Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
SHARE TEXT

Tips for Maintaining Weight Loss

Topic Overview

Avoid unplanned eating and drinking

Having regular low-calorie snacks throughout the day along with regular smaller meals is a good way to manage your hunger. Plan snacks as part of your overall calories for the day, and avoid eating unplanned calories.

  • Do not sample the food while cooking.
  • When tempted to snack between meals, substitute a glass of water with lemon and snack on carrot or celery sticks. Avoid sweetened drinks like regular sodas, special coffee drinks, energy drinks, and juices. They add a lot of calories.
  • When you feel the urge to snack, try an activity that does not involve eating, such as taking a bath, reading a book, or a hands-on activity.
  • Make dinner the last thing you eat until breakfast.
  • Measure one portion of a snack into a bowl so you aren't tempted to keep reaching into the box or bag.

Limit alcohol

Alcohol provides a lot of calories and no nutritional benefit. The number of calories in an alcohol drink depends on the amount of alcohol it contains. The following are estimates of the number of calories in alcohol drinks.

  • Beer: 153 calories and 13.9 grams of alcohol in 12 fl oz (355 mL)
  • "Lite" beer: 103 calories and 11 grams of alcohol in 12 fl oz (355 mL)
  • Table wine: 123 calories and 15.4 grams alcohol in 5 fl oz (148 mL)
  • Gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, and other "hard" liquor [1.5 fl oz (44 mL)]:
    • 97 calories and 14 grams of alcohol (80 proof)
    • 110 calories and 15.9 grams alcohol (90 proof)
    • 124 calories and 17.9 grams alcohol (100 proof)

Drinking 1 beer at dinner every night adds more than 4,500 extra calories each month. This is a little more than an extra 1 lb (0.5 kg) of body weight a month. If you drink, limiting alcohol will help you lose weight.

Make mealtimes pleasant

A meal is more than just eating food. It can also be a social event, a time to communicate with family and friends, and a time to relax.

  • Eat slowly and enjoy the food.
  • Do not watch television or read while you eat.

Use a meal plan to help control what you eat

  • Plan meals ahead of time (What is a PDF document?).
  • Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full.
  • Limit how much you eat out, especially early in your weight-loss program.

Stay active

Physical activity helps you burn more calories. Experts say more than 5 hours a week (aim for 60 to 90 minutes a day) of moderate activity can help you lose weight and keep it off.1

Moderate exercise is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Start by doing a short warm-up, such as walking or riding a stationary bike. And stretch briefly.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised March 19, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.