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11 Habits Of People Who Lose Weight (And Keep It Off)

Sometimes losing weight is the easy part. You’re all fired up and motivated to get your weight loss down to that dream goal level. But what happens when you get there?

It’s the maintenance stage that throws so many people. Adopting healthy eating will make it easier, but here’s a full list of the lifestyle habits of people who lose weight and keep it off. (With a little help from the UK charity Weight Concern).

lose weight and keep it off

Stick To A Meal Routine

People who maintain their weight keep to regular meal times and avoid snacking. Eating at roughly the same time every day makes it far easier to eat a consistent amount of calories.

They Know Exercise Isn’t Enough

There are very few people who exercise hard enough every day to eat exactly what they want. Climbing 7000 m+ mountains is the only time I can think of when you can eat 24/7 and not gain any weight.

So unless you’re following an extreme exercise routine, you still need to be mindful of what you eat. It’s a shame, but unless you go easy on the treats, the weight will go back on.

Choose Healthy Fats

Fast food is never a good meal choice. It’s addictive and full of trans-fats that are linked to a risk of heart disease. Opt for healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and oily fish.

Eat Your Veggies

Vegetables and fruit are high in nutrients which are not only good for you, they satisfy your cravings and stop you from reaching for junk food. Make sure you get your 5-a-day if you can make it 8-a-day, or 10-a-day even better.

Vegetables and fruit have a low-calorie density and are a good way to feel full. Just eat your fruit whole instead of reaching for a juicer.

Pack Healthy Snacks

The bane of anyone trying to lose or maintain weight is temptation. The best way to avoid it, when you’re out and about, is to always have a healthy alternative to hand. Pack healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, or hard-boiled eggs.

Check Food Labels

It’s not always possible to avoid processed food but make sure you check the labels. Watch out for hidden sugars, high salt, or unhealthy fats.

Smaller Plates

The problem with big bowls and plates? You’re tempted to fill them! Make your eating choices easier by choosing small plates. It can make a big difference.

Exercise

Exercise may not be enough to let you eat to excess, but it will help you maintain your weight. Walk more and move often.

Pick a daily walking distance you can stick to. (It doesn’t have to be 10,000 steps a day but does need to be regular). Mix things up and try out some of these fitness tips.

Drink Wisely

When it comes to fluids, water is always best. Watch out for hidden calories and try to avoid artificial sweeteners.

Be aware of the calories in fruit juice – it’s best to consume your fruit whole or at least stick to one small glass of fruit juice a day.

Sit Less

If you have a desk job, this one is difficult, but try to get up and move around frequently. Stand up every hour and walk around for a bit.

Be Mindful Eating

Try and avoid the grab-and-go culture around eating. Take the time to eat properly. Sit at a table and slow down. It can help to drink a glass of water before you eat to make sure you’re not confusing thirst for hunger.


It’s very easy to regain weight after a diet. Being able to lose weight and keep it off is the real challenge. One study found that most people regained 50% of weight loss within one year.

In general, diets don’t work and it’s better to change your eating and exercise habits. I’d love to know your views…

If you’ve found this post helpful, you may enjoy my other weight loss-related articles:

Losing weight is often the easy part: it's keeping it off that's tricky. Read the habits of people who lose weight and keep it off. #weightloss #loseweight #maintainweightloss
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Sagar Chawla

Sunday 14th of June 2020

Hi Alison, Great article. Ever since the lockdown, I can't go swimming or running and have been putting on weight.

Alison

Sunday 14th of June 2020

It's difficult for sure! Exercise at home is all very well but it's not easy to get the same sort of workout as a run or swim. Hopefully you'll be able to get out running again soon. We've been lucky here being allowed to exercise and I have access to the hills.

Amish Seth

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Drink wisely haha good addition in these quarantine times! Really loved your post though :)

Alison

Friday 24th of April 2020

Thank you Amish! Yes drinking wisely is a good idea - we have a 30% increase in alcohol consumption at the moment here in the UK. Not great for weight maintenance or general health!

Mone

Friday 4th of October 2019

One study has shown that those who eat lunch later (3 PM to 4 PM) lose less weight than those who eat lunch by 1:30 PM. Another study showed that eating your last meal before 8 PM will result in eating fewer calories since you don’t spend a lot of time eating. What both studies have proven is that having a balanced eating schedule results in satisfying your appetite before you get extremely hungry and causes you to take longer to finish eating, resulting in consuming fewer calories.

Alison

Friday 4th of October 2019

Hi I'm not convinced about timing being important. It's more consistency with eating plans. I generally eat my porridge first thing (7-8 am) so I have the carbs I need to fuel a midday run and apart from a few nuts as a snack, I don't eat my lunch until about 3 pm. I know this won't work for most people but I get busy and forget to eat. It's finding a schedule that works for you. I agree its best to avoid getting too hungry which is why I always have some healthy snacks to hand. Thanks for the comment!

Tyler Johnson

Monday 16th of September 2019

That's a good point that you could help fight off temptation with a good alternative. I like the idea of having a healthy snack on hand if you are tempted to eat something less healthy. I feel like not being as hungry would help you eat smaller meals as well.

Alison

Monday 16th of September 2019

Thanks Tyler. I always have to remember to take snacks with me when I'm out and about. It's shocking but it's often impossible to buy anything to eat when you're travelling that fits my idea of healthy!