By Ingela Ratledge
September 10, 2001
Heather Weston

Heather WestonMajor weight loss? Check! Now find out how to keep your beautiful body—without having to sweat every calorie.

Drumroll, please! After seven months of hard work, the three readers on our Feel Great Weight program are ready to unveil their downsized bods and supercharged outlooks. All of you whove followed our plan are ready to celebrate your hard-earned success, as well—nice work! But before we send you on your slim, merry way, weve asked our Dream Team to share their top tips for how to make that success last. Before
Fatou Kine Dieye, 33
Architect and director of graduate-student affairs at Columbia University
Height: 5'10½"
Goal weight: 165 lbs

The big question:
“Should I make changes to my eating habits once Ive reached my goal?”

Stay-slim strategy: When it comes to maintenance eating, its OK to add 50 to 100 calories to your daily total if youre still losing and want to level off, Marissa Lippert, RD, says. “When your body hits its ‘sweet spot—a naturally healthful weight—itll stabilize on its own,” she explains. AfterTo make sure youre still on track, continue with regular weigh-ins, but no need to obsess: “Once a week is enough,” Lippert says. And allow yourself little splurges. “Have a sweet as one part of a healthy snack, like pairing a cookie with a glass of skim milk or a piece of fruit,” she says. That way, “youll actually be filling up with something healthy at the same time that youre having a little treat.”

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Deanna Verbouwens, 39
Full-time mom
Height: 5'3"
Goal weight: 145 lbs

The big question:"How can I stay motivated for the long term?"

Stay-slim strategy: When you reach your goal weight, it can be hard to stick to healthy habits. The solution? “Create mile markers that dont focus on the scale, like helping your kids eat more healthfully, running a race, or learning new recipes,” Lippert suggests. BeforeBut dont expect perfection—and remember that a single slipup is not an excuse to go off the rails. Also, collect reminders of why you want to stay on track, Judith Beck, PhD, says. “Make a checklist of ‘worth it experiences. When you pull out smaller-size clothes from the closet, note how its worth it to fit into them. Lifting groceries more easily than you used to? Worth it!"

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Alanna Campbell, 28
Associate producer-director for sports television
Height: 6'0"
Goal weight: 170 lbs

The big question:
“Now that Ive reached my goal, what's my workout plan?”

Stay-slim strategy: Youll want to stick pretty closely to your current workout routine, although its OK to ease up on the intensity a bit, trainer Johanna Subotovsky says. And while you can take a few days off at a time, dont slack off for more than a week or two. After
Need motivation? Try doing sweat sessions first thing in the morning, so theres less likelihood of conflicts cropping up. Or “instead of going for dinner or drinks with friends, meet them at the gym and take a class together,” she says. And if your schedule is jam-packed—as Alannas is— squeeze in mini-workouts throughout the day: “Keep a pair of sneakers under your desk and go for a walk at lunch,” Subotovsky says. “Stand instead of sitting—it burns more calories. Walk or ride a bike to work if you can. The little things add up!”