Most people who lose weight will gain it back, thanks to a combination of a slower metabolism, a change in hormones, and reverting back to the old lifestyle that made them gain weight in the first place.
But even though keeping off the weight you lost is hard, it is possible. Eduardo Grunvald, MD, program director at UC San Diego's Weight Management Program, told POPSUGAR the biggest indicator of weight-loss success: having a supportive environment.
This support system could be from a weight-loss program, dietitian, health educator, or obesity medicine doctor or clinic. It's also important to have a supportive environment at home. If you made an effort to eat healthy and work out regularly but your spouse still keeps junk food in the house and never exercises, you're setting yourself up for failure.
Other ways to make sure you don't gain the weight back include continuously monitoring your food intake through journaling or tracking apps, weighing yourself at home, controlling all your environments (including your home and your office) as much as possible, planning your meals ahead, and limited eating out.
You also may have to exercise even more than you did to lose the weight in the first place. Researchers who assessed the National Weight Control Registry, a database of people who have lost 30 or more pounds and kept it off for at least a year, found that people exercised more during the maintenance phase than they did during weight loss. "It doesn't mean that you have to go to the gym for two hours or you have to run a marathon," Dr. Grunvald said. "It just means that you walk an extra half hour, an extra hour a day just to maintain the weight."