How To Maintain Long-Term Weight Loss & Avoid Weight Regain
Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.
Once you’ve reached your ideal weight, your next challenge involves sustaining your hard-earned results. Maintaining weight loss over the long term is about more than simply eating less and moving more. It requires a combination of lifestyle changes, from adopting stress-management strategies to recalibrating your evening routine.
In this blog, we answer some of the most common questions we’re asked about how to maintain long-term weight loss and avoid weight regain, delve into our key predictors of successful long-term weight loss maintenance, and explain why the Interval Weight Loss program is the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term.
Is long term weight loss impossible?
Researchers estimate that just 20% of dieters successfully keep the weight off after their diet ends. But that doesn’t mean maintaining weight loss is impossible. Whether they’re following an overly-complicated or restrictive program, relying too heavily on ‘willpower’, or seeking a fast fix rather than a long-term lifestyle change, there are myriad reasons why people may struggle with preventing weight regain after a diet.
Why is long term weight loss maintenance so difficult?
There are a few physiological mechanisms that make preventing weight regain after a diet particularly challenging. Firstly, your brain and body are hard-wired to regain the lost weight in order to bring you back to something called your ‘set point weight’ — a predetermined weight baseline that is hardwired into your DNA.
Secondly, your metabolism naturally slows down as your body mass decreases, causing you to burn fewer calories at rest. At the same time, your hunger hormone levels increase. If you go back to eating high-calorie or highly-processed foods once you achieve your goals, you may find that the number on the scale increases quickly.
How to prevent weight regain
The good news is that it’s possible to reset your ‘set point weight’ to a lower level, safeguard your metabolism, and improve your appetite hormone signalling. The fix? Adopting a gradual, stepped weight loss program. Research shows that sustainable nutrition and lifestyle changes are the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term. After two to five years of maintaining weight loss, your chance of longer-term success greatly increases.
Predictors of successful long-term weight loss maintenance
Preventing weight regain after a diet is straightforward if you adopt the right approach. At Interval Weight Loss, our scientifically-backed weight-loss program is based on six key principles that, when combined, allow you to recalibrate your metabolism, repair your relationship with food and exercise, and achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss. You’ll find more information about the six principles in our resource section, but here is a short summary.
- You can’t fight evolution
We impose weight loss breaks every second month to allow your body to adjust to its new set point and prevent your metabolism from drastically slowing down.
With a little cognitive retraining, fruit, avocados and other natural foods activate the same pleasure receptors in your brain as high-calorie sweets and snacks.
Forget calorie counting — our simple to follow and easy to cook recipes load up your plate with a wide variety of colours.
To support your digestion, we recommend eating your largest meal at the beginning of the day and using chopsticks with your evening meal to slow down consumption.
Exercise helps your body to preserve muscle mass as you lose weight. Find activities you enjoy, and incorporate them into your daily routine.
- No blue light after twilight
Sleep is a central tenet of any weight loss program. Power down your devices and focus on reading or hobbies in the evening for a quality night’s shut-eye.
Why Interval Weight Loss is the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term
At Interval Weight Loss, our mission is to provide affordable access to a proven long-term weight loss solution. If you’re ready to stop dieting, restore your health and heal your relationship with food, sign up online today. If you’d like to know more about the program before you commit, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.