Still thinking about maintenance

Loss-Maintenance ClipartThis week I have seen quite a few people I haven’t seen for a long time, and several of them suggested that I have now lost enough weight. I don’t get swayed much by what people say, but it started me off again thinking about what maintenance will be like. That’s important, because maintenance is what I will be doing for the rest of my life.

I had a look at how many calories I am eating now, and it made pretty interesting reading. Here’s the science bit!…For the first 16 weeks after I changed my eating habits, on average I ate just over 1,000 calories a day fewer than my body needed. A year later it had fallen to about 800 calories a day. And in the last 16 weeks it is down to 650 calories a day. This isn’t surprising – a smaller body doesn’t need as many calories. And maybe when I get to a weight I am happy with, it will be only 600 calories. In other words if I continue to eat 600 calories less than my body needs, I will continue to lose weight as I do now, SO…to maintain my weight I will need to start eating 600 calories a day more.

This means that I now know what maintenance looks like for me. I need to carry on doing all the exercise I do now, and eating all the low-calorie food I eat now, but I can eat another 600 calories a day on top. That’s not much! I can think of many things I ate regularly before I changed my eating habits, where any one of them is way over 600 calories (my evening bread and cheese alone was over 1,000 calories). So maintenance is nothing at all like my old eating habits, but it’s more like my new eating habits with small tweaks. I will have to start thinking what these small tweaks might be.

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