No one would deny that losing weight is hard work but, contrary to popular belief, the hard work isn’t over when you reach your goal weight.
So, for patients nearing the end of their prescription, it’s important to consider life after phentermine: the sustainability of their wellness routine, potential phentermine withdrawal symptoms, how to avoid rebound weight gain and where to turn for support.
How to NOT Gain Weight After Stopping Phentermine
About 80% of people who lose a significant amount of weight regain all or some of that weight within two years (
So what do those 20% of people do to keep the weight off long term?
The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) offers some insight. This voluntary program tracks US residents who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for a year or more, and currently contains more than 10,000 participants (
People who successfully keep the weight off choose to (
1. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast is key to maintaining major weight loss.
Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. The most common breakfast among NWCR participants was milk and cereal, but scrambled egg whites & toast, a smoothie or a meal replacement shake are all great options too.
2. Stick to a Healthy Diet
To avoid weight gain after phentermine, it is important to maintain a nutritious diet.
NWCR respondents stick to a low-fat, calorie-controlled diet long-term. Experts estimate that these weight maintainers eat an average of 1800 calories per day (when exercising) and avoid high-fat foods.
3. Cook at Home
Eating at home is healthier and cheaper than eating out. Plus, studies show that home-cooked meals are lower calorie, lower fat and lower in sodium, on average, as compared to restaurant meals.
People that lose a lot of weight and keep it off know this. Successful maintainers in the NWCR only eat out an average of 2.5 meals per week, and less than once a week at fast food restaurants.
4. Maintain Restraint
People who successfully keep the weight off stick with their healthy habits long-term by retaining a “just lost weight” mindset.
Instead of allowing themselves to slack, successful maintainers stay disciplined about their diet and exercise habits. The most successful maintainers hold onto this mindset even on weekends and holidays.
5. Stay Active
Healthy food and regular exercise work together to keep your body healthy. So, it is important to incorporate both into your daily routine.
NWCR participants report doing an average of one hour per day of moderate exercise. Walking is the most common workout, but hiking, dancing, workout classes and water sports are also popular.
6. Weigh Regularly
Weighing daily is undoubtedly controversial, but studies show the balance plays a legitimate role in weight maintenance.
The majority of people who keep the weight off weigh daily, or at the very least weekly. Experts think this helps because it helps you notice small fluctuations in weight and adjust accordingly.
Healthy Habits in Practice
So how can you put all of these suggestions into action?
Here’s one person’s weight maintenance routine for life after phentermine:
Social Support for Life After Phentermine
Having people that encourage and motivate your healthy behaviors makes it infinitely easier to stick with those routines.
Phentermine.com also runs a Facebook group specifically dedicated to Life After Phentermine. If you’re in-search of like-minded people who have also taken this medication and are now navigating the triumphs and challenges of life after phentermine, join our supportive Facebook group today!
- McGuire, MT, Wing, RR, & Hill, JO. (1999). The prevalence of weight loss maintenance among American adults. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 23(12), 1314-1319.
- Brown Medical School and The Miriam Hospital: Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center. (n.d.). The National Weight Control Registry.
- Wing, R. R., & Phelan, S. (2005). Long-term weight loss maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(1), 222S-225S.