How to maintain weight loss

Read on for helpful lifestyle tips on how to maintain your weight loss.
Published 17 June 2018 | Updated 6 June 2024

So, you’ve lost all the weight you set out to lose and you’ve found yourself at a healthy number. That is an amazing accomplishment and you should feel incredibly proud of yourself.

So, now what? Well, instead of seeing this as the end of your weight-loss journey, you should look at this as the next phase—maintenance mode. While the focus is different, it’s not a total departure from what you’ve done to get here.

While each person’s maintenance journey is different, this at-a-glance guide will help you navigate the next part of your journey.


Achieving long-term weight maintenance


The app has two settings: “Lose weight” and “Maintain weight.” Once you decide to switch to maintenance mode on the app, your daily and weekly Points Budget (determined by your metabolic rate and activity level) will be automatically increased.

To modify your budget, go to Settings in the app:

  • Look for the profile picture
  • Tap 'Settings'
  • Tap 'Food settings'
  • Tap ‘Current focus’
  • Check ‘Maintain weight’


Adjusting your weight maintenance budget


Once you switch to maintenance, it may take you a little while to stabilise your weight. For example, you may find that 5 Points is too many—or maybe not enough.

It is a good idea to continue weighing yourself once a week (or at least once a month) to make sure that your budget is on target and adjust as necessary.

  • If you lose 500 grams: Add 3 Points to your daily budget
  • If you gain 500 grams: Subtract 3 Points from your daily budget.
  • If your weight remains stable: You're good to go, no action required!

Once your weight has been steady for four weeks, you've likely found the sweet spot—the place where your Points Budget will help you maintain your weight while you continue practising your healthy habits.


Overcoming setbacks


Some days we make great progress toward our goals, and other days we stall or stumble backwards. While setbacks are a normal part of any wellness journey, what’s more important is how you respond to them. By encouraging yourself to see setbacks as opportunities, you can be more flexible around the idea of success. You may also find it easier to practise self-compassion, which can help you get back on track. When experiencing a setback, use the time to reassess what steps you can take in your fresh start. You might also find it helpful to make an action plan, outlining a few simple steps you can take, for example, tracking your food for the week, or walking for 30 minutes each day.


Tips for maintaining weight for lower weight members


If your weight is lower than the healthy weight range according to the World Health Organization (a body mass index, or BMI, below 18.5), we advise against reducing your budget or losing any weight. To help keep your weight steady, we recommend that you add 3 Points to the budget you received, right off the bat. After that, follow the instructions above to adjust your Points Budget if you lose 500 grams (or more) over the course of a week.


WeightWatchers can help you maintain your weight loss


The same science-backed tools that helped you lose weight will also help you maintain your results—and stick with healthy habits for life. In fact, research has shown that people who maintain their weight loss long term:

  • Consistently track, weigh and measure the foods they eat
  • Regularly monitor their weight
  • Make physical activity a part of their daily routine
  • Get social support and encouragement
  • Celebrate their non-scale victories

Does this stuff sound familiar? It should! Our programs are designed to help reinforce all of these healthy habits as you learn the ins and outs of maintenance.

WeightWatchers is here for you through every stage of your weight-loss journey. If you’re looking for more guidance, chat with a coach in the app or talk with other members who are also in #maintenance on Connect, WeightWatchers' members-only digital community.


5 tips for maintaining your weight loss


1. Be realistic

Losing weight can improve your health and give you more energy, but it won't cure everything like making a disliked job bearable. If weight loss brings up issues that you aren't sure how to handle, talk them over with a trusted friend or seek professional help.


2. Be consistent with activity you enjoy

Life can get really busy and it can be hard to set aside time to fit in physical activity at times. Planning physical activity into your schedule can help with this. Regular physical activity is an important factor of weight maintenance, and for improving your overall health. Doing what you enjoy, rather than what you think you ‘should’ do, is the key to being consistent with physical activity. You’re more likely to stick with something if it’s fun!


3. Weigh yourself regularly

While your weight is only one part of your overall wellness, regular weighing helps you discover trends, see the bigger picture and make changes as you need to help you on your maintenance journey. Studies also show that people are more likely to maintain their weight when they weigh themselves as frequently as they did when losing weight. To help you remain successful on your maintenance journey, aim to weigh in once a week.


4. Stay connected to your community

Feeling supported on your weight loss journey is a key contributor to long-term success. Studies show that people with social support are more likely to engage in healthy eating and physical activity, and that attending group meetings can help maintain weight loss. At WeightWatchers, we offer a range of support for our members through Workshops, our social platform, called Connect, and 24/7 online coaching support in the app. For your maintenance journey, aim to surround yourself with people who offer kind words of encouragement and motivate you to keep going through challenging times.


5. Keep tracking as part of your routine.

Studies show that consistently tracking your food can improve weight-maintenance success, and can help guide you towards healthier food choices. Whether you track before, during or after you eat, do what feels right and realistic for you.