Health & Wellness Articles

Shifting Gears from Weight Loss to Weight Maintenance

Using SparkPeople to Establish New Goals

159SHARES
Whether you’re reading this because you’ve reached your goal weight or because you’re getting close—congratulations on your success! Now you’re ready to make the shift from weight loss to weight maintenance, but wondering where to begin. What you’ll find out is that there are quite a few things you’ll need to think about to make this transition a successful one.

Some of them are pretty simple and straightforward, like recalculating your calorie needs range and setting up reasonable exercise goals that are focused more on fitness and fun than calorie burning. Some may prove to be a little more complex—like coming up with new goals, directions, and sources of motivation that will help you keep your healthy lifestyle on track. And some of the things you may need to think about are likely to be quite unexpected and surprising.

If you’re like me, you may discover that, along with solving a lot of problems for you, getting healthier and losing the weight has given you a lot of new options and possibilities that you never expected to have—some of which are as terrifying as they are exciting! Or maybe it will dawn on you that your new lifestyle has also had some pretty big effects on your relationships, some of which may need some attention or changing if you want to maintain what you’ve accomplished and keep moving your life forward.

Whatever particular challenges this transition presents for you, you can be sure that this new stage of your journey is going to be very interesting. Many people manage to get where you are now, very few manage to maintain that success, and much less keep moving ahead. What will determine your success is how well you identify the particular challenges you face and find effective ways to manage them.

The good news is that you already have most of the tools, information, and support you’re going to need to maintain your success. It’s all right here at SparkPeople! And if you’ve gotten this far, you already know how to use these tools effectively. You’ll just need to shift your approach a little. Use our Weight Maintenance Lifestyle Center to find the information, support and tips you need.

Get ready to maintain your success!
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • As I get closer to my goal weight, I'm getting very excited about how this maintenance will work for me. I know I can be successful because of the wonderful program spark people gives us. Thank you, Spark PeopleSigned by a very grateful Member, ALLENJOSEPH
    Janis - 5/21/2012 8:24:28 PM
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    e.com - 4/21/2012 1:48:05 AM
  • I have decided that I need to just keep those numbers in focus.. I am still tracking my food, exercise, and as long as I keep it under my BMR most days and at my BMR the other days I can feel safe that I won't gain. I also have started forcing myself to get a little bit of exercise each day.
    I struggled with getting lazy for a few weeks.. I didn't gain but I just got lucky.. Now I feel better being in control of what I eat and the exercise I get.. - 11/7/2010 2:14:00 PM
  • I guess I'm not sure how "maintenance" is all that much different that what I do already. I use the nutrition tracker, and keep all my numbers like calories burned, fitness minutes, calories eaten, weigh-ins, etc on a big spreadsheet.

    I plan to keep doing that.

    The spreadsheet template does the math for me, and it's obvious when I eat too much or don't exercise enough. The daily calorie differential (what I burned through my basic metabolism and fitness VS what I ate) is what I manage.

    Keep working out, keep tracking, and keep weighing yourself. There are lots of BMR calculators online to figure out what you should be eating (calorie-wise) on a daily basis to stay at a given weight. - 10/20/2010 9:45:49 AM
  • I am so darn lost I don't know what to do... just what is the maintenance plan on Spark People... Is there one ... I read the articles and it looks like I'm supose to change my trackers so I'm eating the right amount and exerciseing the right amount but I have NO CLUE as to how to do this... anyone else having this problem??? how did the rest of you move into maintenance??? - 10/14/2010 5:45:12 PM
  • Thank you Coach Dean for your insightful articles. You are always my inspiration! - 8/22/2010 10:04:33 AM
  • MOMM4LIFE
    I too am glad to find this Weight Maintenance resource. Gaining the weight I have labored to get rid of is NOT an option for me. I embraced the challenge and made it a lifestyle.. thank you Coach Dean and others for the helptul tools for my new belt!

    - 6/21/2010 2:35:36 PM
  • MICHELLEANELSON
    I have lost 110 lbs and I appreciate maintenance tips. I really seem to be struggling now that I have met my goal, because I can now allow myself a few treats, I worry about slipping back into my old patterns. I allow myself one treat night out a week and afterwards, I struggle to get back on track, but after a year and a half of being so careful with every bite I put in my mouth, I really need to be able to treat myself sometimes to stay on track. During the week when I am tempted to go off course, I remember my one day on the weekend and it motivates me to stay on course, but after my treat night I go back to the constant struggle to stay on course. I am soooo tired of having to stay in constant control!!!! I feel so worn out emotionally and I am really struggling now.... - 3/12/2010 2:52:55 PM
  • This section is becoming one of my absolute favorites! I never want to go through the weight loss focus again - and that means healthy weight maintenance is my way of life. All these helpful tips are GREAT! - 5/10/2008 2:07:58 PM
  • Great article. 95% of people who lose weight, gain it back again. I don't plan to do that now, because I will continue to be a SPARKER. - 5/2/2008 12:30:21 PM
  • I agree with Nancy Jac!! I'm excited to see more guidance for us maintainers! - 4/3/2008 1:38:35 PM
  • Very happy to see that SP has added this weight maintenance section to the resource center. Maintenance really is a bit of different ball game and when I first reached it, I was at somewhat of a loss as to what I needed to adjust to maintain rather than keep losing. - 4/1/2008 8:21:27 PM

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