9 Habit to Keep the Weight Off
“Never again!” or “I’m never getting fat again!”
How many times have we promised ourselves that that was the last time we ever had to lose weight?
How many times have you broken that promise?
See, losing weight is relatively simple. We hit the gym, go for long walks, swap some fast food for a salad, rinse and repeat for a few months, and boom, we lost a substantial amount of weight.
Still, most of us will regain all the weight we lost. Some of us might gain even more weight.
On average, when people lose weight, they regain more than half within two years. After 4-5 years, people had gained 77% of the weight back. Of those who lost over 40 pounds, only 29% had kept their weight after 4 to 5 years. (1)
How many times has this happened to you?
As soon as we reach our goal weight:
- We start skipping the gym.
- We stop tracking calories or watching portion sizes.
- Foods that were on our “bad” list are no longer off-limits.
- We drink too much alcohol.
- We go on binges.
There are two reasons why we regain most of the weight we lost:
For many of us, we regain the weight because we did way too much to lose it, knowing damn well we couldn’t keep it up forever.
We go to the gym twice a day or do 2-hours of cardio. We go on extreme diets or eat nothing but salads.
Those are just a few examples of weight-loss strategies most of us cannot sustain.
We stop doing what helped us lose weight, not because they weren’t sustainable, but because we don’t feel like we have to anymore.
Although you don’t have to continue doing EVERYTHING that helped you lose weight, sticking to some of those habits can help keep those unwanted pounds away.
Not sure where to start? Check out The Complete Fat Loss Guide.
What should you do to stay in shape?
Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of science-backed habits of people who successfully lost weight and kept it off.
Some of these habits are common-sense or things you are already doing.
If that’s the case, right on! Please keep it going!
If you aren’t doing any of these, consider adopting 1 or 2 of these habits.
Keeping the weight off isn’t rocket science, but it takes hard work.
9 Must-do habits to keep the weight off:
They Show Cognitive Restraint.
Cognitive restraint, in simpler terms, means willpower or discipline.
Some forms of cognitive restraint are tracking calories and practicing portion control.
Self-monitoring can prevent you from slipping into old habits.
People who track calories, weigh themselves, take measurements, and take pictures, are more likely to keep the weight off. (3)
They Exercise Regularly.
Regular exercise can increase the number of calories you burn throughout the day and help you keep the weight off.
I know, right? Riveting.
But the reality is that as soon as we lose weight, many of us feel like we don’t have to work out anymore.
The vast majority of people who lost weight and kept it off exercise regularly compared to those who regained weight. (4)
Try to exercise a few times per week. You don’t have to hit the weights or spend hours on the treadmill. Instead, find something you enjoy and stick to it.
Check out this quick workout you can do at home! Full Body Circuit Workout.
They focus On The Long-Term.
Those who have lost weight and kept it off usually sacrifice short-term satisfaction for success in their long-term goals.
Stay focused on your goals. Enjoy food, drink a few beers, but do it in moderation.
They Limit Stress.
Keeping stress under control can be essential in keeping the weight off.
In a 2018 study, researchers found that mental stress raised cortisol levels in all participants. The high stress caused 80% of Volunteers to eat 41% more food than when not stressed. (5)
Another study found that feeling stressed makes it more likely we will skip going to the gym. (6)
Find something to help you better deal with stress.
If you love cycling, join a club. If you are super competitive, join an adult sports league. You could practice yoga, meditate (we meditate and love it), or go hiking.
They Limit Snacking.
Many underestimate how much munching around can affect how many calories we eat per day.
A little nibbling from time to time never killed anyone. But, as you can imagine, those calories can add quickly, especially if you do it every day.
We don’t want to regain all the weight we lost. So, your best bet is either limiting snacking or tracking those calories.
In a recent study, 3777 people completed a 2-day dietary recall. However, the participants were only allowed to snack on one of those days.
Researchers found that despite compensating by eating less in their main meals, participants ate an average of 229 more calories on their “snack” day than on “no snacking” day. Be attentive to your snacking, as it could lead to weight gain. (7)
They Show Flexibility.
You don’t have to eat salads if you don’t want to.
People who have shown more flexibility in their diets are more likely to keep the weight off than those who follow a strict diet. (8)
That’s because you don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods.
If you enjoy eating pizza, then eat pizza. But instead of eating six slices, eat 3. That way, you satisfy your craving without going overboard.
They Eat More Protein.
Eating enough protein can help you to keep your calories down.
A high-protein diet is more satiating than a low-protein diet when calories are the same. (9)
Aim to eat between .8 and 1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
They Are More Active.
Just because you lost weight doesn’t mean you get to sit down and watch tv all day.
In a recent study, people who had lost an average of 26.2 kgs, and maintained it for nine years, averaged 12,000 steps per day to sustain their weight loss. (10)
Try paddleboarding every weekend. Train for a half-marathon, or walk for 30 minutes every day. For the love of God, stay active, lol.