Shifting Gears from Weight Loss to Weight Maintenance

Whether you’re reading this because you’ve reached your goal weight or because you’re getting close—congratulations on your success! Now you’re ready to make the shift from weight loss to weight maintenance, but wondering where to begin. What you’ll find out is that there are quite a few things you’ll need to think about to make this transition a successful one.

Some of them are pretty simple and straightforward, like recalculating your calorie needs range and setting up reasonable exercise goals that are focused more on fitness and fun than calorie burning. Some may prove to be a little more complex—like coming up with new goals, directions, and sources of motivation that will help you keep your healthy lifestyle on track. And some of the things you may need to think about are likely to be quite unexpected and surprising.

If you’re like me, you may discover that, along with solving a lot of problems for you, getting healthier and losing the weight has given you a lot of new options and possibilities that you never expected to have—some of which are as terrifying as they are exciting! Or maybe it will dawn on you that your new lifestyle has also had some pretty big effects on your relationships, some of which may need some attention or changing if you want to maintain what you’ve accomplished and keep moving your life forward.

Whatever particular challenges this transition presents for you, you can be sure that this new stage of your journey is going to be very interesting. Many people manage to get where you are now, very few manage to maintain that success, and much less keep moving ahead. What will determine your success is how well you identify the particular challenges you face and find effective ways to manage them.

The good news is that you already have most of the tools, information, and support you’re going to need to maintain your success. It’s all right here at SparkPeople! And if you’ve gotten this far, you already know how to use these tools effectively. You’ll just need to shift your approach a little. Use our Weight Maintenance Lifestyle Center to find the information, support and tips you need.

Get ready to maintain your success!
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Member Comments

BUNNY98537
Thanks for the info in this article! As I get closer to my SparkPeople goal weight, I really appreciate the resources and comments on SP all the more! I'm SO tired of watching my weight yo-yo, that I want to make sure I keep it off this time. A couple of thoughts... I first reached my goal in 1979 via Weight Watchers. Employing various measures, I periodically would lose weight, again and again. And, like many, I would gain it all back, perhaps with a few extra pounds!

One important thing I did for myself was to redefine the word "treat". It seems that "treat" has become synonymous with something sweet, such as pie or ice cream (or both!), and many forms of sweet or maybe even fried foods like French fries or KFC (AKA, high-calorie items we feel we have been deprived of during weight loss). Now, I ask myself if it's a way to "treat" myself well and with respect. Am I fueling my body with something that will have a positive effect on my well-being or will it ultimately make me feel like have let myself down? I've gone long enough without super-sweet or salty foods that things like candy, cake, chips, crackers, etc. don't even taste good. They seem excessively sweet or salty.

My challenge to keeping the weight off will be the fall and winter months. We get a LOT of rain on the Washington state coast, which keeps me indoors a lot of the time! I tend to want carbs / comfort foods and exercise takes extra self-motivation. Just knowing these things going in --I'm hoping!-- will serve me well. Keep the SPARKle in each day! Report
Maintaining is the place to be. Report
Thank you for these words of encouragement. Report
Thank you. Report
Great. Thanks Report
ELRIDDICK
Thanks for sharing Report
ELRIDDICK
Thanks for sharing Report
ETHELMERZ
The maintenance is way harder than losing, I found I have to stick mostly to the dieting method, period. And ultimately I would.get tired of it and gain it back, maintaining for several years at a time. Deprivation just is not pleasant , and a healthy eating plan still feels like deprivation to me, unsatified. Report
RICHARDTJB
One trick to maintenance is to acknowledge the fact you can not go back to eating the way you ate before you lost the weight. Otherwise, you'll put it back on in less than a year. Report
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.
- Vince Lombardi Report
Thanks for the good info. Report
Not sure if I have left a comment on this article or not. But I will say that having maintained for four years now (for the first time ever, I was a yo yo dieter before), it is really really hard. It might even be harder than losing. I must stay diligent and not fall back into old habits...and it would be easy to do that. I hope that I have learned in these four years enough to keep me on track. So far so good. Report
good points Report
What I did not realize is that to maintain one must have a greater amount of exercise than to lose. Your body wants to return to where it was and just eating a set number of calories will not keep it in maintenance. You must move much more. Report
Thanks for sharing this information is very good. Report


 

About The Author

Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.