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June 16, 2010 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Maintaining Current Weight vs. Gaining or Losing. How do I keep steady and not fluctuate?

I have lost a lot of weight over the past year through better eating and exercise habits. I am finally at the point where I would like to maintain a healthy weight and frankly I do not know how to do that since I have been in losing mode for so long.

I continue to steadily lose. Now that I have identified a very close, attainable cutoff point, how do I meet and keep this? Eating less healthy, upping fat consumption, and relaxing my exercise regimen is not an option. Any advice and suggestions appreciated.
posted by terrier319 to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Eat more of the same foods you are currently eating and continue exercising.
posted by axismundi at 6:46 PM on June 16, 2010

Assuming you've used some kind of method to track your food intake over the period of your weight loss, just start adding a little here and there. Add 100 calories per day for a week, for example, and see what effect it has. If you're still losing, add a little more the next week.

You say that you don't want to increase fat consumption, but you're going to have to increase something in your diet, and one of the easiest ways to add calories is to add a little more olive oil when you're cooking. I know that when I'm in weight loss mode I tend to use cooking spray or very little oil, much less than recipes typically call for.
posted by something something at 6:56 PM on June 16, 2010

On Weight Watchers, when you reach your goal weight, you enter maintenance for six weeks. During that time, you experiment with gradually adding more "points" to your daily ration, a week at a time, to determine whether that amount of food will result in you gaining, losing or maintaining. So using that model but focusing on calories rather than points, you could add, say, 100 calories per day to your diet for a week and see what happens, then adjust accordingly.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:58 PM on June 16, 2010

Keep in mind that achieving and maintaining a certain weight is not itself your goal, it's just an easily quantified and measured indicator of your true goals of fitness, health, feeling good, looking attractive, etc. So once you've achieved your target, I think subjective assessments of how easy/difficult exercise is, how your clothes fit, how energetic you feel, etc. are more useful than the number on the scale. Especially if your exercise routine continues to build muscle, which is denser than fat and thus sometimes makes you gain weight without getting fatter.

But if you'd rather stick with the quantifiable measurement, then weighing yourself every day and adjusting your total calorie intake up/down as necessary (by eating more/less of the healthy foods you're already eating) would help you keep yourself within a couple of pounds of your desired weight.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:18 PM on June 16, 2010

Pretty much seconding, thirding? what everyone has said. I was in weight lost mode until I reached the healthy weight for my height. Admittedly I'm a bit lazy and the first thing to go was exercise. I was doing weights twice a week and cardio the other 5 days. I dropped weights and only do cardio a max of 3 times a week. However, I didn't stray too far from my healthy eating habits. The point I'm going for here is similar to what everyone has mentioned. As long as you balance out your calories, you will be able to stay in maintainence mode.

I advise looking up the healthy weight range for your height. There are many sites that can approximate the amount of calories you need to consume given your daily activities. Start adding more healthy fats to your diet and maybe even up your portions.
posted by vilandra at 8:34 PM on June 16, 2010

the "Forever" section of the Hacker's Diet explains it nicely
posted by jrishel at 6:53 AM on June 17, 2010

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