You’ve got a transformation goal to lose weight, and no matter how close you are to achieving that goal, or if you’ve hit your goal weight recently, now is the time to put a plan in place to help you maintain that weight loss for the rest of your life. Because transformation is a lifelong goal.
Why is a plan so important? We’ve got some startling statistics to share, and we aren’t sharing these statistics to depress you—we’re just keeping it real. We want you to be as successful as possible with maintaining your weight loss from that first day of maintenance and for decades to come. According to one study that focused on long-term weight loss, participants reported the following:
- 50% of pounds lost were regained within 2 years
- 80% of pounds lost were regained within 5 years.
Why do so many people regain the weight they’ve worked so hard to lose? Here’s one crucial reason: As much as you might like to think so, the day after you hit your goal weight is not a “magical day” when you no longer have to watch what you eat, work out, drink your water, get enough sleep, and so on. The day after you nail that goal is the first day of your transformation maintenance phase. Yes, your plan for this new phase will be different than your weight loss plan, but a plan is still crucial if you want to be in that 20% who keep the weight off long-term.
So, celebrate the fact that all of your hours, days, weeks, months, and even possibly years of hard work and perseverance have paid off, and then it’s time to start this new phase of your lifelong transformation: Maintenance.
9 Tips for Creating a Weight Loss Maintenance Plan
You’ll be in the maintenance phase of your transformation unless you set a new goal like gaining muscle, training for an endurance event, and so on, so it’s important to make sure that your plan in this phase is sustainable long-term. As you most likely learned during your weight loss phase, if a plan isn’t sustainable, your goal will not be attainable, so here are 9 tips to help you create your maintenance plan:
Tip #1. Realize that maintenance is for you, and you alone.
The support, congratulations, and recognition you received from others as you were dropping all those pounds can be so motivating and exciting when you’re working to lose weight! But now that you’re in the maintenance phase, those accolades from others might be few and far between. In this new stage of transformation, you need to be your own #1 cheerleader because if you rely on others for the validation of your progress, any progress in this new phase can be negatively affected.
Tip #2. Revisit your WHY.
Your WHY—the reason behind why you do basically everything in your life—can change over time, especially after you achieve a monumental goal like weight loss. If you haven’t done so recently, it’s time to take another look at your WHY and see if any changes need to be made so it can continue to serve you in the best ways possible.
Need tips for creating or tweaking your WHY? We’ve got you covered! Get our WHY worksheet here.
Tip #3. Keep your Power Promises.
Your Power Promises laid that all-important foundation for the weight loss phase of your transformation, and they are just as important in this new phase. Why? We’ve got a story to share…
Several years ago, Chris worked with a client to lose 400 lbs. Yes, you read that right: 400 lbs.! This client kept the weight off for 5 years, and during that time, he became a personal trainer and helped hundreds of people achieve their transformation goals. He loved his life and the contributions he was making to the world.
But…he started gaining back the weight, and after a few more years, he’d gained back ALL 400 lbs! He withdrew from friends and family and was in a really dark place full of self-despair and self-hatred.
What happened? He finally shared with Chris his rock-bottom moment, and it had to do with one single broken Power Promise. Soda was his kryptonite. His Power Promise was to only drink diet soda, if at all. But, one day, he bought a 16 oz. regular soda, and even though he told himself when filling that 16 oz. cup that he was going to regret this choice, he still did it. And that single 16 oz. soda led to more and more soda, day after day, week after week, and it wasn’t just a 16 oz. soda. At his lowest point, he was drinking 2-3 gallons of soda a day!
When he finally came to Chris for help, he weighed 650 lbs. That single broken Power Promise had cost him his health, his integrity, his relationships, his happiness, his self-worth, and almost his life.
We know this is a dramatic and heart-breaking story. But it showcases just how important your Power Promises can be for weight loss, maintenance, and any goal you want to achieve.
Learn more about Power Promise and Integrity below.
Tip #4. Have a new goal.
Before you even finish your weight loss goal, in addition to your maintenance goal, it’s also a good idea to have a smaller goal ready to start the minute you finish your current one. Why? You’ve been in a goal-achieving mindset for as long as it’s taken you to achieve your weight loss goal. If you stop living in that mindset for even a few days, you can lose all that momentum you’ve built up—momentum that can propel you on in this new transformation phase and in any new goals you want to achieve. Here are some ideas to get you started: Train for an event, set new workout goals, learn more about nutrition, learn a new hobby, learn a new skill…any goal will work. The key is to have a goal!
Tip #5. Beware of "just this time" thinking.
Remember Chris’ client? He probably thought he’d drink that 16 oz. regular soda “just this time.” But that one “just this time” turned into multiple “just this time” occurrences, which lead to him regaining back all his weight and so many other negative consequences. Your “just this time” activity can be anything that puts you on that slippery slope towards losing the progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you struggle with certain food cravings, for example, build them into your plan. That helps to get rid of “just this time” thinking.
Tip #6. Feed your body correctly.
While a lower calorie amount was needed to lose the weight, you now need to find your new daily calorie consumption range and stick to it. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism can slow down, and your maintenance goal can take a hit. On the flip side, keep in mind that it can be super easy to go overboard food-wise as even a few extra calories at a time can lead to weight gain. If you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, you will gain fat—that’s the science-proven truth. The key is to continue to track your food to ensure you’re burning about the same number of calories as you’re eating. And no, you won’t get it right every day, but we’re not going for perfection here. We’re searching for a range of calories that reflects a balance between calories eaten and calories burned.
The Transform App can formulate your maintenance nutrition plan for you and make adjustments as needed! Not using the app?
Tip #7. Stick to the habits that got you to weight loss success.
It’s so easy to slip into your pre-weight loss habits if you’re not vigilant, so keep doing what you did to lose the weight, making the needed tweaks for your new maintenance goal as needed (more on this to come). Make sure you’re keeping your Power Promises—adjusting them as needed—and continually working on your transformation mindset.
Tip #8. Keep moving!
Burning calories is still important in this maintenance phase, so keep doing the workouts you like to do and try some new types of workouts to keep your workout routine fresh and exciting and maybe not feeling quite so routine.
We have several workout programs in The Transform App from at-home to gym to cross training to dance and even yoga! And you can change programs at any time. Get more information about the app here.
We have several workout programs in The Transform App from at-home to gym to cross training to dance and even yoga! And you can change programs at any time.
Tip #9. There will be some learning curves in this new phase.
Yes, some parts of your plan will be familiar, but some will also be unfamiliar, and you’ll be tweaking different parts of your maintenance plan for years to come. So be sure to give yourself lots of grace, learn from what doesn’t work, go with what does work, and only take on one new thing at a time. These stats might look familiar, and they apply to maintenance too:
- Take one new habit = 80% chance of success long-term
- Take on two new habits = 35% chance of success long-term
- Take on three+ new habits = 5% chance of success long-term
Entering the maintenance phase of your transformation is cause for a huge celebration, so celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! After all, you’ve achieved something that so many other people only dream about doing! Once that celebration is over, and even before you hit that goal number on the scale, put a maintenance plan in place and get right back to nailing this new phase of your lifelong transformation journey ASAP. You got this!