Written on May 22, 2023 by Lori Mulligan, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Table of contents
While losing weight is difficult for many of us, it is even more challenging to keep the weight off. Most people who lose a large amount of weight regain it within two to three years.
Keeping extra weight off takes effort and commitment, just as losing weight does. Weight loss and maintenance require a combination of changes in diet, eating habits, and exercise. In extreme circumstances, you may consider bariatric surgery. Read on to learn more about how to maintain weight after weight loss.
You may have heard the widely quoted statistic that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it within a few years—or even months.
While there isn’t much hard evidence to support that claim, many weight-loss plans fail in the long term.
Often that’s simply because diets that are too restrictive are very hard to maintain over time. However, that doesn’t mean your weight loss attempts are doomed to failure.
Since it was established in 1994, the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in the United States has tracked over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.
The study found that participants who successfully maintained their weight loss shared some common strategies. Whatever diet you use to lose weight in the first place, adopting these habits may help you to keep it off :
Johns Hopkins offers some additional strategies for keeping off weight, such as :
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following helps maintain weight loss:
Create an eating plan that you can follow for life. It just needs two key ingredients: It’s based on healthy food, and you can keep doing it long term. With that in mind, you may need to try different things to figure out what works best for you day to day.
Cut back on sugar and eat more protein to stay fuller longer.
Focus on filling up with extra fruits and vegetables, which leaves less room for unhealthy food.
Be mindful of what you are eating and whether it fits your overall food plan. Don’t be random or chaotic in what you choose to eat. The details will depend on what you like and what fits best with your lifestyle.
Talk to a registered dietitian or diabetes educator (your doctor can give you a referral).
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the likelihood of weight-loss maintenance is enhanced by a program consisting of dietary therapy, physical activity, and behavior therapy, which should be continued indefinitely.
Drug therapy also can be used. However, drug safety and efficacy beyond one year of total treatment have not been established.
A weight maintenance program should be a priority after the initial six months of weight-loss therapy.
Everlywell offers support for weight management via a weight loss telehealth option, pairing prescriptions for GLP-1 with regular clinician care, lab testing, and support for related conditions. (Age 18+)
Because weight and diabetes are so interconnected, we offer an HbA1c test that allows you to monitor your blood sugar to ensure you maintain your blood sugar and weight at the right levels. This is an easy way to measure how well you have been maintaining your blood sugar levels for the past 90 days.