September 07, 2001

The long hours you put in at the gym to drop that last 15 pounds may be just what you need to keep them from creeping back.

A University of Pittsburgh study found that women who lose 10 percent of their body weight need to exercise 55 minutes a day, five days a week to maintain that loss—thats nearly twice the exercise time recommended by the government.

The weight-loss successes kept up the rigorous exercise routine for two years.

The researchers suggest other maintenance tools: Watch calories, meet with a support group or counselor at least once a month to help you stick to healthy habits, and fill more of your free time with activities that get you moving.