Reader Question: What is weight maintenance like?

I’d like to hear about how maintenance is going for you. Do you still track the food that you eat? What do you continue monitor closely and have you eased up on any aspects?

Since 2012, I’ve lost about 75 pounds, most of it between January and October of that year.  There were a few key components that helped me achieve this.  I discovered healthy food swaps, slowly ramped up exercise duration and intensity and began following the Weight Watchers “lifestyle” (not “diet”).  Once I reached my goal weight, I transitioned from intentionally trying to lose weight to learning to maintain my weight.

The shift in gears was… interesting.  By the time I transitioned to maintaining my weight, I pretty much had the food and eating end down pat.  The hard part was the mental aspect: knowing when and how much to loosen the reigns.  I was afraid that if I loosened too much that I might not stay in control, but if I didn’t loosen enough that I would burn out.

In the end, the philosophy that struck the right balance was the philosophy that helped me succeed with the loss: just a dot, not a lot.  The “dots” may be more frequent or even slightly larger now.  The concept is still the same: portion control, not deprivation.  (I will add, however, that there are a few foods that I simply won’t have in the house, because portion control isn’t possible.  Thankfully, they’re not foods that I really like, just foods that are difficult to stop eating.)

For example, a sampling from this cheese tray was something that I recently chose to enjoy.  I would have declined before switching to maintenance.  (It was as delicious as it looks.)

IMG_0644

I still plan my food days in advance (usually the night before), track almost all of my food and attend a weekly Weight Watchers meeting.  In all honesty, I don’t currently foresee a time that this would change.  The weekly meetings are enjoyable.  It give me a little boost and I’m hopefully able to pay back to others some of the support and encouragement that I received along my way.  This blog is another way that I hope to repay the kindness that I received during my journey.

As for what I monitor closely, I do still monitor very closely my potion sizes.  My kitchen scale is used many times a day.  I do not monitor fruits and veggies.  Being hungry is not an option, so I turn to whole fruits and veggies whenever I need them, without worrying about overconsumption.  Without a doubt, they’re a far better option than anything else that I would otherwise choose.

Note: If you have a question, feel free to send me a message through the blog or through Facebook.

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