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6 Easy Ways to Regain the Weight You've Lost

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 10/25/2011
Last Updated: 01/30/2018

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Congratulations! You've worked hard to take off that 10, 20 or more pounds that snuck up on you seemingly overnight. Maybe you've taken up exercise, sworn off the carbs, switched out full-fat ice cream for frozen yogurt or taped your mouth shut. Whatever it was, you worked hard and you should be proud of yourself.

And now … the hard work begins. What's that? Keeping the weight from ever crossing your path again. A dismal failure rate of 99 percent has been associated with that challenge. Truth is, many people focus more on the actual diet than with keeping the weight off for good. And when you consider the interplay of physiology and behavior, weight maintenance can be a tricky proposal.

If you're the type of person that likes to be in the majority, I've done you a favor. Even though new data from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) shows that there are people who have managed to lose at least 30 pounds and keep it off for a year or longer, here is how you can stay in the majority that hasn't managed that feat:

  1. Don't track your food intake. Why be accountable for what you're eating? It's easier to play a game of denial, I-don't-remember, out-of-sight-out-of-mind. After all, if you've eaten it and written it down, you actually have to be reminded that you quaffed three slices of blueberry pie or two heaping scoops of rocky road.
  2. Skip breakfast. Why eat in the morning when it takes all your effort to gulp down some coffee and run out the door? You have way more important things to do than that. And on the importance scale, eating a meal that is shown to reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity is way low.
  3. Watch a LOT of television. Make sure to stay put during the commercials (instead of getting up to stretch or sneak in some quick exercise), which are a great reminder of things you haven't thought about eating but are now suddenly craving—those calorie-dense, low-nutrient foods that have taken up residence in your immediate-gratification wish list. Don't pay attention to the research that shows that adults consume more of both healthy and unhealthy snack foods following exposure to snack food advertising, whether or not they're even hungry. And while you're at it, grab a bag of crunchy, fatty snacks like chips or cookies to keep you company throughout your date with your couch.
  4. Eat out. Why cook for yourself and control what you eat and how it's cooked when you can sit, relax and let someone else decide how much and what kinds of creamy, calorie-dense concoctions you'll consume? And while you're at it, hit some fast-food places—an added , since your budget won't take as big a hit!
  5. Don't combine diet with exercise. It could make it easier to not only lose weight, but also maintain that loss. Who needs to spend time exercising when instead you can hit the snooze button and sneak in an extra 10 minutes of sleep instead of taking a quick 10-minute walk? You'll only forfeit 100 calories. And chances are that during the day, you wouldn't want to take a 10-minute break to do something as simple as walking up and down a flight of stairs. After all, why burn 100 calories if instead you can spend that time sitting with your feet up, catching up on the latest on Demi and Ashton—or better yet, multitasking by reading a magazine and munching on a bag of your favorite chips.
  6. Don't weigh yourself regularly. Why get the bad news from a bunch of trivial numbers? Put the scale away. It's so much more fun to make a guessing game out of it. You wouldn't want to be in the 75 percent group of successful losers from the NWCR who weigh themselves at least once a week (or those who—gasp!—hit the scale daily) and have a built-in voice that warns, "Hey, you! Time to cut back on the calories." Who needs that obnoxious warning every time you see some digits?

Some extra reading for you (good to do while you're pedaling on a stationary bike!):

How to Lose Weight When Nothing Seems to Work

Comments

Ugh. I am always yo-yoing. It's just so hard. Those are great reminders, but for me it just gets to the point of being tired of depriving myself.

Sorry about that perennial yo-yo, NoPot. IWhy not try thinking of it as a change in the way you eat rather than deprivation? A shift in thinking can be tough, but not impossible.

Thanks for the reminder Sheryl. You are so right. Always easy to lose the weight, but keeping it off is entirely another kind of problem, which, unfortunately I always forget about. That is until I finally get back on the scale. OUCH!

Yes. Judy, that scale speaks the truth (unless it's broken or needs new batteries :)

Ugh. I need to drop the 20 pounds FIRST, then make sure that I'm not breaking these rules.

Good luck with those 20 pounds. You can do it, Kris! Slow and steady...

Great set of tips. So many people think it's losing the weight that takes all the work. But keeping it off is equally or maybe more difficult. But it all comes down to calories in and calories out. Staying active and watching what you eat in terms of portion size and fatty/high caloric toppings, spreads and dressings.

You are so right, Jeanine. Sounds like you fully understand the process!

Good tips. I never have a problem not skipping breakfast but sometimes I skip lunch or eat it so late that I'm just ravenous then I eat too much or snack, snack, snack until dinner. I'm trying to be better about that.

Oh, I know that feeling well. Waiting until you are starving to eat can surely backfire. But sometimes we get so busy, there is simply no choice. Guilty of the same, at times.

I am going through this now! In some ways it's harder to maintain weight loss than lose it. The tips from the National Weight Loss Registry are really helpful.

Sorry you are dealing with this, Nancy...but glad you found some of the tips helpful. Good luck!

Thanks for these tips. I have discovered that it's harder to lose weight at 65 than 55. (It was also harder at 55 than 45.) Keeping the weight off in the first place must be the answer.

I hear you, Alexandra. Each decade seems touring it's own set of challenges, especially where weight managementis concned. If you can keep one step ahead of weight gain, so much the better!

I had to read the header twice to realize what was going on! I think you've taken a topic and made it interesting for readers, and hopefully it will help and inspire many!

Thanks, Merr. Glad you took the time to read it!

I like this reverse psychology. I'm inspired NOT to do these things (thank goodness we have NO TV in our house. But sitting too long at the computer is JUST AS BAD)!

Pleased you like it, Jennifer. Having no tv in the house is something that intrigues me. I'd like to try that, if only as an experiment to see how this very-little-tv-watcher would be affected (or not).

I just wish I could get to a good weight and have to worry about these steps!

I know, LL That is a difficult challenge, too. Good luck!

Eat protein, lower the carbs, I have lost alot of weight from doing that.. it really works!

Ok, I had to click through and read this because all I could think was, what? Why would I want to regain the weight that took me so long to lose? Of course, you hooked me in just the right way. I still have some to lose, but am taking mental notes from your list.

I love it when you go facetious with this. Gaining weight is as easy as spending money. Why, oh, why?

Good tips! Although I disagree with #6, because I personally hate get fixated by a number on the scale (reminds me too much of my friends who've struggled with eating disorders). Plus, muscle weighs more than fat, so the numbers can be misleading. Instead, I know when my pants are starting to get tighter that I need to be better about watching what I eat and working out. And when my clothes get a little looser, I pat myself on the back.

Such a good reminder on keeping on doing the work so that you don't gain the weight back.

Food for thought. Duly noted!

Good luck with those 20 pounds. We should all stick together and lose some weight. please check me out at . I have great reads on weight and insurance and all sorts of things. We need to get fit before medicare creaps up and insurance gets too high. Good luck with all the weight loss effort.

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