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How to Maintain Weight Loss

Reward and Remind: How to Maintain Weight Loss

As hard as losing weight can be, sometimes the battle begins again when you try to stay at your goal weight. A new study from the USDA shows that the secret may be in the way you think.

The study sought to find strategies that would help people maintain their weight in addition to dieting and exercising. After studying 926 people with BMIs 25 or higher (the marker for being overweight) who lost 10 percent or more of their total weight, researchers found that there are two main ways that help them successfully keep the pounds off. The secret? Remind yourself why you need to control your weight, and reward yourself for sticking to a diet and exercise plan. The people who followed these strategies were more apt to stay motivated after they lost weight.

Find out more about rewarding and reminding yourself to keep the pounds off after the break.


Reward yourself. Scheduling rewards when you are maintaining weight loss is different than when you are losing weight. Going shopping for a cute outfit once you've reached a weight-loss milestone, for example, is easy to justify, but how do you reward yourself for just following your normal lifestyle routine? Don't forget that regularly rewarding yourself for maintaining your fitness regimen is important. Find a way to reward yourself if you hit your target number of workouts for the week or tie in something you love with your exercise plan. Try only allowing yourself to watch mindless TV during or after a workout, for example, or scheduling a fun weekend activity after a long week of gym sessions to help keep you motivated.

Remind yourself. Once you hit your goal weight, it can be easy to think that a splurge is in order. But the study found that those who reminded themselves about why they needed to control their weight were more successful in keeping it off. While you shouldn't have to forgo all indulgences in order to stay at your goal weight, try reminding yourself of the consequences of straying off track before ordering the most unhealthy thing on the menu or skipping a run in favor of couch time.

While these tools can help maintain weight loss, the researchers warn that the secret to weight loss is staying motivated to work out and eat healthy. Regularly and diligently sticking with a challenging diet and exercise plan is the key to most weight-loss maintenance.

How do you reward or remind yourself once you've reached your goal weight?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Yassine15023050 Yassine15023050 3 years
I like this article.
jmarieinca jmarieinca 4 years
\u00a0@Elisa2712938\u00a0it's not a diet to me. It's a lifestyle change! \u00a0I eat more protein, less \u00a0crap food, drink more water, and no more regular soda. \u00a0It seems to be working for me
jmarieinca jmarieinca 4 years
I like this article. I think it helps to be positive about eating healthy. I find that helping others who are in the same boat as me in losing weight really helps me feel like I'm not alone and makes it even more rewarding. We are all wanting to look better, feel better, etc. \u00a0I have noticed by eating more often and less JUNK food, has really made a difference. When I reach my Ideal weight, my reward will be to get Glamour Shots done! Nothing related to food, okay, maybe a milkshake from Carl's jr haha I used to eat those before my healthier lifestyle change. \u00a0But as long as we're not eating an EXCESS of junk food/fattening but tasty stuff, \u00a0we can all do it!\u00a0
Elisa2712938 Elisa2712938 5 years
have you guys tried dieting? \u00a0
glitter-junkie glitter-junkie 6 years
I still weigh in every once in a while. Not every week but maybe twice a month. I've also set myself some new challenges - training for my first triathlon has been an amazing experience. I like to try to eat 'clean' but have come off the wagon on occasions - and when I was ill last year I was asked not to exercise as my regime was seen as being too much while I was recovering, which didn't help. I also try to be nicer to myself and remind myself how far I've come. Instead of letting me reach for the cookie jar this actually motivates me not to slip back - it was really hard work getting here, I look and feel so much better than I did and I am fitter than I've ever been - so why stop now?
amber512 amber512 6 years
Keeping an eye on my body (how my clothes fit) has helped me maintain my weight loss. Reminding and rewarding sound good too!
missy1632 missy1632 6 years
This post is in perfect timing! I literally just reached my target weight and am a bit anxious about maintaining (I reached my target last year too, but regained most back)... I have set a reminder on my calendar on the 1st of every month to check that I am still focussed and not letting myself get out of control (again).
Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 6 years
I drink warm apple juice mixed with a tablespoon of Kuzu (a starch you can buy at a healthfood or Japanese market). It tastes like a sweet/savory broth, and it will knock you right out!
amaniesa amaniesa 6 years
This is a great reminder. I do tend to remind myself, by looking at my before pictures. I also sometimes compare what I used to eat to what I eat now. But I had stopped rewarding myself. I'll have to think of a good incentive.
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