Updated 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.