Do I have to keep working out once I reach my goal weight? How to maintain weight loss

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     So you've finally reached it - your goal weight. You've put in the sweat hours and you've cleaned up your diet, and you don't want to lose all of the hard work that you put in by having the scale climb back upwards.

     We took a poll on our Facebook page and one of the most common questions was asking whether or not you would have to workout once you hit your goal weight, and what you would have to do to maintain once you reached the place that you wanted to be. In the video above, we tackle that question and tell you what you need to do in order to stay at the same bodyweight.

     The exact solution to maintenance is going to depend largely on how you lost the extra pounds to begin with.

Here are a few different scenarios:
     Cardio alone; you will have to maintain cardio indefinitely, just about day in & day out in order to be able to keep the scale at the same number. If you used a program of solely cardio, you've likely burned off lean muscle mass as well and your metabolism has likely been slowed, which will make it more of a struggle. Used this route to see your success? it's not too late - add strength training to your routine 2x per week for each muscle group and you can boost your metabolism back up to a rate that will make it easier for you to stay lean.

     Diet alone; Similar to the situation above, if you've only used calorie restriction, you are likely going to find that it does your metabolism no favors, and you will have to really watch the number of calories that you eat so as to not create a surplus and start gaining again.

     Via diet pills, meal replacement shakes, etc; Abort! This is possibly the worst possible method to lose, as you are not gaining any of the benefits of physical activity, you aren't boosting your metabolism by building lean muscle, and you have not given yourself the opportunity to learn how to properly nourish your body or to select proper serving sizes when it comes to dishing up your own plate - not to mention that all of those pills and shakes have mystery ingredients, and, once you stop taking them...guess what comes right back. Yep. It's not too late - start eating healthily now and add regular exercise to your regime.

     Cardio, strength training, and a healthy diet - Congrats, you took the right path; your heart has likely benefited from the cardio training, your metabolism and confidence are probably soaring due to the strength training, and you've learned how to eat healthily and in moderation. You will need to keep doing all of the above, but you no longer need to strive to create a caloric deficit once you have reached that goal weight.

Do you have to keep working out in order to keep the weight off?
     Yes, definitely. But - you don't have to create a caloric deficit once you have reached your goal weight, which means that your intake and your calorie burn via exercise does not need to create a negative number - it just needs to come out even. This number is going to be specific to each individual in that it may take a little trial and error for you to figure out exactly what works in terms of consumption and the right amount of exercise. It's very similar to weight loss; you have to find the right balance that works for you and your body specifically.

Have you lost a significant amount of weight and been able to keep it off? Was there any one tip that really helped you out?