I am finally ready for maintenance but I have no idea how to start!

It's been a long, hard 9 month journey and I've said goodbye to 64.6 pounds. I just bought my very first pair of size 5/6 jeans. I nearly cried.

I'd be delighted to loose maybe just a few more pounds but I am extremely happy with where I'm at in my journey. So now what? How do I even start maintaining? Do I simply keep doing what I'm doing? Do I get to add back calories and carbs (I'm a keto girl) until I find I am starting to gain a bit back? How does this part of the journey work?


  • seska422
    seska422 Posts: 3,218 Member
    I just kept doing what I was doing with a slightly larger calorie budget.

    Just like weight loss, maintenance is about calorie balance. However, shifting from a deficit to maintenance will replenish your glycogen, especially if you were doing keto and are now moving away from it, so don't be surprised if you gain a few pounds of water weight during the shift. Some will lose a few extra pounds before shifting to maintenance so that the slight gain will land them at their goal.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    edited December 2017
    Adjust your calories based on how fast you were losing the last month. For example, if you were losing .5 per week as recommended, up your calories by 125 this week and 125 next week. If you don't want to eat more food, eat more calorie dense food, like peanut butter or avocado or ice cream, or add in a little extra butter or olive oil when cooking.
    If you decrease your activity/exercise schedule ( I don't recommend that personally), adjust your calories accordingly.
    Set yourself a 5-10 lb maintenance range. Continue weighing frequently, at least weekly. When you get the top or bottom of your range, adjust your calories by 100-200 per day til you get back to mid range.
    Join the Maintainers Weekly Check In thread in this forum if you would like some accountability to keep on track.
  • geltner1
    geltner1 Posts: 85 Member
    The main thing to do is to keep on logging your meals. I've been maintaining for 4 months. Just got home from vacation one pound heavier. I wasn't logging meals on vacation and I ate well! I'm pleased to be back on MFP and starting to lost the extra pound slowly. Congratulations to you on your weight loss!
  • w8goal4life
    w8goal4life Posts: 1,375 Member
    I am starting maintenance, again, in January. I was in maintenance for 4+ years until the tracking site I previously used shut down in early 2017. Come November 2017 I had about 8 lbs to lose to attain my ideal weight, which I achieved over 2 months time with MFP tracking. Maintaining is a balancing act between calories and exercise. Times you are more active will allow you more calories, with the inverse to be true during more sedentary periods. I've never considered that I was dieting...but rather I have a nutrition plan which often needs daily adjustments for fine tuning. Continuity in logging is key to continued success. I might recommend you join this accountability challenge for which several of the participants are in maintenance: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/group/124052-ultimate-accountability-challenge-january-2018
    Congratulations on your success!
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    I have been in maintenance for the last 6 months or so.
    I kept doing what I was doing (logging) and chose to go up only in the weekends and this banking my calories more for then. So far it seems to be working for me.
    I have to admit though I did eat a standard diet throughout and tapered myself to maintenance So the last bit took forever but for me it made going into maintenance easier
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    Keep doing what you've been doing only now you get more calories to eat. If you were losing 0.5lb a week for example then that means an extra 250 cals a day.

    Congrats on reaching goal :smile:
  • kimie54
    kimie54 Posts: 24 Member
    I'm in this same place. It's kind of scary.
  • SummerSkier
    SummerSkier Posts: 3,765 Member
    jenilla1 wrote: »
    It's been almost 7 years since I started maintenance. I just kept doing exactly what I did during weight loss, but raised my calorie limits up to the estimated maintenance level. I still kept losing a little at first, so I added calories back until I stopped losing. I've been OK ever since. There's no special secret to maintenance. Good luck! :)

    EXACTLY!! I started to "level out my loss" in Oct and I keep increasing my calories every week or so and watching the trend. I am up to about 2000 cals in which is a LOT more than I expected at 5'1 plus and petite.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,888 Member

    I agree with slowly increasing your calories until you aren't losing anymore. Many people keep up their logging in maintenance. There are some folks here who have stopped logging after being in maintenance for some time, but I am worried about gradually slipping back into my old habits, so continuing to log works well for me.
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    edited January 2018
    Are you using a weight trend app like Happy Scale or Libra?

    If so, you'll be accustomed to normal weight fluctuations and won't freak out when you add back carbs and your water weight jumps a couple of pounds.

    Don't panic! It's not fat!!

    If you think the scale number is going to do your head in, lose a few more pounds (if you must), but I don't recommend being tied to the number any more, if you're planning on a recomp.

    When entering maintenance, it's also important to get accustomed to the fact that you are very, very likely to need to eat at a deficit again sooner rather than later, if only for a day or two here or there.

    Maintenance is a constant game of tweaks and adjustments. Unless you want to gain it all back. :wink:

    (Been maintaining 20 months and logging daily.)