First, those all-important numbers!…
Weight that I decided to maintain at: 85.0kg (13st 5)
Average weight since getting to my target: 83.3kg (13st 2)
Average weight in the last month: 82.6kg (13st 0)
Away Eating Days in the last month: 9
Average daily steps in the last month 10,629
I’m pleased about this, because nine days eating away is a lot, but I managed to keep reasonable control. In fact I managed to lose some weight over the month.
Of my 60-odd blogs, the one where I had the most positive feedback was about one from November 2015, called ‘Keeping it Simple’. I said in that blog that quite a few people asked me how I managed to keep my weight steady, and that they were almost always disappointed when I told them – as if I really did have a secret, but I wasn’t telling them what it was. They didn’t seem to like the truth, which was that I was doing it by keeping things very simple.
Nothing has changed! In fact I had a long conversation recently, with a lady who said that she just made sure that she ate healthily and everything else would fall into place; she didn’t even weigh herself. She was a bit overweight, but not too much at all, so she seemed to be doing well with her system. But it’s not the way that I could succeed in losing weight and maintaining it – my targets have to be clear, and I have to be able to measure them regularly. For example, following a system of ‘eating healthily’ would be no good for me, because it’s too vague – I don’t know exactly what is healthy, and I certainly don’t know how much of a ‘healthy’ food I should eat. And quite a few ‘healthy’ foods are high in calories, so they might make me healthy, but they would help me to get fat as well. So, for me, it has to be simple – I have to count calories. I suppose there is a very small risk that I will restrict my calories but still eat ‘unhealthy’ food, but such a small risk is, for me, worth taking.
The other thing that is always in my mind is that there are almost no scientific studies about how successful long-term maintainers have managed it, but there is one very good one – a study by Rena Wing and Suzanne Phelan called Long-term weight loss maintenance looked at the experiences of 1,400 people who had lost a lot of weight and who had kept it off. They found that the most successful ones continued, among other things, to eat a low-fat diet. to weigh themselves often (half of them every day), and to exercise a lot. These are simple things, so that’s what I do – I eat very little fat (good fat, bad fat or whatever), I weigh myself every morning, and I walk 10,000 steps a day. It’s not headline grabbing, it’s not very sexy, but it’s working for me!