Now you’ve met your goal weight and body fat percentage, it’s time to start weight maintenance. This is the point where people usually start to panic. The diet industry rarely shares what it takes to maintain weight loss (or weight gain) forever, so dieters don’t know what they need to change to stop losing (or gaining) weight.
The wait is over. Now I’ll reveal the ONE step you must take to move from weight loss or weight gain to lifetime weight maintenance.
Calorie intake falls into three categories: gain, maintenance, and loss. Eating above your maintenance range causes weight gain, for example, eating 500 calories over maintenance will make you gain a pound in seven days. With regards to weight loss, eating 500 calories under your maintenance range will make you lose a pound each week.
So how do you stop losing or gaining?
Adjust your calorie intake.
If you’ve been losing weight, now is the time to eat more food. Increa se your calories until weight loss stops. Just keep in mind that your weight might rise because of the sudden increase in calories. However, this is only a temporary gain, not fat just water weight from the extra food. Anyone who has been gaining weight now needs to eat less food.
Before former losers start celebrating that they can eat lots of food, stop! If you overeat again, you’ll regain all the weight you’ve lost and possibly even more. You must increase the calories slowly so you can stop eating more before passing the boundary between weight maintenance and weight (re)gain.
For losers it might feel strange to suddenly eat more food, so increasing your food intake by 100 calories every few days until the weight loss stops is an effective method. This also reduces the chance of a weight gain spike. Don’t worry, maintaining control over your increased calorie intake is easy! Just add more portions to every meal (not until you’re uncomfortably full), add snacks throughout the day (ideally healthy options like granola bars), or even drink some calories (juice and flavoured water instead of alcohol). If you’re ending your weight gain journey, just do the opposite. Gradually reducing your calories means you won’t feel deprived.
This is the ONE step that all maintainers should take, but some may have another change to make. Some experts believe that successful weight maintainers should increase the duration of their exercise sessions, but the recommended 60 minutes a day should be good enough for most. I’ve even seen some maintainers who exercise LESS than in weight loss mode, so experiment until you discover what suits your needs.
There you have it. The one step to move from weight loss to weight maintenance is a controlled increase in calories. Overeating will lead to regain and take you straight back to being overweight or obese, so increase your calories slowly and remain under control. For anyone who gained weight, undereating will make you underweight again, so remember to eat enough calories to maintain your weight or you’ll have to regain.
By following this one easy step, you can start to maintain your weight today. Before you do, make sure that your weight maintenance range is right; it is a VERY important tool for knowing when that temporary weight gain spike caused by increased calorie intake has started to become permanent fat regain. Good luck, maintainer!