I'm one of those people who loses the weight... then gains it back over a year or two... then loses it... then gains it back... repeat. Obviously, I get to my goal and don't have any good maintenace strategies when life gets in the way. I'm up 15 pounds and I'm starting to work on it, but I want to do things differently. Here's my thought about how to approach it differently: Instead of looking at the calories I'm eating and burning as something I'm mnanaging directly, I want to look at it as the output of my habits. So, instead of starting with the strategy of "I'm going to eat 1700 calories," I want to look at what I'm eating and say "Hm, I've been going back for seconds and sometimes a dessert at dinner ... I wonder what would happen if I started focusing on building the habit of not having seconds or desserts at dinner more than once a week?" and then look at my calorie intake over a few weeks as an output of that habit change telling me if it's taking me in the right direction. Or, another example: asking myself, "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I started walking two miles in the morning?" then observing my energy balance to see if I end up in a bigger deficit. My thought is that this will end up with me building and relying on repeatable habits that work for me and can be used even if I'm tracking losely or traveling or whatever. Building up maintenance habits while losing, which I have failed to do in the past.
From your experience, does that make sense?