35 Incredibly Realistic Tips For Maintaining Weight Loss

By Ali Luke

We asked 30 successful maintainers how they did managed to hold onto their weight loss.In no particular order, here is the wisdom of the crowd:

  1. Understand why you over ate in the first place.
    Stress, boredom, low-self esteem don’t disappear when you weigh less.
  2. Keep sugar reduced
  3. Minimize processed food
  4. Keep portion sizes reasonable
  5. Cover 2/3’s of my plate with fruits and/or veggies
  6. Make exercise a priority – find an exercise you really enjoy
  7. Eat foods in a natural state
  8. Keep a food journal
  9. Start eating breakfast
  10. Split my meals into four portions through the day instead of one big lunch.
  11. Eliminated sodas and other non water liquids.
  12. Eliminated a lot of my snacking between meals.
  13. Became vegetarian.
  14. Started exercising 4 times a week
  15. Became more physically active in my day to day life.
  16. Have a support system
  17. Use flexible restraint
  18. Think about what you eat and really enjoy it
  19. Completely changed your eating habits for LIFE, not just “while I’m on a diet”
  20. Fill up on fruits/veggies, not chips/cookies, etc.
  21. Eat oatmeal for breakfast (I swear, it keeps you full all morning)
  22. Chew gum when you’re bored so you’re not tempted to eat
  23. Have a lot of activities to do when you’re bored so you don’t feel the need to eat
  24. Weigh regularly.
  25. Eat consistent meals. Beware of snacking and don’t ever skip meals.

Tactics from a 4 Year Weight Maintainer

  1. working out a balanced, calorie-controlled menu plan and sticking to it
  2. discovering new foods and recipes so I don’t get bored
  3. avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed food
  4. learning all I can about nutrition
  5. eating four small meals plus a snack every day
  6. throwing away my “fat” clothes and/or getting clothes taken in – I literally can’t afford to gain any more than five pounds!
  7. finding exercise I enjoy and organizing my life around my workouts
  8. discovering leisure activities I enjoy with my husband – like hiking, canoeing and rockclimbing – instead of sitting around on our butts
  9. avoiding negative people
  10. eating out as a rare treat, rather than a regular occurrence


  1. syed khan

    well i weigh 93 kg in jan 2010. i then started diet plan

    which was just breakfast with breads and fried egg and cup

    of green tea , lunch with one chapaty(naan or bread type)

    and omlete , and dinner as per regular menu in home (any

    thing). plus i strictly avoid junk foods, cold drinks, and


    also used tread mill daily for min hour(30 min in mng and

    30 min in eve)

    after just 4 weeks ,my weight was 83 kg and now till this

    date, continuing same routine, its 79 kg .

  2. bARBARA Bartocci

    I am losing the 20 pounds I gained while rehabbng a new knee. I know why I gained–I fell back into sugar-eating habits.
    For me to maintain, I need to track my “WW points” or calories daily.
    Weigh daily.
    Keep obvious sugar out of my diet.
    And for me, since prayer is part of my daily life, I keep a little book with me at all times: GRACE ON THE GO: POWERFUL PRAYERS FOR DETERMINED DIETERS. Several of the spiritual exercises have been helpful.

  3. Lynn - Going FAT2Lean

    To me it is all about creating lifestyle changes. Taking it slow is great! I’ve found weight that comes off slowly, stays off especially when you learn new habits and don’t fall off the wagon. And if you do – ‘cuz we all cheat – just get right back on.
    Persevere and stick to your new healthy habits!

  4. JRM

    Regarding the “Don’t ban foods”, i 100% totally agree, now for the past year i have been trying to lose weight and i think i have been successful in the past year i have lost 193lbs just by eating right and exercising right now i weight 154 with a BMI of 21 and im starting to go into the maintenance phase of my weight loss. During my weightloss i absolutely banned myself from ANY bit of junk food, not even a little bite of icecream now that i lost all my weight its so hard to understand that i can have a single serving of icecream every once and a while and it wont make me gain back my weight. So hard just to break the mental block.

  5. SueK24

    Hi Everyone!

    I lost 100 pounds 15 years ago and have kept it off ever since with the Zone Diet and lifestyle. With the Zone you eat basically the same way to maintain as you did to lose. To maintian in the Zone, you simply add a little extra monounsaturated fat to your Zone balanced meals and snacks. The Zone Diet is inherently a calorie resticted eating plan, even though the focus is not placed specifically on calories. It’s a very satisfying and freeing way to eat. There’s no hunger or deprivation involved, and the fat loss is permanent.

  6. debra mazda

    hi to all,,,love the words of wisdom all so true. I have had 140 pounds for over 20 years and have done with 3 things.
    1/3 good nutrition, 1/3 exercise, 1/3 mental skills training and the capacity I have to never give up.
    Portion control is basically the name of the game but exercise was the key to my success and still is today. It has been the challenge of a lifetime but wearing a size 10-12 and buying whatever I want to wear beats any candy bar any day of the week for me. I feel and look better today than I did 25 years ago. That is what keeps me going. I tell my clients and fitness girls to never give up even when the odds are against you.

    debra mazda

  7. Diane, Fit to the Finish

    I lost 150 pounds and have kept it off 12 years. That’s through 4 pregnancies too! I think for me, during the 14 months it took to lose the weight, I really didn’t think of my plan as a temporary “state of being.” I looked at my new eating as a life change.

    So once I got to the weight I was happy with, I just kept doing what I had done for those 14 months. Watched my portion sizes, kept the fat percentage for the day under 30%, and exercised consistently.

    It always makes me sad when I see people who have lost weight have to do it again. It’s so frustrating. I did that many times before I finally got it right!

  8. Spectra

    I lost close to 90 lbs and have kept it off for 7 years. For me, the big factors in keeping it off were exercising and sticking to a routine. I did increase my calories when I got to my goal weight, but I did it very slowly and with healthy things (like nuts, not ice cream sundaes). I did go through a brief bout of depression about 5 years ago and gained about 20 lbs back, but I totally nipped it in the bud and looked at where I needed to cut back some calories and where I could tweak my exercise. I lost those extra pounds before they snowballed and I regained everything and I think that’s a big key as well…have a “red flag” number and if you get to that weight, take immediate action and start cracking down on yourself.

  9. Dr. J

    I agree with the above two commenters. When ever I have asked a fit person what is the most important thing, almost ever time they say consistency.

    If you can’t deal with counting calories, I would suggest you consider portion control as another way. It’s not as precise, but it will get the job done.

    A full length mirror, and your favorite pair of jeans do go a long way to help you pay attention.

    Good luck!

  10. Jody - Fit at 51

    We have all heard the saying “you can’t find success doing the same thing that did not work in the past”. You do have to change your behaviors.

    Barry is right above plus you DO have to find a program that works long term for you. What works for your friend might not be what works for you. Don’t fall for short term fixes. Go for what you can live with for life. You are going to have to exercise (find something you like & enjoy) and eat better.

    As for maintenance, the biggest thing is consistency! Stick with it & if you “fall off”, get right back on not Monday but right then.

    For me, I think my biggest positive is since I stayed consistent, I learned to “listen” to my body which helped my make minor & major changes thru all of this. I change my workout constantly anyway, but the ability to know when to change not only the workout but food too is key. Stay consistent & listen to what your body is telling you.

    Also,I do weigh myself BUT how my clothes fit is key!

  11. Barry

    Counting calories and knowing your total daily energy expenditure (roughly) is the only sure fire way to maintain your weight.

    You balance your check book right? You keep track of the money coming in and out of your bank account. How much more important is it then to keep track of the energy going into and out of your body?