After you have worked so hard to lose weight, the last thing you want is to gain it all back. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens to many people. But you can avoid this common weight loss and weight gain cycle by following these simple strategies for long-term weight loss:
Stay Accountable: After my patients have reached their goal weight, the ones who continue to keep their follow-up appointments to weigh in monthly, then every other month, and then quarterly are most successful with achieving long-term weight loss. These patients say that knowing they are coming back to weigh in reminds them that their weight loss journey is an ongoing one, not something that’s over once they reach their goal.
Expect Setbacks: People who lose weight should not be surprised, ashamed, or embarrassed when they do start to regain weight. It’s very common and, in fact, people should expect to keep fighting off those last five to 10 pounds year after year. If weight gain does occur, the solution is to take action, not give in or give up.
Remain Active: People who continue to make some form of exercise part of their daily life also have much better odds of sustaining long-term weight loss. Regular exercise helps fight hunger, gives you more energy, aids you in managing stress, and so much more. Plus it helps keep your metabolism burning strong, not just while you are working out but 24 hours a day.
Beware Old Patterns: Another common mistake people make after reaching their goal weight is to abandon the healthy changes they have made and return to the way they were living before. If it didn’t work then, it won’t work now. Remember, if you want things to be different, you have to do different. Continue the good habits you have learned!
Stay on Top of Stress: Almost every time one of my patients starts to regain weight, we can trace it back to a stressful life event – an illness, lost job, or some other setback. Stress can cause people to stop exercising, start comfort eating, and get off course. When this happens, be ready to take extra good care of yourself during difficult times by getting lots of exercise, eating good, nutritious foods, and reaching out for emotional support.
After you have worked so hard to lose the weight, you must continue to work to keep it off. But the good news is you’ll also have found the secret to long-term weight loss!
Dr. Michael Kaplan
Founder and Chief Medical Officer