Sometimes the best thing you can do for your weight is maintain the current number.
For some people that means not gaining weight. For others, the goal is not to lose weight.
For the last few years of her life, my mother fell into the second category. Every time we saw her doctor, he begged Mom to pack on some pounds. “You need more padding,” he told her, “in case you fall.”
I am not my mother.
I need to keep the tale of the scale from going up, not down. Because my metabolism has finally started to slow. Because I’ve lived a half a century. And then some.
Thank goodness I recently remembered a trick a friend shared: Weigh yourself daily. This was the suggestion of my lifestyle column reader, Cindy McKee. A few years back, McKee emailed me saying she’d lost 25 pounds by applying principles found in Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog,* a book I’d recommended in a column (and also in this post), and utilizing daily weigh-ins.
You may remember Cindy from the post she wrote: How I Finally Lost 25 Pounds After 32 Years of Trying Everything Else
That post is one of the top-viewed posts on my blog ever!
Afterward, to maintain her weight loss, McKee also began practicing intermittent fasting. Curious, my husband and I gave intermittent fasting a try. Pleased with the results, we still eat this way. If you’re curious about the practice, read my three posts on intermittent fasting, starting here.
In addition to intermittent fasting, Cindy follows her own advice to step on the scale each morning.
She says daily weigh-ins are an effective way to keep your weight from becoming the proverbial snowball rolling downhill, gathering girth as it goes.
I used to step on the scale once a week. That’s not enough anymore. For me, a week without a weigh-in can yield a nasty surprise.
Case in point: After our Arizona Fiesta Bowl adventure in January, the scale informed me I’d put on five pounds in as many days. Curse you unlimited Doritos and M&M’s in the ACC football officials’ hospitality suite!
I no longer get excited if my weight goes down a pound or two. Because these days, any weight loss I experience tends to be temporary, if not rare. Checking in with my scale daily helps me ensure a sudden weight gain doesn’t take me by surprise.
An increased number—often after a weekend or a week’s vacation—reminds me to be mindful of my intake going forward in terms of quantity and quality. Instead, I make it a point not to let a slight weight gain discourage me. I simply try, try again.
By the way, giving yourself grace during dieting, instead of giving up, is one of the hallmarks of people who experience long term weight-loss success.
My husband Tony Bear taught me another weight management trick.
When Tony lost 25 pounds last year (thanks to intermittent fasting), he followed Cindy’s advice. First thing every morning, he weighed in then recorded his weight.
In addition, he kept a food log. Which is a great idea. I was a group fitness instructor for 12 years and whenever people asked how to lose weight, the first thing I suggested was keeping a food diary. I talked about keeping a food diary in this post.
By keeping track of what you eat—and if you are really, specific, you can also record when and why (ie. hunger, habit, boredom, sadness)—you will be able to see the cause and effect of your dietary intake.
Case in point: This morning I weighed a pound more than yesterday. Looking at my food diary, I know why. Because yesterday I baked a strawberry rhubarb pie.
And ate a piece after supper. Warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
In the fight to not gain weight, decisions must be made.
- Portion control (ie. 12 Pretzel Cheddar Combos taste better than NO Combos. Not to mention, 12 Combos have way less calories and carbs than the entire bag!)
- Drinking a glass of water when supper is two hours away.
- Appetizer or dessert. Or neither. Sigh…
- Pasta, bread, and salad vs. steak and salad
- Midnight munch-a-thon or go to bed instead
- Exercise (Walking is a great choice!)
I’m now done “weighing-in” on this particular topic. If you have any weight loss/maintenance tricks, please comment below!