On special occasions -- say you really want the chocolate cake and ice cream at an office party -- go ahead and dig in. For her book Eating Thin for Life, Anne Fletcher, R.D., surveyed the diet habits of 208 people who lost an average of 64 pounds and kept it off, and found that successful weight losers don't deprive themselves of foods they crave or love.
"But they have control systems for tempting foods so they don't go overboard," says Ms. Fletcher.
7. Weigh yourself regularly.
To maintain weight loss, don't ignore your scale and go by other indicators, such as how well your jeans fit. Instead, play the numbers game and step on the scale once a week.
"A weekly weigh-in can accurately help you monitor your weight, so you realize when you're in relapse," says Dr. Wyatt. If you gain five pounds or more, she advises immediate action. Ask yourself what you've been doing lately that might have caused the weight gain, then make changes to lose those extra few pounds within the month.