While losing weight is difficult for many people, it is even more challenging to keep the weight off. Most people who lose a large amount of weight have regained it 2 to 3 years later. One theory about regaining lost weight is that people who decrease the amount of calories they consume to lose weight experience a drop in the rate their bodies burn calories. This makes it increasingly difficult to lose weight over a period of months. A lower rate of burning calories may also make it easier to regain weight after a more normal diet is resumed. For these reasons, extremely low calorie diets and rapid weight loss are discouraged.
Losing no more than 1/2 to 2 pounds per week is recommended. Incorporating long-term lifestyle changes are needed to increase the chance of successful long-term weight loss.
Weight loss to a healthy weight for a person's height can promote health benefits. These include lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, less stress on bones and joints, and less work for the heart. It is vital to maintain weight loss to obtain health benefits over a lifetime.
Keeping extra weight off takes effort and commitment, just as losing weight does. Weight loss goals are reached by a combination of changes in diet, eating habits, and exercise. In extreme circumstances, people turn to bariatric surgery. Medicines are also available, when needed, to help you maintain your weight loss.