I have been loosing and gaining the same 7kg (approx 15lbs) for almost 20 years now and never had been able to stay in maintenance for more than a couple of weeks. As I am heading to my maintenance level again, I am desperate to find a way to make it last.
It is not too difficult for me to live within 1200 kcal limit when I have started to lose weight, but when I allow myself to eat more, it quickly gets out of control. And when it is out of control, it takes a lot of time and effort to get back on track.
Usually, things get out of control during events when a lot of really delicious and special food is being served. As my work involves attending many events and I have also active social life, such situations happen quite often - sometimes even several times a week. When I am in the weight-loss phase, I really prepare mentally for these events and mostly can resist the temptation and to focus on my goal. It means that maybe I eat +300 or +500 kcal on that day, but I am still on track. However, when I am in the maintenance phase, I find it really difficult to find the motivation to be so restrictive to myself.
On the other hand, during ordinary days without events, sometimes when I get back home, I do not feel hungry, but see that I still have to consume 500-700 more calories to reach normal maintenance level. And as I do not want to "lose" these, I make myself something for dinner even if I do not really want it.
Therefore I have started to wonder if I could make my maintenance more sustainable by introducing the system when I can "save" the calories for future events. For example, if I "save" 300 kcal for 6 days, it would give me 1800 extra kcal to "spend" during the event. I guess it would help me to overcome the feelings "I have overeaten so much, that I am a failure" (if I give-in) or "I am not sure if being in my best weight is worth it, if I have to restrict myself so much" (if I manage not to give-in).
Has anybody tried such an approach? If so, what tools do you use for tracking your "savings"? I have not found that it is possible to do this with MFP, so I have Google Sheet for "savings" - I do not think it is a good idea long term. Maybe somebody knows good reasons why "saving" strategy is not something one should try?