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    So, you’ve been practicing intermittent fasting diligently and have lost weight. You feel better, have more energy, and are making healthier choices. Congratulations!

    From weight loss success to increased energy, intermittent fasting might just be your secret weapon for a healthier, happier you.

    Now what? 

    Learning how to lose weight is only half the battle. Understanding how to lose weight and keep it off is the more significant challenge. 

    Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our top tips to successfully keep weight off after fasting. The best part? You won’t have to count calories or change the lifestyle you love.

    Let’s get started!

    Key takeaways

    • Losing weight is a great start — but to keep it off, you’ll need to build lifestyle habits that you can stick with long term.
    • Maintaining weight loss is a different skill set than losing weight. It’s OK to make mistakes as you learn a new way to live.
    • Think holistically about your life to look for small ways you can improve your health behaviors.

    Say goodbye to short-term fixes and embrace a journey designed for lasting change. With SIMPLE, dive deep into hydration tracking, get handy reminders, and get more out of your fasting routine with Avo, your trusty wellness assistant. Dive into sustainable health by taking our SIMPLE quiz now!

    What happens after you lose weight?

    Intermittent fasting can feel like an extreme lifestyle change. Instead of eating whenever you feel like it, you consume all of your day’s nutrients during one primary eating window. Your fasting triggers a metabolic switch that allows you to burn unwanted fat for energy so you lose excess body fat.[1] 

    But intermittent fasting isn’t a diet that you’re “on” or “off.” It’s part of building an overall healthy lifestyle that is realistic, sustainable, and tailored to you. 

    So, as you transition away from “I want to lose weight” to “I want to keep that weight off,” think about intermittent fasting as part of a larger set of healthy habits that improve your overall well-being and help you live a happier life.

    Losing vs. maintaining weight are different skills

    If you’ve struggled to keep weight off after you’ve lost it, you’re not alone. Losing weight is a different project than maintaining weight loss. 

    Many people find themselves slowly sliding back into their previous lifestyle once they’ve reached their wellness goals, especially if their routine is disrupted. Sometimes, those old habits slowly creep back into people’s lives, and they don’t notice until it’s too late.[2] 

    However, forewarned is forearmed! In other words, knowing that this can happen helps prepare you and keep you focused on building the skills to maintain your “happy weight” after you’ve cleared the hurdle of getting there. 

    How to keep weight off after fasting

    1. Make consistency your top priority.

    Small daily actions work — if you do them as often and consistently as possible. 

    A 15-minute walk you do every single day will get you more health benefits than a marathon 6-hour workout once a month.

    A daily fast combined with healthy eating — even if that’s just pausing your eating for an extra hour or two each day — will benefit you more than fasting for three weeks straight and then taking one week off.

    So, ask yourself: 

    “What do I need in order to be as consistent as possible?”

    For most people, that means:

    • booking time to get some things done, like shopping for healthy food or getting regular exercise
    • setting up reminders and other prompts to help themselves remember
    • keeping daily actions small and manageable — like that 15-minute walk as the baseline rather than a 1-hour gym workout

    There’s no need for heroics here. Keep it small, manageable, and realistic so you can get it done.

    2. Tap into your deeper motivations and reasons.

    Start digging in. For example:

    • What about maintaining your weight really matters to you? If you maintain your weight, how might your life be better or different? And why does that matter to you?
    • Who do you want to be? If you maintain your weight successfully, what kind of person could you become a year from now?
    • What do you want to achieve? Is there something you want to be doing with that healthy new body? A trip? An adventure? Getting out into the dating world? Competitive arm-wrestling? 

    Write down what maintaining your weight would mean to you — and what you are looking forward to. Then, keep your notes near you and review them as often as possible. 

    (Pro tip! Put up some sticky notes with your motivations where you can see them often … and move them around so they stay fresh.)

    3. Practice eating slowly and mindfully.

    Create a mindful eating ritual. Put down the phone, savor the flavors, and let each bite be a conscious choice. Slow and steady wins the satisfaction race.

    Before you eat, check in with your body and ask, “Am I hungry? How do I feel?”

    Put away your distractions, like your phone or the TV.

    Then, when you do eat, slow down. Take a bite and notice the tastes and textures of the food. Put your utensils down for a moment. Breathe. Relax. 

    Slow eating will help you stay in control and aware of how you feel and what you’re consuming — plus, it’ll help you regulate your intake naturally. You’ll find yourself stopping when you’re satisfied rather than stuffed.

    4. Keep making healthy nutrition choices.

    Establish a baseline of what “healthy eating” means to you, and then try to hit that 80% of the time. 

    Rather than labeling foods as “good” or “bad,” focus on nourishing your body with healthy, nutrient-rich choices as often as possible. Treat nutrition more like loving self-care rather than a chore or punishment.

    And have fun discovering new foods and dishes! Keep it fresh — in more ways than one!

    5. Drink plenty of water.

    Hydration is crucial for weight loss and overall wellness. 

    If you drink a glass or two of water before you eat, it helps you feel full and eat the right amount of food for your body’s needs.[3] 

    Plus, water intake is essential to help your body’s daily functions, like your metabolism and digestion, run smoothly.

    To give you even more of a leg-up in the hydration game, take our SIMPLE quiz and get your hands on our hydration tracker (as well as a fasting buddy). We’ll send you reminders to drink, which can be your cue to get your H2O on!

    6. Get a good night’s sleep. 

    Sleep helps us keep weight off by regulating our metabolism and appetite.

    Sleep deprivation creates higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that increases your appetite, and lower levels of leptin, the hormone that curbs your appetite. So, you essentially feel driven to eat more when you’re tired, and your brain is less effective at preventing you from making impulsive decisions — like late-night “snaccidents.”[4] 

    But getting enough good-quality sleep can help you maintain your weight and feel more in control of your eating habits. (Plus, you’ll likely be in a better mood, and who doesn’t want that?!)

    7. Keep your body moving.

    The research is increasingly clear: we need to move our bodies to be healthy and age well.

    Physical activity helps support metabolic health, build crucial lean mass, and, of course, burn some calories. Studies have shown that 200 minutes of moderate physical activity a week — or just 30 minutes each day — makes you significantly more likely to maintain your weight. So, a small amount of daily physical activity is a must if your goal is keeping weight off.[5,6]

    8. Cut down on screens.

    If you’re guilty of watching TV or your phone while you eat, it’s time to nip that habit in the bud. Watching a screen while you eat distracts you from how much food you’ve already consumed, and you’ll likely end up eating more.[7] 

    Researchers discovered that participants who maintained weight loss long term were likely to spend just five to ten hours per week watching TV, while those who regained weight spent closer to 21 hours or more watching TV.[8]

    9. Find a healthy living buddy. (Or three.)

    Fitness is more fun with friends! Grab a workout buddy, hit the pavement, and enjoy the benefits of social support. It’s one of the keys to making healthy living sustainable.

    Whether it’s the enthusiastic family dog that loves going to the park, your neighbor who also loves morning power walking, or a family member you can cook with, find as many buddies, supporters, and cheerleaders as possible. Social support is key!

    (Check out our SIMPLE Facebook community to find thousands of like-minded folks!)

    10. Keep an eye on things.

    Research on people who successfully keep weight off has found that they do some kind of consistent self-monitoring.[9]

    This could be regular weighing or simply a “pants check.” The trick is to stay aware without becoming obsessive and quickly adjust if you notice yourself straying too far off the path. Think about ways to check on how you’re doing while maintaining a healthy attitude about it. And now think about how you might “reboot and refresh” as needed.

    11. Clean the slate and get back on track as needed.

    You’ll have ups and downs throughout life. That’s normal. Don’t get discouraged if you discover you’ve wandered away from your weight loss. Just come back. 

    Maintaining your weight is like keeping your teeth clean — it takes regular attention, and sometimes, you’ll eat something that makes it messy. But that’s OK: just grab your brush and floss — or your good lifestyle habits — and get back in the game. 

    SIMPLE’s expert opinion and final thoughts

    Good health is a lifelong project, and it comes from building sustainable daily actions. So, keep it small and manageable. Don’t look for overnight transformations; instead, look for modest but consistent progress.

    Think holistically about your life. What could be just a tiny bit better? What levers can you pull? 

    For instance, if you can’t always eat as well as you’d like, can you be more active? Drink an extra glass of water? Get half an hour more sleep? 

    Be creative and always look for opportunities to make a healthier choice in one domain or another.

    And if you fall off the horse … get back on right away! We’re here for you!

    Frequently asked questions about how to keep weight off

    Weight maintenance is the phase after weight loss, where you aim to sustain your achieved weight. Practicing healthy behaviors during this period can ensure you continue to enjoy the benefits of your hard work.

    It’s true that many “diets” —i.e., short-term “fixes” and restrictive eating patterns — do not work for long-term change. And, without lifestyle adjustments, even the best “diet” can’t work forever.

    But data on the 5% of people who have successfully kept weight off (in some cases, up to 300 lb of weight loss) clearly show that if you practice key behaviors regularly, you can maintain weight loss.[10]

    Intermittent fasting can help you maintain your “happy weight” by creating an eating routine, helping you eat more mindfully, helping you learn about your physical hunger cues, and supporting metabolic health. You can also use intermittent fasting to create structure around your eating routine, so you’re not eating haphazardly (a common way that weight can sneak back on).Maintaining your ideal weight isn’t just about numbers on a scale; it’s about adopting a holistic lifestyle. With SIMPLE, you’re equipped with a food journal, insightful Nutrition Scores, an exercise tracker, and a community ready to cheer you on! Start your health transformation (or keep it going!) with our SIMPLE quiz.

    1. Anton SD, Moehl K, Donahoo WT, Marosi K, Lee SA, Mainous AG 3rd, et al. Flipping the metabolic switch: Understanding and applying the health benefits of fasting. Obesity . 2018 Feb;26(2):254–68.
    2. Hall KD, Kahan S. Maintenance of lost weight and long-term management of obesity. Med Clin North Am. 2018 Jan;102(1):183–97.
    3. Davy BM, Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Wilson KL, Davy KP. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1236–9.
    4. Papatriantafyllou E, Efthymiou D, Zoumbaneas E, Popescu CA, Vassilopoulou E. Sleep deprivation: Effects on weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 8;14(8).
    5. Donnelly JE, Smith B, Jacobsen DJ, Kirk E, Dubose K, Hyder M, et al. The role of exercise for weight loss and maintenance. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Dec;18(6):1009–29.
    6. Curioni CC, Lourenço PM. Long-term weight loss after diet and exercise: A systematic review. Int J Obes . 2005 Oct;29(10):1168–74.
    7. Robinson E, Aveyard P, Daley A, Jolly K, Lewis A, Lycett D, et al. Eating attentively: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):728–42.
    8. Raynor DA, Phelan S, Hill JO, Wing RR. Television viewing and long-term weight maintenance: Results from the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity . 2006 Oct;14(10):1816–24.
    9. Butryn ML, Phelan S, Hill JO, Wing RR. Consistent self-monitoring of weight: A key component of successful weight loss maintenance. Obesity . 2007 Dec;15(12):3091–6.
    10. Wing R, Hill JO. National Weight Control Registry [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 21]. Available from: http://www.nwcr.ws/default.htm