Dr. Wendy’s 8-Week Weight Loss Challenge: You Did It! (Part 3 of 3)

Person journaling in notebook.

As you’ve worked hard to lose weight for the past two months, you’ve probably picked up quite a few insights, and are eager to build on that knowledge to maintain progress. I want to share some tips that will help solidify the success you’ve seen from your 8-Week Weight Loss Challenge. My aim is to support those who’ve struggled with weight management and to embed these new routines deeply into their daily lives. So whether you’ve followed your weight loss plan for the last two months or you’re just looking for ways to keep the weight off, let’s talk about making lasting lifestyle changes.

7 Habits to Manage Your Weight Loss

As you approach the finish line of the 8-Week Weight Loss Challenge, I’m here to keep boosting your motivation and share insights that may differ from the usual buzz you find online. Remember, this isn’t just any program—it’s a medical weight loss management program. We’ve got years of experience and plenty of clinical wisdom to share. Let’s make these last few days count!

At the end of this challenge, it’s all about keeping that weight off with a solid maintenance plan. In my clinic, one of the things we often talk about is the National Weight Control Registry. This is a registry of people who’ve shed over 50 pounds and managed to keep it off for over a year. What this registry does is collect all sorts of intel on the habits these weight loss champs have in common, both behaviorally and nutritionally. Let’s dive into seven weight loss management tips that have helped these individuals keep the pounds off for good.

  1. Use meal replacements. Many success stories from the National Weight Control Registry include using one to two meal replacements daily. It’s simple—kick off your day with a shake, grab a yogurt for a snack, and a bar for lunch. Toss in a fruit and cheese stick later, and then all you have to think about is dinner. Just remember to pack those regular meals with plenty of protein. And if you end up straying a bit on the weekends, staying disciplined during the week allows you to have a little leeway. 
  1. Weigh yourself regularly. Keeping tabs on your weight lets you catch any uptick before it becomes a trend. So, make it part of your weekly ritual: wake up, shed your clothes, step on the scale, and jot down the number. Spotting a five-pound increase from your goal weight is your cue to tweak your routine and nudge that number back down.
  1. Ramp up your exercise routine. The champs from the National Weight Control Registry are keeping those pounds off medication-free by committing to 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day. Sure, that sounds like a big commitment, but considering our bodies tend to drift back to their old set point weight, this amount of exercise will keep the weight off long term. 
  1. Journal. It may feel like a chore, but it’s not about perfection—it’s about consistency. A few times a week can do the trick. It’s less about obsessing over calories and more about mindfulness—recognizing those moments when you’re veering off course by simply writing them down. Keeping track of what you eat, your water intake, and exercise helps you stay aligned with your goals. And going digital makes it even easier. I’m a fan of the My Fitness Pal app—it’s a lifesaver for those who eat the same thing every day because you can just copy and paste your daily eats. By keeping a record, you’ll quickly spot patterns, like skimping on breakfast and then overcompensating with a meal replacement bar because you were so hungry.
  1. Get quality sleep. It’s crucial, and the successful folks in the National Weight Control Registry get that—they average six to nine hours a night and make it non-negotiable. Getting enough sleep isn’t just a pillar for weight loss; it’s the foundation for your body’s overall health. It helps reduce inflammation, ward off infections, stabilize blood pressure, and keep your heart ticking smoothly.
  1. Stay positive! Keeping a positive mindset is something we’ve touched on throughout the last two months, and it’s also a big deal for those in the National Weight Control Registry. Staying positive is key to effective weight loss management. Not only does it keep you focused on the future, but positivity tends to be contagious. You’ll attract good vibes from others, making the journey that much more enjoyable.
  1. Reflect on challenges and check in with yourself regularly. As you transition to maintenance, make a point to self-assess every couple of weeks. Be aware of your vulnerabilities so if you do slip up, you can prevent issues in the future. Take me, for example—I’m a chocolate fiend, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this battle. The trick for us chocolate lovers is moderation, not elimination. I’ve learned to satisfy my cravings with just a bit, and it does the trick. I deviate from the plan, just like you. There are moments when I go overboard and have to pause and think, “What am I doing?” That’s the value of a regular self-check-in—you’ll catch any slips before they turn into slides.

Maintain Your Weight Loss for a Happier, Healthier You! 

If you’re in the midst of your 8-Week Weight Loss Challenge, keep up the fantastic work, and may your progress be steady and rewarding. I hope that the insights from the National Weight Control Registry, coupled with our own expertise, have armed you with valuable strategies. Here’s to a healthier, happier you in the days to come—let’s continue to keep off the weight together!

Want to learn more? Join me Live on Facebook every month and check out our YouTube channel for the replays!

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