Congratulations on meeting your weight loss goal! We know weight loss can be challenging, so we hope you can take some time to celebrate this accomplishment. Now that you’ve lost weight, you might be asking yourself “what now?” This guide provides everything you need to know about weight maintenance as a vegetarian, from what types of foods to eat, which ones to limit, and some recipe ideas to get you started.
Wondering what to do after weight loss? Losing weight and keeping it off can be daunting, especially knowing that most dieters regain their weight back within a few years.
Maintaining weight is all about making sustainable changes to your lifestyle. Restrictive diets, lack of sustainable habits, and the wrong mindset are factors that make maintaining weight more difficult.
Avoiding these and focusing on habits that you can keep is key for weight maintenance.
Ready to learn how to maintain weight after losing it? Let’s dive in!
What is considered weight maintenance?
It depends! Weight maintenance is different for everyone and depends on what your overall weight loss goal is. We suggest working with your healthcare provider to determine a weight maintenance plan that is right for you.
For some people, weight maintenance means being able to stay at a specific weight that works for them and their health goals.
For others, it could mean staying within a certain weight range that they’re comfortable with.
The timeframe to track weight maintenance varies depending on your lifestyle. Our bodies change as we get older and go through life, which could change your weight goals as well.
It’s important to remember that all bodies are different, and what works for weight loss/maintenance for one person may not work for another.
That said, there are several lifestyle strategies you can use to increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to maintain your weight goal.
How do I maintain my weight?
There are many factors involved in losing weight and keeping it off. Many of those are specific to your food intake and lifestyle habits. Here are some ideas for maintaining weight loss:
Eat lots of veggies. Vegetables are high in fiber and help keep you full. Not to mention, they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to function.
We recommend eating a variety of veggies to make sure you get all your required nutrients. Some of our favorite healthy vegetarian recipes for weight loss are listed below:
Looking for more ideas? Try one of our weight loss salads to up your veggie intake!
Focus on protein. Similar to vegetables, protein keeps you full and may help increase the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day.
If you follow a vegetarian diet for weight loss, it can be more challenging to keep up with your protein intake. Here are some plant-based proteins to include in your diet on a regular basis:
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy foods, like tofu, tempeh, and edamame
Increase your protein and veggie intake at the same time with these high protein salad ideas.
Exercise Regularly. Movement is important for everyone, regardless of weight loss goals. Exercising regularly is essential for keeping your metabolism running smoothly.
Just make sure not to eases into exercise and not overdo it! A combination of cardio and strength training is your best bet to burn calories and maintain muscle mass.
Watch your sugar intake. Eating excessive amounts of added sugar can hinder your weight maintenance goals. Desserts, candy, baked goods, and sugar-sweetened beverages should always be consumed in moderation.
We don’t recommend depriving yourself of your favorite treats, but it is a good idea to be mindful of how much you’re eating.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking enough water is important for your health for many reasons. With weight loss in mind, it helps to contribute to feelings of fullness.
We suggest keeping a water bottle with you at all times and setting reminders to take water breaks several times a day.
Plan ahead. Set yourself up for success with maintaining weight by planning ahead. Decide what meals you want to eat in advance, and write grocery lists that include healthy foods.
Prepare ingredients for meals ahead of time if you’re able, so you can put a meal together when you’re in a time crunch.
Make it a lifestyle. Last but not least, making healthy habits a part of the way you live is key for maintaining your weight loss.
Strive to be as consistent as possible (even on nights and weekends!). If you followed a vegetarian weight loss meal plan to lose weight, then it is a good idea to keep up with a vegetarian diet.
We also don’t recommend going on and off diets, or choosing a diet that you won’t be able to keep up with for the long term.
Vegetarian diet for weight loss
If you followed a vegetarian diet for weight loss, we recommend continuing to maintain a vegetarian eating pattern for the best results.
Here are some resources that provide more tips, recipe ideas, and more to support your plant-based lifestyle:
Having trouble maintaining your weight?
If you are having trouble maintaining your weight despite implementing these strategies, remember that sometimes it goes beyond food and lifestyle.
Other factors that could prevent weight loss/maintenance include underlying conditions, hormonal issues, medications, stress, lack of sleep, and more.
Talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for specific advice related to your weight, diet, and health.
Disclaimer: This article is to be used for educational purposes only. The information provided is in no way to be used as a substitute for medical care or advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should speak with their primary care provider with any medical concerns and for specific advice related to their health and nutrition.