Health & Wellness Articles

Your Nutrition Plan for Weight Maintenance

How to Adjust Your Calories after Reaching Your Weight Loss Goal

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Congratulations on reaching your goal weight! This article will help you figure out how to use SparkPeople’s tools just as effectively to maintain your weight as you have used them to lose that weight in the first place. Make sure you’re logged in now so that the links below will work for you.

Step 1: Update Your Calorie Range
Now that you’ve lost weight and are working to maintain that success, you’ll have to adjust your weight goal to get a new calorie range for weight maintenance.

Action Steps:
  1. Go to your Start Page.
  2. Locate your my Trackers column (on the left side), and scroll down to the My Goals section.
  3. Locate your weight goal (“Go from X to X by this date”) and click “Change” next to it.
  4. On the next page, simply plug in your new weight as both your “current weight” and your “target weight.” Then change the “by when” date so it’s at least six months down the road.
  5. Click the “Save Your Changes” button to update your program and return to your Start Page.
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your fitness goals, now’s the time to make sure they are accurate too. The amount of exercise you do will affect your calorie needs, so here’s how to update your fitness goals for accuracy.

Action Steps:
  1. Go to your Start Page.
  2. Locate your my Trackers column (on the left side), and scroll down to the My Goals section.
  3. Locate your calorie-burning goal (“Burn X calories per week”) and click “Change” next to it.
  4. On the next page, make sure the amount of cardio exercise you currently do (and plan to continue with) is accurately entered.
  5. Click the “Save Your Changes” button to update your program and return to your my Fitness page.
Updating your weight and fitness goals will recalculate your recommended calorie range, if necessary, to provide you with enough calories to maintain energy balance and stabilize your weight. You can find your new calorie range at the bottom of your my Trackers column on your Start Page and on your my Nutrition page. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
  • Your recommended calorie range for maintenance may or may not change very much. If you updated your weight a regular basis and/or slowed down your rate of weight loss as you got closer to goal, your calorie range probably won’t change much.
     
  • If you’re planning to make any future changes in the amount of exercise or activity you do on a regular basis, you’ll need to update your exercise goals again (using the action steps above), because changes in your activity level will affect your calorie needs. SparkPeople recommends that you don’t make any major changes in your exercise program during this initial period of transitioning into maintenance mode. Learn more about exercising to maintain your weight.
     
  • If your calorie recommendations increased significantly, it is important for you to work your way up to your new range gradually. SparkPeople recommends that you add no more than 200 calories to your daily intake initially, and then you wait for at least a week to see what happens. Repeat this until you reach a calorie level that stops your weight loss but doesn’t cause a weight increase. Continued ›
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

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