Losing weight requires hard work and determination. Oftentimes, men and women hoping to lose weight must commit to healthier lifestyles than the ones they’ve grown accustomed to. That can be a big adjustment, and it’s important that men and women about to embark on their weight loss journeys recognize that keeping lost weight off can sometimes be as challenging as losing the weight. Some people are inspired to lose weight before their weddings, while others may want to shed some pounds before beach season.

While there’s no wrong reason for people who are overweight or obese to lose weight, people who tie their weight loss efforts to something as temporary as beach season may overlook the long-term benefits of maintaining healthy weights, unknowingly increasing their risk of putting weight back on after reaching their short-term goals. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, maintaining a healthy weight lowers a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and various cancers.

Maintaining weight loss can be an uphill battle, but men and women can employ various strategies to ensure the weight they lose stays lost for years to come.

• Continue your weigh-ins. Weigh-ins may seem like the enemy as men and women make their initial efforts toward losing weight. However, weigh-ins gradually become something to look forward to as pounds start to drop off. Routinely weigh yourself even after reaching your weight loss goals, as the scale can be just as motivational for people trying to maintain healthy weights as it is for people trying to lose weight.

• Stick to your diet. When trying to lose weight, adults often combine diet and exercise. That’s a great weight loss strategy, and it’s also a great way to maintain a healthy weight. Recognize that weight won’t stay off if you exercise but don’t eat right. Rather, maintaining a healthy weight over the long haul requires both a healthy diet and regular exercise.

• Eat slowly. While it might not work for everyone, eating slowly has been linked to lower calorie consumption. A study from researchers at Texas Christian University found that participants who were instructed to take small bites, chew thoroughly and pause and put their spoons down between bites consumed, on average, 88 fewer calories per meal than participants who were told to take large bites, chew quickly and continue eating without putting their spoons down. Study participants who were overweight, however, ate just 58 fewer calories on average.

• Document your efforts. Whether it’s in a journal, on a blog or by emailing a loved one, documenting your efforts to maintain a healthy weight may provide the motivation you need to stay on course.

Maintaining a healthy weight after substantial weight loss is a challenge that men and women can overcome by staying as vigilant in their efforts to keep weight off as they were while working to lose weight.