Your Ongoing Journey
If you've lost weight, you've reached a crucial point. Keeping it for the next few years boosts your odds of keeping it off long-term
How far you’ve come
Giving yourself credit for all the work you’ve done so far can also give you some of the strength to stick with it for life–and you will need that strength to stay on the path. It will still be work. Even now you may have times when you struggle. There may still be times when you wonder if it’s really worth the work to keep the weight off. But now you have the tools that can help you make it work.
Q and Me addresses a wide variety of topics, including healthy eating habits, staying active, eating a healthy breakfast, and how to track your progress. Now it’s time to look to the future. We hope that the habits you’ve learned have served you well so far and will help you succeed in the journey yet to come.
The road ahead
As you continue your journey, keep using your tracking tools. Tracking your progress can be vital to help you keep off the weight you’ve lost and lose more weight, if that is what your healthcare provider recommends.
Even more important, keep making good choices. Now is a crucial time in your journey. If you keep the weight off for the first few years, you will boost your odds of keeping it off long-term. In fact, if you reach the 2-year milestone, your risk of gaining back the weight drops by almost half. Make it 5 years and your risk of putting weight back on will be reduced by nearly 70%.
The longer you succeed, the longer into the future you are likely to keep the weight off. Be consistent in your habits. All the lessons you’ve learned so far can only work if you keep making them a part of your day-to-day life. The better you stick to your routine, the longer the weight is likely to stay off. If you stay consistent long-term, you may make your weight loss a lifelong success.
So what does it mean to be consistent?
Consistent eating habits
Try to keep your eating habits steady. This doesn’t mean you could never eat anything sweet again—in fact, one study found that, with careful eating habits, people lost weight even if they ate chocolate once a day. But it does mean you need to watch out for minor lapses that can turn into major setbacks. In particular, try the following:
- Consistently track what you eat. Remember, the better you keep track of the foods you eat, the more likely you are to lose weight and keep it off.
- Don’t take days off. Stay on track even when you're on holiday. Taking weekends or holidays off can make it harder to keep weight off. One study asked long-term weight losers to rate how much their eating habits varied on weekends and holidays. The results showed that those who were consistent in their habits lost more weight and kept it off longer.
- Cook your own food. Many successful weight losers take most of their meals at home. Cooking for yourself can help you make smart meal choices and stay away from fast food.
By now you may have found some recipes that fit with your healthcare provider’s approved meal plan and that are fun to make. Finding healthy foods you may like to cook at home is something you might enjoy daily.
Consistent physical activity
Try to maintain your activity level every week, even during busy times. It takes work, but you can make plans to keep active during holidays or even when you’re swamped at work.
We’ve talked about some strategies you could follow to stay active. You may want to look back at these strategies now. Maybe you could find one you can use but haven’t tried yet. Remember: One of the most important things about physical activity is sticking with it.
As mentioned, one more good way to keep active is just to keep good records. If you consistently keep track of your physical activity, it’ll probably be easier for you to stay active, and you may lose more weight.
If you slip, get right back up
This may be the key lesson for the long road ahead. As much as we talk about being consistent, it’s good to remember that no one’s perfect. And as much as you’d like to stay on track all the time, there will probably be times when you slip. As we’ve mentioned before, how you handle a minor slip can make a big difference.
Sometimes when people have a lapse, they may think they’ve failed; others may try to “get it out of their system” before they get back on track. The farther you go off track, the harder it will be to get back on—but if you pick yourself up right away, it might not be hard at all. A stumble isn't the end of the world and shouldn’t mean the end of your healthy habits.
A stumble is not a failure. Talk to your healthcare provider, learn from your mistake, and get right back to your routine.
- Think about the positive changes you’ve probably made in your eating habits, physical activity, and weight.
- Together with your healthcare provider, set a long-term weight goal. This should be a weight range you and your healthcare provider find acceptable for you to keep for a long time—perhaps the rest of your life. For starters, it can be a weight goal for the following 12 months, such as maintaining your current weight or losing more weight. If you want to lose more weight, please remember that it may be more difficult than when you first started. See what your healthcare provider recommends.
- Talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should keep taking Qsymia®. Depending on your new weight goal, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different dose. Whether you keep taking Qsymia or not, Q and Me is always there to support you.
- As always, record your weight, eating habits, and physical activity in your tracking tool of choice.
- You may want to look over your tracker entries to find the times when you’ve slipped up and think about strategies to stay on track the next time. Talk with your healthcare provider about developing solid strategies you can use in the future.
- Together with your healthcare provider, develop a long-term plan to keep you in shape for the long haul.