You probably set your goal weight some time ago without really knowing whether it was an appropriate target for you. Along the journey towards this goal you will have learned a lot about your body and how it responds to fasting and to the food you eat. You will have seen changes in your shape as well as your weight and may have changed your mind about your final target.
As you get closer to your target weight, you will probably find your weight loss is slowing or maybe it seems to have stopped. Perhaps you are wondering whether you will be able to reach the target you set yourself. It is time to think about maintenance strategies. The first question is: when exactly should I enter maintenance?
It’s time to enter maintenance when:
You’ve reached your target weight, you have a healthy weight/waist measurement and you look and feel just great!
You’ve not reached your target weight but you have stopped losing weight and don’t feel that you could sustain adding more fasts or more restrictive eating.
It might be time to enter maintenance when:
You’ve not reached your target weight but your family and friends are saying that you are looking too thin – get them to take some photos of you for you to see what you look like to others (sometimes the mirror is not an accurate guide).
You’ve reached your target weight and although you’re still carrying a bit more fat than you’d really like your weight loss has slowed dramatically.
You are feeling that the fasts are becoming hard work.
It’s not time to enter maintenance when:
You’ve reached your target weight but your waist still measures more than half of your height and you are still losing weight relatively easily.
You have not reached a healthy weight but family and friends are suggesting you stop now – it’s your decision when to stop not theirs!
Once you have decided that it is time or nearly time to enter maintenance, you’ll need to think about whether you need to change your current Way of Eating and how you’ll monitor your weight, what rules you’ll set for allowed weight gain/loss before taking action and, importantly, how to keep motivated so that you will successfully maintain your lower weight in the long term.
What fasting method is best for weight maintenance?
Some people find they need to reduce the amount they are fasting when they reach maintenance because they continue to lose weight. Others find that they can continue with their previous fasting method but allow themselves to eat a little more, say increasing their fast day calorie allowance from 500 to 700 calories. There are many different fasting strategies that will work well for weight maintenance.