3 Ways to Stay Slim for Good

Maintaining your weight doesn't have to be hard.

January 17, 2018
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You’re in spandex and sneakers most days of the week, you can decipher a nutrition label quicker than you can say “hydrogenated oil,” and the waiter at your favorite spot no longer bothers to ask if you want to see the dessert menu. And for what? Just to drop a bunch of pounds only to gain them all back (and maybe more!) in a few months? Forget that. Scientists from Brown University recently cracked the code on how to successfully maintain significant weight loss.

More: 3 Exercises for Boosting Your Weight Loss Willpower

The researchers studied almost 3,000 people who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year prior to the start of the study, and measured their weight changes over the next ten years. Their findings revealed key strategies that could help you stay slim for good:

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Keep your good habits

The day you hit your target weight, you might be tempted to skip the gym and celebrate with a big slice of pizza and a pint of Chunky Monkey. Don’t do it! The researchers found that giving into bad habits within the first year of weight loss predicted weight gain ten years in the future. These bad habits included pigging out, increasing fatty foods, weighing yourself less often, and decreasing what they called “leisure-time caloric expenditure,” otherwise known as exercise.

In fact, decreasing calorie burn by as little as 267 calories per week in the first year after weight loss was related to weight gain ten years later. That’s about the equivalent of daily 20-minute walks or going on one leisurely bike ride for an hour.

More: 17 Healthy Eating Habits to Help You Slim Down

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Always aim high

Ever hear the advice: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” (Les Brown)? It’s a great philosophy for weight loss.

The researchers found that the people who lost the most amount of weight saw more regain when compared to those who lost more modest amounts of weight. But this didn’t render their hard work useless. The study also found that, despite this larger regain gain, the biggest losers still “landed among the stars,” and had larger overall weight loss after ten years than people who had more modest initial weight losses.

More: 7 Questions You NEED To Ask Yourself If You're Struggling To Lose Weight

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Don’t get discouraged by regain

Even if you start seeing the scale inching back up after a big weight loss, don’t get down on yourself. This study found that after ten years, 87 percent of the participants maintained at least a ten percent weight loss, and most people’s weight was fairly stable after five years.

When you consider the positive health effects that accompany even modest weight loss, results like that are certainly a worthwhile accomplishment.

More: 10 Success Strategies for Maintaining Your Weight Loss

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