Wed, Aug 20, 2008
Ive lost all the weight I want to lose and I am actually more stressed out now than ever. I know how to lose but how do I maintain??
This is one of those questions for the ages huh? Rumor has it (and I say rumor because I could not locate any hard science to back this up) 95 percent of all weight loss is, eventually, regained.
Whether this statistic is high or not—-we are all painfully aware that every pound shed is an enormous effort while each pound regained? easy as
ben & jerry’s pie!
I almost didnt answer this question (see? Im honest!) as my fear was precisely that: I dont have an answer.
What I do have, however, are a few tips which worked for me and an entire Bumbling Band whom Im confident is ready & willing to chime in.
I am a believer in giving away the too-big clothes (and never referring to them using the F-word, but that’s a post for a different day).
Get them out of your closet. Period.
Im also a believer in selecting a pair of scale bottoms (pants, skirt, shorts. anything sans-elastic waist) which fit perfectly at goal weight and using them as a barometer for quick check-ins to see if youve gained a pound or three.
Make your choice a realistic one.
Dont choose your pair of skinny jeans (Im actually not certain what this phrase means—-if it’s referring to a TREND or jeans one fits into when skinny).
Pick an article of clothing which fits and is *realistic* as far as remaining something which will fit (if we’re honest with ourselves I think we all know what I mean here. if not—hit me up in the comments).
Losing the weight slowly means you are more likely to have lost it permanently (again something we all are aware of but, in our immediate gratification society, always bears repeating).
I also needed to lose the weight using an exercise program which was realistic for me to continue after I hit my goal weight.
Many people cite stopping the exercise program they used while losing as the main reason they regain pounds shed.
I also believe that crucial to my maintaining was that the changes Id made had become my lifestyle.
My portions werent tinytiny but they were portions no longer buffets.
I ate breakfast every morning so that my metabolism was sparked immediately.
I walked when I could instead of driving.
I surrounded myself with healthy, *optimistic* and lifeloving friends.
The difficult piece in maintaining becomes, for many, CALORIES.
The question of how many to consume, while still exercising, to stop losing yet not regain.
(any dietitians in the house? feel free to add your .02 below!)
For me this wasnt an issue. I increased what I ate mainly in the arenas of protein and (good) fat & found that I did gain a pound or so but not much more than that.
I also discovered that, through this increase, my hair looked better and my joints felt less achy (fat, People. It’s our friend!).
If youre not a fan of trial & error there are places where you can calculate what your caloric intake should be to maintain a given weight and we discussed one method of calculating that same number in this Viewer Mail, too.
Ive been told by nutritionist friends that the 250 plan is one which they recommend.
Start by adding 250 calories to your current diet (and no. they didnt say what type of calories so, Im assuming, they’re depending on us to make ‘good choices’ ).
After a week or so weigh yourself/try on those scale-bottoms.
If you lost weight add another 250 calories to your daily intake.
Gained weight (which, Id imagine, would be rare) cut back and return to what you’d been eating.
Remained the same? VOILA. There’s your new food plan. Play around with it (adding in treat meals etc) and enjoy!
And this was the short version of my answer (you can thank me in the comments) as I know that everyone’s experience is unique and hope that the COMMENTversation can generate even more tips & hints for our emailer.
Why don’t I overtrain when I follow a halfmarathon running program???
(this next question is THANKFULLY answered not by me but by Nitmos of Feet Meet Street)
You have to pick the right plan? You have to trust the plan?
By “right” plan, I mean you have to select a plan that STARTS with the correct assumption about your STARTING abilities.
Half marathons are, of course, long distances. There are training programs that assume you are already a runner and can handle 4-5 mile runs and go from there with the plan.
There are other so-called “couch to race” training plans for people who, starting out, don’t run at all.
The training programs are different. As long as you matched the training program – both the starting expectation and the race goal expectation (i.e. the ultimate goal is just to get you to the finish vs. goal is to contend for your age group place) – with your starting ability and ultimate race goal, you should be fine.
You can handle it.
The running experts who create these plans have years of experience and know how build you up.
Thanks Nitmos. Any runners out there with other tips, thoughts or cautionary tales? Please to hit us all up in the comments.