Thoughts on Maintenance
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I'm still a few pounds away from my goal weight, but I'm trying to get mentally prepared for the transition into maintenance. I've been reading articles and thinking about the best strategy to enter this phase.
What I've come to realize is that my habits can't change significantly. I will be able to eat a little more (about 200-300 calories more per day) and exercise a little less.
Two hundred calories is not a lot. It's a snack. It's a slightly larger portion at dinner. It's a small indulgence. So basically, I will have to continue my current eating habits, but I'll have more wiggle room. I need to be careful not to think that I can eat whatever I want (french fries and pizza!) once I reach my goal weight. I will still need to limit these foods to small amounts on rare occasions.
The exercise part is tricky. I know myself pretty well, and I know that if I don't continue to exercise consistently, I will fall of the wagon. Hard. I need the exercise to keep my eating in check. I won't have to work quite as hard in the gym, but I will still need to go 5 times a week. I think that will be my biggest challenge. It's easy to exercise when I see direct results, but will my motivation go away when I am no longer trying to beat the scale? I plan to focus more on building muscle. Hopefully that will be enough motivation to keep going.
Meanwhile, I'm still working on keeping a positive attitude so that I'm ready to face this challenge when I get there.