The Right Mindset to Keep the Weight Off

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Way too frequently people spend weeks losing weight, just to reach their goal weight, stop the diet, and then weight is gradually put back on. It's a terrible cycle to be stuck in.


    A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that individuals who successfully lost weight AND kept the weight off altered their principles after losing weight.


    This was a telephone survey of 1165 adult who had successfully lost weight with some maintaining the weight loss. Researchers took the data and compiled a list of 36 behaviors at least 10% of the surveyed adults adapted.

    Weight loss was defined as losing 10% or more body weight during the previous 12 months. So for a 200 pound individual this would equal a weight loss of 20 pounds.

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    Maintenance was defined as losing 10% or more body weight during the previous 12 months and keeping it off for one year or more.


    How They Lost the Weight


    Study results found nine key weight loss strategies used by the adults in this study.

    The nine strategies are:

    • Weight loss program participation
    • Seeking information about weight loss, nutrition or exercise
    • Eating healthy snacks such as fruits and veggies
    • Decreasing sugar intake in foods consumed and beverages
    • Planning meals and snacks in advance
    • Not skipping meals, especially breakfast
    • Incorporating a variety of exercise
    • Doing exercise you enjoy
    • Focusing on how much better you'll feel once you've lost the weight

    How They Maintained the Loss

    Individuals in this study who maintained the weight loss practiced four key strategies.

    The four strategies are:

    • Follow a consistent exercise routine.
    • Remind yourself why you need to control your weight.
    • Eat plenty of low-fat sources of protein like lean meat, poultry and fish.
    • Reward yourself for sticking to your diet or exercise plan.

    What does this mean? They didn't reach their goal weight and suddenly decide they could stop ‘dieting'. They made changes they would stick with for life. As you are starting your weight loss journey (or starting it for the umpteenth time!) you need to think about how you can incorporate the changes you make long term.

    Do you need a daily reminder? If so, sign up for 1-a-day weight loss tips at

Published On: August 30, 2011