Have you achieved a significant weight loss goal through dieting? If so, congratulations!

So, now that you’ve lost the weight, how do you intend on keeping it off?

Have you developed a long-term weight maintenance strategy? Thinking of keeping your personal trainer on retainer for the rest of your life? Excited about opening up plastic wrapped entrées or gulping down meal replacement shakes for the next 20 years?

Your answer to these questions is likely no.

If so, don’t sweat it. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years and seen a good 2500-plus pounds shed and kept off. Weight loss can easily be achieved with long-term success when done the right way.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for the masses of people who lose substantial amounts of weight only to gain it all back.

Truth be told, weight loss is really only half the battle. Keeping the weight off for good by managing your lifestyle through effective weight maintenance is the real challenge.

Related Article: Understanding the Process of Weight Management

Industry and media focus primarily on weight loss because that’s where the money is. No one ever really uses the words “weight maintenance” because weight maintenance requires work.

The dirty little secret in the industry is that only 5-10% of people who lose weight actually keep it off. It’s true! Over 90% of people who lose weight regain the weight within a 3-5 year period (or less).

These little factoids form the foundation most weight loss businesses operate on, whether they admit it or not. Pretty disturbing information if you’re someone who’s just recently lost weight.

Facts like these prompted me to write my book Leaving Your Fat Behind.

My goal in writing this book, and in everything I do, is to teach people how to successfully achieve and manage a healthy and desirable body weight that keeps them in good health and good shape for the rest of their life.

So how do you do it?

How does one lose the weight and then keep it off for good?

Well, the 5-10% of people who’ve been able to lose weight and successfully keep it off have four things in common:

  1. They implemented a weight loss plan involving moderate calorie restriction (a reduction of daily calorie intake by 15-17%) with sensible eating strategies.
  2. They supplemented their dietary weight loss plan with structured exercise (cardio activity and weight training) and spontaneous physical activity.
  3. They maintained sensible eating patterns after achieving weight loss.
  4. They continued to accumulate at least an hour of daily exercise and/or physical activity after weight loss, indefinitely.

Related Article: 3 Ways To Achieve Successful Weight Loss For Free

As a researcher who’s studied the science of obesity, a clinically and industry trained health expert with nearly 20 years of experience in weight loss, and one who’s successfully battled this disease, I can confirm that these strategies work.

But, they require just that—WORK.

Those who have and who continue to put in the work have been able to leave that fat behind for good. Myself included. Will you?