A lot of trial-and-error comes into play on the maintenance stage, I found. I usually give myself some sort of buffer. I choose five pounds either way (losing too much/gaining too much). That range provides a little wiggle-room so you're not constantly stuck in the "diet" mindset and can eat on your terms -- which sound wonderful.
Otherwise, I found options are adjusting the food, adjusting the exercise or adjusting the mindset.
Food: I did find nutrition bars or a serving of almonds are a great "calorie buffer" when I'm just needing pure calories. I think of them like my vitamins in the morning. Something nutrient dense that can be easily removed as you so wish.
Exercise: ditch a day of exercise until you're at the range you want. Alternately, find a different routine to learn. Usually what I do; I know my calorie-burning exercises and my strength/stability/flexibility exercises, and I mix and match all those depending on my and my body's needs.
Mindset: Why'd you lose weight? Was a higher goal at mind? How many other ways can that goal be met you haven't tried yet? Were there things you were reluctant to do/try pre-weight loss? One big thing I learned is by focusing on expanding life in the same way I shrank my body, all the mechanics of diet/exercise/weight loss sort of fade into the background ... they don't require the Intense Focus they used to. Largely because I"m going after the kind of life I imagined post-weight.
You rock, congratulations and welcome! Onward!
Best, Russ Lane
Team Leader, SteadySpark: At Goal + Maintaining
Lost 200 pounds and maintained it 10 years Chef, journalist and hardcore Whovian Founder, WKIO, wekeepitoff.com
Hi and congratulations on reaching maintenance. You ask about the dangers. If you continue to live the lifestyle it is fine just adding a few more healthy calories until you find the right balance. However, I have found that when there is stress added, old habits can try to assert themselves and it is at times when like that things can regress. The good thing about staying with Sparks is that there is accountability at work and it soon pulls you back on course. All the very best for maintaining. You are a winner already. WooHoo.
"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew." Saint Francis de Sales
I'm going to try one more time to introduce myself - it wouldn't work for me last night. I've reached my goal of losing 30 lbs (actually 34 now) and don't want to lose much more (that would take me at age 57 back to where I was at 30 & teaching 6 aerobics classes/week, and I don't even want to try to maintain that). I've really worked at learning a new lifestyle (not dieting) and so it feels wrong to say, OK, now add more food, or reduce your exercise. I haven't been hungry, and don't want to eat "just because I'm not at the right range". I also don't want the temptation to add more "treats" just because more calories are recommended -- I want to continue to make healthy choices.
I hope to find support and encouragement from you folks who have been in the Maintaing Stage a while -- what works for you? what dangers have you encountered?
Blessings to all -- Susie
"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress." I Timothy 4:15
1 Cor. 10:23 "Everything is permissable, but not everything is beneficial." (NIV)
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