A recent blog post of mine about maintenance accountability was voted as a most popular SP blog post. That came about NOT because I am not a super-popular sparker, but because my blog was featured by the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team. I call them AGMTTM.
Thanks AGMTTM for that vote of confidence!
Several of the comments on that blog thanked me for my tips on weight maintenance. Today I realized that the blog included very few of the day-to day things I do to keep the weight off. That blog focused mostly on how I keep myself from slipping back into old habits...my accountability measures. Yes, it has been almost 5 years, but the old habits are still lurking...waiting for the right moment to attack and send me back to fatdom.
In the chance that readers may come back now that they have "met " me...I decided to write a little more about the day to day life of CAROLISCIOUS in maintenance mode...and even weight loss mode...because there are times when the scale does creep up and I have to take ACTION. If just one person comes back and finds a gem of helpfulness, then the time spent writing will be worth it. Plus, It's just good to write it all down or my own reference.
Most of what keeps the scale in check for me revolves around food. Food is 80% of the battle. So I will cover the "moving" part of this deal before we get into the piehole part of it.
I am not a fitness star. I don't love it, but I do it, because I know it is important for an "old" lady like me to keep moving...lest one day this body decide, way before my mind is ready, to STOP moving. God forbid.
My tips for sticking with the workouts:
Find something you love...or maybe just like a little bit. Eventually you will love it...or you will move on to something else.
Mix it up...try something new from time to time. Be brave. I have done everything from Yoga to Spin. I go through periods of "like affairs" with different exercises. It's always changing. Right now it's running and a class called RIPPED. Next year it might be something different, but it will be something...no doubt.
If you can afford it, get a heart rate monitor. Knowing the exact number of calories you are burning based on your heart rate is so motivating, and it makes it so much easier to set and reach goals.
Look for apps that track your workouts. I use the free version of Runkeeper and post my runs to facebook. The little trophies I get from Runkeeper and the positive response to the fb posts keeps me going.
I plan my workouts...and pack up my workout clothes in my gym bag for the whole week on the weekend and put them in my car. If I have an early morning workout on my list...I have been known to sleep in my workout clothes...hubby says...verra schexy!
Enlist friends/coworkers/family to join you. On the days you don't wanna just do it...they will...and you will too.
I reward myself with new work out duds. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx have good deals. New workout duds make me want to what? Work out! WooHoo!
That about covers it for the moving part of it...as far as time spent working out...it's really up to you. My workouts are usually an hour 3-4 times a week. It really depends on where you are in you weight loss journey. If you still have lots of pounds to lose...the more you work out, the better your chances of losing the pounds. I know I need to do better at the strength training part of it. I'm working on it.
Now on to the piehole part of it.
I like to eat. Period. 60 pounds off for almost 5 years...and that hasn't changed at all.
Limit eating out. The sodium in restaurant foods is disastrous to any weight loss plan. If you do eat out, check the on-line menu beforehand and choose wisely. And drown yourself in water before and after (kill the evil sodium).
Fruits and veggies are your friend. Pick a day and eat nothing but...eat a whole dang watermelon if you wanna.
Reinvent the foods you love. I love Mexican food...particularly nachos. I swear if I had some serious illness and the docs found a way to give me chips and salsa intravenously, I would get better. So...instead of a 700+ calorie and bazillion milligrams of sodium plate of restaurant nachos...I make them at home with salt free chips, (Xochill or Bearitos brand) and low sodium salsa (Enrico's brand is superb). I sometimes add black beans (sodium free and rinsed) or grilled chicken...and ALWAYS lots of yummy fresh veggies on top. I get my fav food, portioned controlled, with no guilt. My weekend treat! Be STILL my heart.
I generally eat the same foods every day during the week...yup...boring...but I know how many calories I am getting without having to track every day. My very favorite dinner is a lovely salad...with a boiled egg and grilled chicken...and Bolthouse Farms honey mustard dressing...low fat, low calories....and not the sodium monster that many salad dressings are. Bring it on! I try to be the best I can be during the week at work. I say "no" to office treats and I don't eat the occasional catered lunch meetings. I bring my own food and eat it at the meeting or afterwards. Weekends are harder for me because of social activities, so the better I can be during the week, the more leeway I have on the weekends to indulge a bit.
Cheese...I must talk about CHEESE! I stick with Weight Watcher's brand. Not only is it low fat, but yes, you guessed it...low sodium.
Mrs. MRS. MIIIISESSSS DASH....we got a thing...going ooo-on. Yeh...so many new flavors. I love you Mrs. Dash.
When my weight is up, limiting carbs gets it back down quickly. I'm not talking about ELIMINATING carbs...but less than 180 grams or so is sufficient. (No ketones in MY urine , please!)
I drink water, lots of it, but I also drink other liquids to stay hydrated. I have cut way back on diet soda. Right now I drink club soda and water with squirt of Dasani drops to quench my fizzy soda craving. I also drink unsweetened tea and coffee....with stevia sweetener,
Alcohol...yes, I look forward to a relaxing adult beverage on the weekends. I stick with red wine (Muscadine grape from a local winery...the highest in antioxidants), lite beer, and my version of a skinny margarita...diet lemon-lime soda with a shot of tequila and a squeeze of lime. Who needs all that sugar and salt in a regular margarita? Not me!
Get your fiber...make sure things are moving...'nuff said about that!
It's just me and hubby at home now...and he does not expect me to cook for him every night...nor do I expect him to comply with my way of eating. If he decides he wants something crazy like take out barbeque...like he did tonight...it's all good. I had my lovely homemade nachos. I know it's harder when you have kids in the house...or a hubby that expects real meals every night. I am reminded of that when my grandkids are here and I find myself wanting to eat the crust I cut off their PB and J sandwich. YOU have to decide that YOU want this more than the food in your piehole and STICK with it, cuz every bite counts. I wish that wasn't true, but, sadly, it is.
Sleep is important...you know all that stuff about hormone levels that rise and fall when you sleep and make you fat if you don't sleep. Go Google it and read about it. I try to be in bed by 10. I try to sleep. Some nights, it just doesn't happen...but most nights, it does.
I weigh myself every day. I record the number in an excel file...average it, graph it...all sorts of geeky stuff. My weight always goes up on the weekends (water weight), but if I go right back to my consistent weekday eating plan, the pounds drop off. When I need to lose instead of just maintain, I stick to the weekday eating plan through weekends, and it gets me to the number I like to see on the scale.
I know I am not perfect and I still have a lot to learn...this journey is ever changing. I'm always out there on SP and other websites soaking it in like a sponge...experimenting...findi
ng what works and doesn't work for me. That's what you have to do to. Most importantly...never give up. The answers are there for your unique and individual make up. Don't be afraid to find them!