for a couple of hours where as lifting could after-burn for a couple of days. In my mind the idea behind the maintenance is to enjoy life. You just spend all of that time and effort on achieving your goal, now it is time to enjoy it. Good stuff, always enjoy discussing this topic with people.

  4. Erik,
    Thank you for your comments, they are very much appreciated. I think it is awesome that you find weight training “your answer” for successful weight maintenance … and you have proven how well it works! Congrats to you!

    Please stay in touch and feel free to share an additional information regarding good health / weight-loss success (maintenance) stories with me – with US! It’s great to know that there are individuals like you who care so much … FANTASTIC!

  5. Hi Jodi,

    Thanks for writing about how you’re maintaining your weight loss, a topic that is near and dear to our hearts 🙂 This article is particularly useful in that you share specific details on *how* you do it. We get frustrated sometimes because so many experts leave out the details on how to eat less and exercise more.

    We recently wrote an article with some tips for people trying to lose weight and keep it off: http://www.maintenancediets.com/11/news/ten_great_weight_maintenance_and_weight_loss_tips One tip I think many many people really struggle with is tip #7 “Learn how to win the fight with your inner voice”. It’s a problem that we struggle with almost hourly. Do you (or did you) have an inner voice that was constantly trying to ruin your diet, and if so how did you win those arguments with yourself? We’d appreciate any suggestions!

    Thanks for sharing your inspirational story with all of us.

    1. Maintenance Diets,

      Thank you for your comments and allowing me to learn that my details on “how” to maintain my weight loss was helpful. As I am sure you realize, it is a topic that is near and dear to my heart as well!

      Learning how to win the fight with your inner voice is not only a problem for those who are struggling to lose weight, but is also common for anyone attempting to change an unhealthy habit- especially if the attempts have resulted in failure in the past. For me, it was difficult to completely forget the past failures and start anew. The past was continuously being brought up by my inner voice, allowing me to believe that failure would always result no matter how wonderful my weight loss intentions were. I could announce “to the world” that I was going to be successful at losing weight, but that inner voice continuously reminded me that it wasn’t happening. It said I would fail. I believed it.

      After viewing a young mother (in her early 40’s) in her casket, a person who died of issues caused by her excess weight, I learned to stifle that voice. I had to. She listened to her inner voice and the results were devastating. My inner voice was created by negative memories of failure and I had to convince myself that the voice had to end … or my life could.

      It took a couple months, but I convinced myself that I COULD lose weight with success. Others had and so could I. Did the inner voice cause me to struggle on an hourly basis? No, because I stopped looking back, the future was my NEW focus and it was going to be a great one! I had come to terms with reality: WE HAVE ONLY ONE LIFE, NO DO-OVERS, WE AREN’T LIVING ON A TRIAL BASIS … this one is it.

      Everyday I focused on the goals I achieved: eating healthier and walking 1.5 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY! Yay! I celebrated each day.

      That inner voice of negativity and failure was quiet. I guess you could say that the only voice I heard was of belief and success … I knew I could do it and I did!

      After I lost 162 pounds, I heard voices “loud and clear” from those all around me who informed me that I looked wonderful! That was awesome & still is!

      Thank you, again, for taking the time to read my post – it means the world to me!


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