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Four rules to avoid regaining lost weight

(HealthDay)—Have you reached your ideal weight? Congratulations! You’re halfway to winning the weight loss battle.

The next phase, maintaining that loss, requires a different mindset. Think of it as a new permanent diet, not a return to your old way of eating, which is a sure way to return to your old weight.

Following these four golden rules will make it easier.

Rule number one: Maintain your support network. If you had help while you were losing weight, stay in contact with your doctor, group leader or diet buddy—whoever provided you with the motivation that got you through being on a restrictive diet. This way, he or she can encourage you to practice good weight-maintenance behavior. Cellphone and online contact may be all you need.

Rule number two: Don’t ease up on exercise. People who continue to work out regain less weight than those who don’t. Keep in mind that you may need to exercise even more now, especially if you start eating many more calories than you consumed to lose weight. Use a fitness tracker and aim to burn off at least 2,000 calories per week from exercise.

Rule number three: If you didn’t choose a forever diet to lose weight, pick one now, one that you can live with for the long term. The Mediterranean diet, for instance, offers a wide selection of good-for-you foods and heart-health advantages.

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