... that's my question for today ... "Maintaining weight loss for Dummies"? Wouldn't it be a best seller?
Mmm - I think not - it seems boring, unsexy [is that a word?] and tedious. In fact, the word always reminds me of car maintenance, leaving your car at the garage/shop/mechanics while they do some tinkering and charge you a fortune for it.
I suspect there are no books about maintenance because there is no easily identifiable target market. For weight loss books, it is pretty simple -- they are for the overweight people. And in our society that is a large percentage of the population. Doesn't the success of weight loss books rely on the fact that fundamentally people are always searching for a quick fix? So they buy book after book looking for the secret to simple, easy, painless shrinkage.
But how many former fatties who have reached their goal are there??
Well I suspect there are a few. But the paths taken to reach that goal are many and varied and the techniques needed to keep of the pounds are directly related to the method you used to lose weight in the first place.
The way I see it, there are 3 ways to lose weight
1. Eat less fat
2. Eat less carbs
3. Eat less calories
or (d) all of the above or (e) two of the above
then add to that one of the following
4. lots of cardio
5. lots of strength training
or (d) all of the above
Find the point at which you cease losing weight, or alternatively where you don't gain weight and then increase what you limited in the first place -- more carbs, more fats, more calories etc. or simply eat more of what you are eating now.
You can add a cheat meal/day once a week and diet the rest of the week or you add a little more food/carbs/fats everyday.
If you exercise daily, you can ease off to 2 or 3 times a week. But can you eat more and exercise less? Probably, but you would have to tread carefully.
The goal is to set up a lifestyle that you can live for the rest of your life - the right amount/types of food and the right amount of exercise.
For me it is important to satisfy any feelings of deprivation [which are not so much the way I eat]. So I have been using my carb re-feeds to find out what I really want back in my life.
The things I thought I wanted, I found out weren't quite as good as I remembered.
Pizza? Doesn't need a crust to taste good
Chips/Fries? Taste like stale oil - oven fried sweet potato is better
Real cheesecake? Low carb is just as good
Pasta? don't miss it
Chocolate? too sickly sweet
The high carb things I want back in my life are healthy choices -- sweet potato, rolled oats, organic corn chips, raisin toast [maybe not so healthy!].
I can either eat carbs every day that I strength train, I can have a cheat meal once or twice a week or I can carb load for one whole day. I can cycle carbs [low med high days] or cycle calories. I can work to find out my critical carb load and stay under that.
There are so many options, and we haven't even started exploring the exercise options. There is also a whole chapter that should be written on "I hope I haven't given myself an eating disorder"!
That's why I think there should be a book or two about maintenance which incidentally I think should be called something else ... "maintaining the rage" - "keeping the faith" - "working the system".
If no-one writes one soon - I might just do it myself.