It's certainly possible to lose or maintain without ever (regularly) tracking -- I've done it. But I do urge a whole heaping helping of caution. Though I did it/am doing it myself, I do have a LOT of rules-to-live-by that I stick to knowing full well I am likely to regain if I break them very often.
First, I do weigh myself, just about every day. With no tracking -- and given my beliefs in the utter unreliability of "how my clothes fit" -- this is my sole accountability. While I refuse to take day-to-day or minor week-to-week fluctuations seriously, you'd better believe I would take notice and take action if it ever drifted a couple of pounds upward for two weeks in a row, sort of thing.
Second, while I likewise have no use whatsoever for "you can never eat X in your life again" sort of strictures, when it comes right down to it, I mostly don't. My firm belief is that junk food (defined as pretty much just the obvious stuff; I don't worry too much about potatoes or white bread or whatever else people sometimes do. Though I am picky about my cereals. Anyway ...) undermines attempts at eating naturally/intuitively/according to hunger worse than anything else. So I generally do not indulge. I will eat small amounts (small!) sometimes if available, and I will eat larger amounts rarely (rare!) if socially or otherwise appropriate, but it's not a regular or large part of my life and I don't expect it to ever be again. I am OK with this (actually quite actively HAPPY with this, these days) and believe it is a necessary component of maintaining my weight from here out.
Finally, my other major rule is to put strict brakes on grazing and mindless eating. Stuff gets portioned out (according to rough guidelines I made up, much less strict now in maintenance, but took some experimenting to get right), and then put away. I do not eat straight out of containers, ever -- because it's my opinion that after junk food (and liquid calories, too, I should say, though that was never a major issue of mine) that's the fastest way to killing a goal to maintain or lose weight without tracking calories.
So again -- it can be done! And I'm ecstatic with the results just now since I'm maintaining with very little effort or concern about food at all, which is what I wanted and was afraid to hope that I'd get. But I think it needs just as much discipline and care to get it right as tracking does, if not more. It doesn't just happen because you need it to.
Again, good luck!
Height 5'8 1/2"
5K 4/21/11: 31:55
|58 Maintenance Weeks