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How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off (6 Tips)

Published October 02, 2018 (Revised: October 30, 2019)
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Ben Kissam, BS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/10/how-to-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off-thumbnail-0015.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off (6 Tips)", "datePublished":"2018-10-02", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Some programs help you lose weight fast, but it’s all for naught if you gain it all back. Here are our 6 best tips on how to lose weight and keep it off.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/10/how-to-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off-thumbnail-0015.jpg" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you lose weight and keep it off gradually?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: Adopt healthy habits that support both initial weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. <br/>Many diets promise rapid weight loss or “guaranteed” results in a certain timeframe (i.e. lose 12 pounds in 12 weeks). You might get short-term results, but if you don’t stick to that same “healthy” routine after you’re done, research shows you’ll likely gain a lot of that weight back.<br/>According to the International Journal of Obesity, only 1 in 6 overweight people that lose a substantial amount of weight keep it off beyond one year. This is largely due to the fact that many people lose momentum, fall back on old habits, and stop exercising once they’ve lost weight.<br/>The key to keeping the weight off is to adopt healthy habits you can stick with long-term. This way, you don’t ebb and flow between losing and gaining weight." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the healthiest way to lose weight?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: Accept that there aren’t any quick fixes, and that sustainable weight loss (and maintenance) takes time. Patience and consistency are keys.<br/>Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that increases your risk of disease and diminishes the quality of your life. And the main challenge when it comes to treating obesity is not weight loss; it’s long-term weight management, or keeping off what you’ve lost.<br/>Therefore, the healthiest way for you to lose weight is to find a sustainable program. The answer is a bit relative, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.<br/>Researchers say that things like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good mental health are all important for long-term success.<br/>We explain why those habits, along with a few other things, are key to getting your weight under control below." } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">How Do You Lose Weight And Keep It Off Gradually?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">What Is The Healthiest Way To Lose Weight?</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">6 Ways To Lose Weight And Keep It Off</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off—Wrap Up</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Perhaps this story will sound familiar: you stuck to the exercise routine. You ate healthy. Slowly but surely, you lost weight. Your friends and family were impressed, and you hadn’t felt better in a long time.</p> <p>Fast forward a year or two, though, and you've gained all that weight back.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there are thousands of weight loss programs out there promising fast results. But as you may know, it’s not <i>just</i> about losing weight quickly. It's also about keeping it off.</p> <p>Let's look at how to lose weight gradually, the healthiest way to lean out, and 6 tips for how to lose weight and keep it off.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>How do you lose weight and keep it off gradually?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: Adopt healthy habits that support both initial weight loss <i>and</i> long-term weight maintenance. </p> <p>Many diets promise rapid weight loss or “guaranteed” results in a certain timeframe (i.e. lose 12 pounds in 12 weeks). You might get short-term results, but if you don’t stick to that same “healthy” routine after you’re done, research shows you’ll likely gain a lot of that weight back.</p> <p>According to the <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo201094" rel="nofollow noreferrer">International Journal of Obesity</a></i>, only 1 in 6 overweight people that lose a substantial amount of weight keep it off beyond one year. This is largely due to the fact that many people lose momentum, fall back on old habits, and stop exercising once they’ve lost weight.</p> <p>The key to keeping the weight off is to adopt healthy habits you can stick with long-term. This way, you don’t ebb and flow between losing and gaining weight.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/losing-weight-scale-0015.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/losing-weight-scale-0015.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/losing-weight-scale-0015.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/losing-weight-scale-LR-0015.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="losing-weight-scale"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <h2>What is the healthiest way to lose weight?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: Accept that there aren’t any quick fixes, and that sustainable weight loss (and maintenance) takes time. Patience and consistency are keys.</p> <p>Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that increases your risk of disease and diminishes the quality of your life<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790820/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup>. And the main challenge when it comes to treating obesity is <i>not</i> weight loss; it’s long-term weight management, or keeping off what you’ve lost<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777230/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup>.</p> <p>Therefore, the healthiest way for you to lose weight is to find a sustainable program. The answer is a bit relative, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.</p> <p>Researchers say that things like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good mental health are all important for long-term success<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002825" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup>.</p> <p>We explain why those habits, along with a few other things, are key to getting your weight under control below.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <h2>6 ways to lose weight and keep it off</h2> <h3>1. Keep track of macros </h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: The number of macronutrients you take in matters—but that doesn’t mean you have to obsessively count calories to lose weight or keep it off.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/why-you-should-be-calculating-your-macros" rel="noreferrer">Counting macros</a>, or <i>macronutrients</i>, places a healthy emphasis on eating quality foods. The three macros are protein, fat, and carbs. Since each macronutrient contains a specific number of calories (4 per gram for protein and carbs; 9 per gram for fat), you can also track how much energy you’re taking in by counting macros.</p> <p>You might try picking a <i>macronutrient split</i>, or an ideal division of proteins, fats, and carbs each day. For example, on a low carb diet like keto (which we discuss in the next section), your macro split is roughly 70 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs.</p> <h4>Should you also count calories?</h4> <p>Calories, at least to an extent, play a role in long-term weight loss. If you regularly take in too many calories, your body will store that extra energy as fat<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221839/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup>.</p> <p>But no, you don't have to obsessively count calories, too. (Remember, macros account for how many calories you're eating already.)</p> <p>If you're worried about calories, consider this: <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163457/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">Healthcare</a></i> recommends avoiding processed foods and added sugars, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. By prioritizing healthy foods, they say, you'll likely reduce the number of calories you eat in a day<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163457/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">5</a></sup>. </p> <p>Plus, focusing on quality foods helps you "stretch" your macros further (read: eat more food)— see tip #3 for an example.</p> <h3>2. Eat fewer carbs (and don’t eat added sugar)</h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: Low-carb diets are effective for losing and keeping the weight off. They help your body burn stored fat and reduce how much sugar you eat.</p> <p>Here are 3 reasons why eating fewer carbs may help you lose weight and keep it off.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Cutting carbs likely means cutting added sugar</strong>: The <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139832/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">World Health Organization</a> (WHO)</i> calls sugar a “silent” killer<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139832/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">6</a></sup>. Eating foods with added sugars may cause weight gain, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase your blood sugar<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862465/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">7</a></sup>. Understand that “added sugar”—in its many forms—is a carbohydrate. So if you cut out carbs, you’ll likely eat much less sugar, too.</li> <li><strong>You’re likely eating more protein and fat, which helps keep you full</strong>: Most low-carb diets are high in protein and fat, and both are advantageous for long-term weight maintenance. The amino acids in protein help you stay full longer after meals, and fat has more calories per gram than carbs or protein, so you’re taking in more energy when you eat<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23107521" rel="nofollow noreferrer">8</a></sup> <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499909/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">9</a></sup>.</li> <p>Pro tip: Because it reduces cravings, eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20125103" rel="nofollow noreferrer">10</a></sup>.</p> <li><strong>You’ll burn more energy</strong>: A study from the <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6233655/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">British Medical Journal</a> (BMJ)</i> found that, compared to other diets, low-carb diets increased the amount of energy you expend each day by up to <i>200 calories</i>. The study concluded that the metabolic benefits of eating low-carb may improve your chances of weight loss success.</li> </ul> <p>These reasons are why diets like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide-to-keto" rel="noreferrer">keto</a>, paleo, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/atkins-vs-keto-a-side-by-side-comparison" rel="noreferrer">Atkins</a> have soared in popularity in recent years. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/nutritious-food-for-weight-loss-0015.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/nutritious-food-for-weight-loss-0015.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/nutritious-food-for-weight-loss-0015.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/nutritious-food-for-weight-loss-LR-0015.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="nutritious-food-for-weight-loss"> </picture> <h3>3. Eat wholesome, nutritious foods</h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: Healthy foods like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-fruit/" rel="noreferrer">fruit</a> and vegetables are nutrient-dense and rich in fiber, which fills you up and keeps you healthy.</p> <p>If you’re hungry all the time, you’re far more likely to quit your diet or program<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618052/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">11</a></sup>. So if you’re trying to lose weight, one of your top priorities should be to fuel your body with the right stuff.</p> <p>The best way to do that is to eat lots of nutrient-dense, fibrous foods. Vitamins and minerals keep you energized and functioning optimally, and fiber helps keep you full longer<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16954450" rel="nofollow noreferrer">12</a></sup> <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23885994" rel="nofollow noreferrer">13</a></sup>.</p> <p>The example below helps illustrate how important nutrition, not just calories, are for keeping you full and healthy.</p> <ul> <li>A half a pack of Skittles candies has 28 grams of carbs, <strong>23.5 grams of sugar</strong>, <strong>no fiber</strong>, and is <strong>void of all micronutrients</strong> except vitamin C<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5611/2" rel="nofollow noreferrer">14</a></sup>.</li> <li>The same amount of kale*, on the other hand, has <strong>no added sugar</strong>, <strong>10 grams of fiber</strong> and at least 10 percent of your daily requirements for more than <strong>20 essential vitamins and minerals</strong><sup><a target="_blank" href="https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5611/2" rel="nofollow noreferrer">15</a></sup>.</li> </ul> <p><i>(*About 4 cups, which is a lot, admittedly. But that’s the point—not all foods are created equal.)</i></p> <p>And another pro tip for you: chewing slowly helps reduces your risk of obesity because it helps control your appetite<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215801" rel="nofollow noreferrer">16</a></sup>. So take your time eating your nutritious meals; it’s beneficial!</p> <h3>4. Don’t eat before bed</h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: Eating large quantities of food before bed impairs sleep, and you’re likely to eat more at night than during the day.</p> <p>Many people snack at night. But doing so might hurt your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Consider:</p> <ul> <li>Eating lots of food right before bed negatively affects your <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-going-keto-can-improve-your-sleep-quality" rel="noreferrer">sleep</a>. Because sleep is important for muscle recovery and function, late-night binge eating might interfere with your fitness gains or leave you unmotivated to work out the next day<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3227713/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">17</a></sup> <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550729" rel="nofollow noreferrer">18</a></sup>.</li> <li>You’re also more likely to overeat at night. Foods eaten after dinner tend to be less filling compared to meals eaten earlier in the day<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17537291" rel="nofollow noreferrer">19</a></sup>.</li> </ul> <p>A study in the <i><a target="_blank" href="https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/106/5/1213/4822338?sid=0b186230-db4a-42ea-a0f8-a5efd1945432" rel="nofollow noreferrer">American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</a></i> suggests cutting off eating after 8pm. This gives your body time to prepare for sleep and may even help prevent the accumulation of body-fat.</p> <h3>5. Exercise regularly</h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: People who exercise are more likely to keep the weight off than people who don’t.</p> <p>You’re more likely to gain weight back after you lose it if you don’t exercise<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">20</a></sup>. Whether you’ve lost the weight yet or not, this should be a wakeup call to start making exercise a priority.</p> <p>The benefits of exercise are well known and plentiful. According to the <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/publications-files/acsm-guidelines-download-10th-edabf32a97415a400e9b3be594a6cd7fbf.pdf?sfvrsn=aaa6d2b2_0" rel="nofollow noreferrer">American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)</a></i>, exercise:</p> <ul> <li>Improves bone density</li> <li>Improves muscular strength</li> <li>Improves cardiovascular function</li> <li>Improves balance and coordination</li> </ul> <p>You’re also less likely to be overweight, diseased, or depressed when you exercise consistently<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">21</a></sup>. </p> <p><i>ACSM</i> recommends all adults, aged 18 to 65, engage in 30 minutes of <i>moderate-intensity</i> exercise 5 times per week, and <i>intense exercise</i> for 20 minutes, 3 times per week<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/publications-files/acsm-guidelines-download-10th-edabf32a97415a400e9b3be594a6cd7fbf.pdf?sfvrsn=aaa6d2b2_0" rel="nofollow noreferrer">22</a></sup>.</p> <h4>What’s the best type of exercise for weight loss?</h4> <p>Resistance training, or functional strength training exercises that increase strength and help you add muscle<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845" rel="nofollow noreferrer">23</a></sup>.</p> <p><i>Why?</i> Because <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer">functional exercises</a> (like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups" rel="noreferrer">push-ups and squats</a>) performed at a high-intensity increase the number of calories you burn during <i>and</i> after your workout<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25606816" rel="nofollow noreferrer">24</a></sup>. They also mimic real-life movements and teach your muscles how to work together, so your body gets stronger as a unit, not in isolation.</p> <p>Whatever you choose for an exercise program, though, you should enjoy. <i>Any</i> type of exercise is better than none. The important thing is finding something you like that you can see yourself doing long-term. That way, you can <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve" rel="noreferrer">set goals</a> that <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/17-fitness-tips-for-motivation" rel="noreferrer">motivate you</a> and work to achieve them.</p> <p>And if you don’t know what your “thing” is, experiment! Try different workouts. You’ll get fitter in the process, and eventually find something you like. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lose-weight-with-support-0015.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lose-weight-with-support-0015.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lose-weight-with-support-0015.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lose-weight-with-support-LR-0015.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="lose-weight-with-support"> </picture> <h3>6. Find a support system</h3> <p><i>In a sentence</i>: You’ll be more motivated and happier if you’re surrounded by supportive and like-minded people. And this can help you keep the weight off.</p> <p>You’re more likely to stick to your weight loss program if you have accountability or a strong support group<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27574404" rel="nofollow noreferrer">25</a></sup>. An <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/accountability-partner-key-to-weight-loss" rel="noreferrer">exercise accountability</a> partner, a spouse that eats healthy, and even a doctor’s influence all have a lasting impact on your health and goals<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/10026524134/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">26</a></sup>.</p> <p>This is a good reminder for us all. Losing weight—and keeping it off—is not easy. But you can make it a little easier, both now and in the long run, if you put yourself in a positive environment that’s conducive to you accomplishing your goals.</p> <p>Try:</p> <ul> <li>Setting <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve" rel="noreferrer">realistic fitness goals</a>.</li> <li>Sharing your goals with your accountability partner and support friends.</li> <li>Tracking your progress or how many times you workout per week.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>How to lose weight and keep it off—wrap up</h2> <p>Maybe you knew this from experience, but science now literally confirms it: losing weight is only one piece of the puzzle. The hard part is keeping it off once you’ve lost it. </p> <p>To lose weight and keep it off, adopt healthy habits like these:</p> <ul> <li>Track macros, and be mindful of how much energy you take in.</li> <li>Exercise regularly, and pick fitness activities you like.</li> <li>Eat wholesome ingredients.</li> <li>Avoid processed foods.</li> <li>Don’t eat large meals before bed that may inhibit quality sleep.</li> <li>Chew your food slowly to control appetite.</li> <li>Find accountability for your fitness routine.</li> <li>Set goals and track your progress.</li> </ul> <p>Nothing on this list can promise <i>instant</i> results; but taking a strong and steady approach with these habits can help you lose weight gradually and keep it off.</p> <p>Our suggestion: Don’t look for a quick fix. Make health and fitness a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com" rel="noreferrer">lifestyle</a>. Start tomorrow, even if it’s with a few babysteps. Once you get the hang of it, these tasks will become habits, and those habits will help you stay at your desired weight.</p> </section> </article>

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