How to maintain your weight

This is still a work in progress but here’s some ideas ….

It was really great to get to my goal weight and I was truely ecstatic. It is a wonderful feeling and especially so if you’ve worked at it for some time and finally succeeded. However, if you have just reached your goal weight, it is really easy to lose that.

Tip #1. Go a little lower. You want to be able to sit around your goal weight without going over. Maintaining a figure is rarely about always having the exact same weight every day. It is likely to go up and down. You are no longer trying to lose weight each day. There is a chance it will go up some days. Give yourself a safety margin, some wriggle room, a band to manage within. In my case, I went 1 kg lower.

The trick with a band is to monitor and when you get too close to the upper limit, back off. When you get too close to the lower limit, apply more. That applies to driving and it also applies to eating.

Tip #2. The scales are still your friend. You need them. You need to continue to monitor your weight. How can you manage anything if you don’t track how it is going? The answer is, “you can’t”. You have to know when your weight is climbing and when it is falling.

Remember what the scales tell you is your short-term weight right now not your actual long-term weight. What I mean by this is food has a short-term score, its weight, and a long-term score, its calorie count. You can eat a lot of really good food – that should be fantastic for you – and still gain weight despite the science. If you eat 1 kg of watermelon and weigh yourself afterwards you are going to weigh about 1 kg more. Yes it is negative calories. Yes you burn more than you gain. However, in the short-term you will have gained 1 kg. It sucks. I agree; but it isn’t the eventual outcome. Give it a day or so and you’ll see the science kick in. Most of the weight will go away again. Only the calories remain (and that’s very few).

Tip #3. To maintain your weight you have to stop losing weight. If you are really lucky, what you are eating will already match what you are burning at your goal weight. In those cases you’ll just settle in to your goal weight with no effort at all. If you gain weight the extra effort to move the extra weight through life will burn more calories and you’ll lose the weight. If you lose weight you don’t burn as many calories and your body will recover the missing pounds. That’s the ideal. Your food intake is an exact match for your lifestyle.

For the rest of us, we need to eat more than what we have been doing. Just a little. Just enough to upset the existing apple cart. I’d suggest avoiding all the things you used to love eating. We’re not trying to return to our old habits. Maybe something you used to enjoy but not everything and not a lot. Weight yourself the very next day and act accordingly.

Tip #4. If you put on weight you need to lose it. You got to your goal. You know you can do it. You know it works. You’ve done this before. You know you can do this. Just do whatever you were doing to lose weight in the first place. If it is only a little to lose it won’t be for very long.

How wide you set your safety margin determines how closely you need to monitor and how hard you have to work to steer yourself back in range. A wider margin means less frequent corrections but bigger ones. A narrower margin means less effort but more often. It is something that needs to suit your preferences.

Good luck. I’m always here if you want to chat.

Picture by louisepalanker / CC BY-SA

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