4 Ways My Clients Successfully Maintain Weight Loss

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In the past 30 years, I've helped more than a million people lose weight and maintain their weight loss.

It's easier said than done. Losing weight can be sexy, exciting, and even fun — but maintaining that weight loss can be tricky, and the stats are grim.

One meta-analysis of popular weight-loss programs found that people were likely to regain 50 percent or more of lost weight within two years. Another study was even more discouraging, finding an 80 percent relapse rate.

But there is good news: people who maintain their weight observe a few rules to keep things fresh and stimulating. Over my nearly three decades helping clients achieve their optimal weight, I’ve found that those who succeed often employ these four strategies:

1. They make a protein shake every morning.

Protein shakes become my number one needle mover to maintain fat loss because they’re fast, easy, delicious, and effective. Studies confirm what my successful clients know: One meta-analysis found one or two nutrient-fortified meal replacements could "safely and effectively produce significant sustainable weight loss and improve weight-related risk factors of disease."

2. They observe meal timing.

Clients who maintain fat loss know hunger often becomes the gateway for cravings and nose-diving into a high-sugar-impact catastrophe. That’s why they have a protein shake within an hour of waking, eat a low-sugar-impact meal every four to six hours, and close up the kitchen about three hours before bed.

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3. They think ahead.

Successful losers build in time to get food together so they’re never tempted to skip a meal or eat some high-sugar-impact debacle when they’re running late. They make grocery lists, keep their kitchen well stocked, and keep emergency foods nearby. Whether that means getting everything together Sunday night or combining watching a favorite TV program with putting together the next day’s food, they think about it and build it into their schedule.

4. They factor in pitfalls.

Successful weight-loss clients target pitfalls that potentially get rough, including Sunday family dinners, holiday parties, or a day at the amusement park with the kids. They’re prepared when potentially throw-you-off-your-game situations happen.

One of my clients keeps a stash of turkey jerky, raw nuts, almond butter, and apples on hand. If she finds out that she’s going to be away from home all day, she throws some of her high-protein snacks into some zipper plastic bags and grabs an apple.

If you’ve been successful at weight loss and kept that weight off for six months or more, what strategy would you add here?

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Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

JJ Virgin

Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerance. She is author of New York Times best-sellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days and The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast. JJ is also best-selling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout, and the costar of TLC's Freaky Eaters. Learn more at jjvirgin.com.
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