Deciding I was done losing weight was an anxiety ridden process for me. I had never kept my weight stable in my entire life and been happy about it. Not to mention all the panic I had about what would happen when I stopped dieting after working my ass of to lose weight (literally) for 18 months. Having been maintaining for a year now, I think it is safe to say my world did not end and I did not get fat again.
I think it is important once you are at a healthy weight to eventually decide you are maintaining. I think it is liberating because making that mental switch will make you much more relaxed about your eating/ exercising. I’m not saying it’s one giant party with cheat meals all the time, but personally, I don’t feel the need to count calories or really put much mental effort into it. I just eat when I’m hungry (or occasionally just for fun) and exercise regularly. I don’t panic as much when my weight has minor fluctuations, I know it is a reality of life.
I think setting an adjustable final goal weight is very useful for staying motivated. You may also benefit from setting smaller milestones along the way. You should probably set it within a healthy BMI and body fat percentage.
When it comes down to it, specific weights/ BF% don’t matter. Try to figure out an approximate range, but decide by how your body feels. The weight that you feel best at may also change if you gain muscle since you can be leaner at a higher weight.
What will it feel like at your ideal weight?
- When you are maintaining at your ideal weight, staying there shouldn’t be much of a struggle.
- You will feel balanced and energetic.
- You should be able to eat based on normal nutritional recommendations without your body fighting you.
Keep in mind…
- Different diseases and conditions could get in the way of figuring this out. You could be at a healthy weight but not feel energetic because of any number of chronic conditions, a less than optimal diet or sleep deprivation.
- Your body type will influence what weight may be realistic. For example someone with a stockier build and denser bones vs. someone built like a marathon runner.
- It is always a good idea to consult with a professional about what your goals should be. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietician to know what is best for you.