Scientists at the National Weight Control Registry have identified a set of lifestyle habits and attitudes that successful weight maintainers share in common. These weight “Maintainers” aren’t perfect, but they are consistent with key strategies that you, too, can regularly practice as part of your weight maintenance plan.
Top Ten Tips from Successful Weight Maintainers
1. Continue to control portions and calories – Maintainers average 1400-1800 calories a day.
2. Moderate fat intake – Maintainers level out at about 24% fat calories a day.
3. Eat breakfast daily - 78% of Maintainers never miss a morning meal.
4. Weigh frequently - 44% of Maintainers weigh daily.
5. Course correct – Maintainers reduce food intake and increase activity for minor “blips” on the scale.
6. Keep consistent – Maintainers eat the same on weekdays, weekends, even holidays.
7. Move more than before – Maintainers walk, strength train and enjoy other activities one hour a day.
8. Limit dining – Maintainers eat out less than three times a week and indulge fast foods just once a week.
9. Reduce TV time to no more than 10 hours a week – Maintainers are busy doing other things.
10. Always make a plan A… AND a plan B, for when things don’t go as you’d expect.
What Else Works for Keeping It Off?
Experts also say that maintaining a network of support, practicing positive ways for managing stress and focusing on a deeper motivation for making healthy choices versus the short-term benefits of weight loss all contribute to successful weight maintenance.
Jenny Craig offers a maintenance program to help members who have lost weight on the program maintain their weight loss goals. Book a free appointment to learn more.
2 Obes Rev. 2005 vol.6:67–85.
3 Am J Clin Nutr.2005; vol. 82: 1222S-225S.