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Wahoo! You’ve worked hard and met your weight-loss goal. That’s no small undertaking; it's something that requires a lot of time and dedication. Go ahead and pat your stronger back, but while doing so, let’s help map out how you can maintain your goal weight.

“Nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years,” Gary Foster, Ph.D., clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told LiveStrong. Beat the odds by maintaining this new body, new life, new energy! Just like the initial weight loss, the time and focus of the four following methods will pay off.

1. Retrain how you look at food. This could have been part of your journey, but if not, think of food for fuel and food in the simplest forms. When you do that, it takes away any feelings of shame or guilt. Adopting intuitive eating habits will help you break the diet mentality cycle.

2. Make new friends, but keep the old...one is silver and the other’s gold. While it may be a song, it rings true for maintaining weight loss. If your friends’ idea of having fun is eating at the greasy wing bar, you’ll want to encourage other activities, or find new friends who like being active and healthy.

  • Want a food-focused girls’ night out? Book a group cooking class!
  • Want quality time with a spin? Meet for one of these four crazy new workouts.
  • Want to enjoy a happier hour? Mix mocktails at home with trendy homemade tapas.

3. Active commute! Think of your body as your vehicle every day to ensure you have met your step quota (10,000 steps is recommended). In addition to your regular workout:

  • Once each week use your legs to commute by walking or cycling.
  • Walk or ride to the bus or train station rather than driving.
  • Walk or ride to do errands within one mile of your house.
  • Take meetings outside while walking (it worked for Steve Jobs!).
  • “Drive” a walking school bus for the kids.

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4. Follow the 80/20 rule, which says 80 percent of the time eat whole, clean foods that are from the ground up, and 20 percent of the time allow yourself to enjoy wholesome treats. This gives you the flexibility to enjoy vices and indulgences like wine, dark chocolate, fresh chocolate chip pumpkin bread, or a Talenti Gelato Frozen Sangria! It’s lifestyle balance that allows you to feel confident in your daily food choices.

Throw out the notion of “losing weight.” Retrain your mindset with “My life is a healthy and active life, part of what I do daily is eat well and be active. I want my life to be the healthiest and most vibrant one possible where I feel great!”, then you’ll be more inclined to keep at it. Sounds cheesy to repeat it, but guess what, you’ve got this girl! Be proud of you and what lies ahead!

By Erin Kreitz-Shirey, certified personal trainer for DietsInReview.com

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