Weight Loss Maintenance 101

healthy eating and living

Congratulations! You’ve reached your weight loss goal, which is no easy feat at all!

So…now what do you do?

First of all, give yourself a huge pat on the back! You did it! You accomplished a very difficult goal! You kept the promises  you made to yourself, you didn’t let excuses get in the way, and you put in the hard work to transform your life. And it was a lot of hard work, right?! But aren’t the feelings you’re feeling, and the new body you’ve created, so worth every minute of sweat and hard work and every “No!” you said to all those tempting foods? It is so worth it.

Since I’m assuming you’d like to keep your new body for the rest of your life, am I right? Here are some helpful hints that will make your hard-earned physical transformation last for years to come (these should be very familiar to you if you’re a carb cycler):

  • Eat five meals every single day. Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, and space your other four meals every 3 hours after that to keep your metabolism working at its best throughout the day. For weight maintenance, I suggest following either the Easy Cycle, Fit Cycle, or Extreme Cycle.
  • Eat a wide variety of foods. Keep choosing your foods from our acceptable foods list, and be sure to include lean meats and poultry, eggs, nonfat dairy products, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, healthy fats and oils, and lots and lots of veggies.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Follow the portion sizes in your chosen carb cycle and on our acceptable foods list and you’ll do fine. Don’t be tempted to eat “just a little more” because you’ve reached your weight loss goal. Those extra calories will creep in and turn into extra pounds pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
  • Reward yourself. Plan your rewards: Once a week, twice a week, every other day, or once a day. The important thing to remember is to make sure you reward yourself enough to satisfy your cravings, because if you don’t, you’ll feel deprived and fall back into your old destructive eating patterns. This is one of the worst things that can happen!
  • Give yourself a “window,” or an acceptable weight range to stay within. If you ever find yourself creeping toward the top of your range, return to your original carb cycle until you reach your goal weight again. If you find yourself going below your range, don’t add in more rewards to gain back the weight—this can also lead you right back to those unhealthy eating patterns. Instead, add 100 calories of smart carbs each day until your weight’s back to where you want it to be.
  • Create a support group. Chances are that you have one incredible support group already. After all, weight loss is difficult to achieve alone. Now that you’re at your goal weight, don’t remove yourself from that support group. They are just as important now as they have ever been. While accountability is a huge part of weight loss, it’s an even larger part of maintenance. Find who your “super friends” are (friends who love you enough to tell you the truth no matter how much it might sting), and never let them go! You’re all in this together!

WeightLossMaint

  • Exercise. Keep doing the exercise program you’ve been doing. No changes here!
  • Drink lots of water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water every single day (for example, 150 pounds = 75 ounces of water).
  • Be patient with yourself. Just like there was a learning curve when you started carb cycling, there’s also one while learning how to maintain your goal weight. Remember two very important things: 1) Keep your promises to yourself, and 2) Just because you might fall, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Get right back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. One of my favorite sayings is “Fall down seven times, get back up eight.” You got this!

And congratulations, again! You’ve accomplished something so many people only dream about.


21 Comments

  1. Kari - July 26, 2016

    Hi team, love the books – the classic cycle is getting me through the last 10 pounds!

    I know this is an old blog post but I’m coming up on maintenance and have a question I don’t have a clear answer to: If one is expected to eat 1200-1500 cals/day (depending on the cycle, not counting reset days etc.) to lose weight, how many calories should we eat to maintain that weight once we’ve lost all we want? It doesn’t make sense to me to consume the same number of calories for both goals.

    Thanks for any information you can supply here.

    • Team Powell - July 27, 2016

      Hi Kari: COngratulations!!! You can add in some healthy calories each day to maintain your weight loss. You can get some great tips on how to do this in this post: http://heidipowell.net/5366. Then keep an eye on the scale, and adjust accordingly. It’s difficult to offer a calorie number to go for since each person’s body composition is different. If you’d like to gain some muscle, you can get some great tips in this post (and it could also give you some tips on maintenance): http://heidipowell.net/10540/ask-the-powells-gaining-healthy-weight/. We wish you the best!

  2. Kathleen - June 8, 2016

    Hi, my name is Kathleen and I am 53 years old and live in BC Canada, I weigh 238 and have recently lost 20 lbs. I have goen through, and still am, a lot in life, it is changing and really stressful. Yesterday I bought your books and the Extreme Transformation one really resonates with me. Its all stuff I used to do and believe, and I will use this to keep going. My question is, how do I connect online with support groups for this like it says in your book? I know from experience that I have no one in my life I can truly depend on for this right now. I get that its crucial to connect, so this is my first step…..(bravely breathes in deeply…..) I know you guys are killer busy but ideas? Thanks, Kathleen

    • Team Powell - June 8, 2016

      Hi Kathleen: Chris and Heidi have great communities of support on their Facebook pages, and you can also connect with others on your own social media channels. Welcome to carb cycling, you can do this! And congratulations on losing 20 lbs – that’s awesome!

  3. Stephanie conner - December 3, 2015

    Do you have a phone number for any questions? Love the book!

  4. Ally - January 30, 2015

    Chris, my names Ally Laman. I am 18 years old, from Alpharetta, GA, and watch your show extreme weight loss. I am 5.6 and I weigh 210 lbs. I feel fat, I feel disgusting I feel horrible about myself, Ive tried everything, I even applied to be on extreme weight loss. I have back issues from carrying around this extra weight, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I cant work, go to school, my mother is taking care of me right now. I have even tried to commit suicide numerous times this is so miserable!

    • Team Powell - January 30, 2015

      Hi Ally: We’re so sorry to hear about all your problems. Have you tried Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program? It’s the same program they use on the show, and it works! You can find their complete program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and you can learn more about how you can begin your transformation journey today in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060/how-to-begin-your-transformation-journey-step-by-step/. Pay special attention to step #1, which is all about promises. This is the key to achieving any transformation. We know you can do this – we believe in you!

  5. NIkesh Panchal - January 8, 2015

    Hi Heidi & Chris,

    Well I am Nikesh Panchal from India, and I am 24 years old , I watch all your episodes of Extreme weight loss edition, and I would like to share that I am 210 lbs after I met an accident, but now a day this is bothering and frustrating me every time, as I can’t run properly and this is making me lazy more and more and also, I feel like like I am failure.

    I really don’t know much about exercise, the moment I prepare myself in order to reduce weight , I could not be on my words, like I said, I can’t afford trainer and stuff, I really need your need help, I had saw how you help people to get lose their weights, and get the body in shape.

    I am writing, just hope if there is any possibility which i can get body in shape and maintained my body I am middle class family and live with Mother in India, My dad is no more .

    Will be waiting for response asap , just hope if possible please choose me, I need this really

    Thanks,
    Nikesh

    • Team Powell - January 9, 2015

      Hi Nikesh: Unfortunately, you have to be a resident of the US to apply for the show. However, Chris and Heidi have made available all the tools they use on the show for all of us to use! Check out their carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about it here: http://heidipowell.net/9060/how-to-begin-your-transformation-journey-step-by-step/. You can do this!

  6. Staci - November 17, 2014

    Question : I lost 67 pounds ….now stuck currently going through difficulties putting food in my mouth afraid to go back to the previous me struggling with acceptance need advice books to read how to accept how to not fear going back maintenance is not fun for me and I do have 30 pounds to go! what is going on unsure?

    • Team Powell - November 18, 2014

      Congratulations on those 67 pounds gone – that’s awesome! Here’s an idea: Start following Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program (it’s referenced to in this post) that’s found in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It’s a program that can work no matter how many pounds you want to lose, it’s the same program they use on the show, and it can be followed for your entire life. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your transformation goals. It will also teach you about the importance of making and keeping small, simple promises to yourself, and this is a huge key to achieving and maintaining any transformation. Learn about the promise basics here: http://heidipowell.net/8679/it-really-is-all-about-promises-2/. You can do this!

  7. Din - November 15, 2014

    Hi Chris,

    I din from Singapore. I have read thru your book ‘choose more ,lose more for life’ and it a great book..its have a lot of the detail I need to loose weight and to a have healthy diet.I have lost 2kg in 2 weeks and I do 30-45 min workout 5 days a week.thank Chris

  8. Melissa - October 9, 2014

    Hi Heidi (and Chris!)
    Love what you guys do. As all of the others here, I’m a huge fan of the show! I live in Morocco so don’t get to watch it live, but I DVR it all season long and then binge watch it when I visit my parents in the States! I recently made my promises, wrote them down, and am excited to get going. The reason I’m commenting on the maintenance page is because I almost became a statistic! You see, I used to weigh 220 + lbs. I lost 65 pounds putting me at 155. Somehow in just a year, most of it actually in under 3 months, I managed to put back on a whopping 40 pounds. It’s just that fast!! The statistics are scary, more than 80% gain the weight back. It’ll never happen to me, I said. Sitting here glumly thinking about my thighs that rub together again after having a liberating skirt wearing summer last year is enough to get my butt off the couch and do some cardio!

    For anyone else out there losing weight, never think of an ‘end date’. It’s for life!!! I am proof to that. I’m back and it and I won’t let it get me again. I just purchased the kindle version of ‘Choose More, Lose More For Life’ and I can’t wait to read it. I hope it will help me lose, and keep off this extra weight in a healthy way FOR LIFE.

    Thank you for inspiring not only me, but people across the world. Keep doing what you do!

    From sunny, Marrakech, Morocco…Melissa makes her promise today!

  9. Elsa - October 8, 2014

    I watch every show of you guys and I wish I can be one of you guys.
    After given. Birth I was diagones with grape diseases. Since then no matter what I do I do t loose weight to the point I am so depress I don’t go anywhere because I don’t want people to see me overweight.. That is why I wishes I can be one of you guys …

    • Team Powell - October 9, 2014

      Hi Elsa: Chris and Heidi have made the same tools they use on the show available for all of us to use! Check out their carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn about the nutrition basics here: http://heidipowell.net/2713/carb-cycling-101/. And please discuss this, or any nutrition and exercise program, with your healthcare team first. You can do this!

  10. Hervé Moffatt - October 8, 2014

    Lunch and dinner I’m ok but, for breakfast , and snak between each meal I never know what to eat?!?!?

    • Team Powell - October 8, 2014

      There’s a great graphic in this post (as well as some other awesome info) that outlines how to put each meal together in carb cycling: http://heidipowell.net/4514/carb-confusion/. If you’re new to carb cycling, you can find Chris and Heidi’s complete program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” And you can get their free approved foods list (that will give you lots of carb cycling meal options) at chrispowell.com. Enter your email address in the “Join the Transformation” section, and when you hit “Join,” the next page will have a link to download the food guide.

  11. Jennifer - October 8, 2014

    Thank you! I reached maintenance a few months ago after a 70lb 26 month journey! I have maintained well the past few months. This is the first year I’m worried about the holidays. Thanksgiving is a total cheat day as in I might reach 2000 calories that day. It’s just hard being around so much yummy stuff. The last two holiday seasons I was focused on losing. One year I got the real flu and that was horrible and last year I actually lost through the holidays! All that to say thank you for all that you do!

  12. Nikki Watson - October 8, 2014

    Hi, My name Is Nikki Watson. I am 41 years old. I had Gastric bypass surgery 3 years ago. I lost 145 pounds but I went from 211 pounds to 230 lbs recently from my last doctor appt in August. I am trying to get down to 150 lbs. I am trying to figure out how I can get my weight goals. I watch your tv shows and love it very much. It inspired me very much. I have two cochlear implants. I hear and speak very well. I don’t want to ruin my pouch. I was before 342lbs. I feel so much better. I got off the sleep apnea equipment. I am so thrilled for that. My dad never got a chance to lived long. He died at age 51 years old of a massive heart attack. It was sudden death. He was overweight.

    Nikki

    • angela - October 8, 2014

      I to have lost 120 with gastric bypass I also have about 30 lbs to loose. I feel like I’m lost. So I’m going back to the basics and exsercise best of luck to you.

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