Losing weight isn't simple but it is straightforward: eat fewer calories than you burn and the scale heads south. Everyone is able to lose weight, but keeping it off is harder. This is why just one in five dieters is able to maintain their slimmer physique long-term.
More studies are now focused on those who are able to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off. Based on the most recent evidence, here are the seven habits researchers have found that are consistently linked to maintaining substantial weight loss for up to 10 years.
1) Have a Long-Term Game Plan
You've reached your goal weight. Now you just want to enjoy your favorite foods and splurge a little. Not so fast.
Successful losers always keep their diet on top of their mind and rarely stray from healthy eating, even on weekends, during the holidays or special occasions. Exerting your self-control and some amount of dietary restraint is essential to keep pounds off. If you revert back to your old eating habits, before you know it, you'll be back to your heavier self.
Research shows that successful losers never revert to the way they used to eat and generally keep tabs on added sugars and unhealthy saturated fats. If you focus on eating quality foods, like fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of lean protein and whole grains, it will be easier to keep calories in-check.
2) Step on the Scale Every Week
Nearly everyone will naturally gain weight if they don't keep close tabs on it. Weight-loss maintainers report weighing themselves once a week and once they see the scale head north, they have a plan to take the pounds off. If you don't weigh yourself for weeks or months, you may be more likely to throw in the towel if you you've gained more than five pounds.
3) Limit Eating Out and Drinking Alcohol
Every meal eaten out ups your odds to gain weight. Successful dieters tend to take control over what they eat, preparing most of their meals and snacks at home. They eat out or have take-out no more than three times a week. Putting the brakes on booze is also important because beer, wine and spirits are not only calorie-rich, which ethanol stimulates your appetite, chips away at your resolve to eat healthy, and heightens the desire for high-cal foods you crave.