Over the weekend someone asked how I was doing on my winter weight goals. This athlete, Kevin, and I are sharing the same journey this winter - trying to maintain weight.
The short answer is I’m maintaining my weight and so is Kevin. We discussed some of the things that we think are contributing to our success, perhaps one of these tips will help you too:
- Start the weigh-in process while your weight is “good”. In past years I didn’t worry about stepping on the scale from May to November or maybe as late as February. My weight is typically “good” in these months, so I didn’t worry about weight. I only decided to check the scale when I thought there might be a problem.
Oh there was a problem alright, a big one. How did six pounds suddenly appear?
Once I was over my comfortable weight, the scale became my enemy. If my once-per-week weigh-in news was bad, I felt bad. That resulted in one of the following:
- Oh well, I’ll be better next week.
- Screw this entire weight loss program. I’ve been starving myself and the scale isn’t changing. I just as well eat brownies, enjoy beer and chips.
- I’m going to have to try completely eliminating (pick any…bread, cookies, chips, alcohol, cheese, etc.) to see if that makes a difference. (It only made me want the eliminated food more.)
- Maybe I need to add more exercise? After all, sans my exercise sessions I just sit at my desk answering e-mails, working on training plans and typing articles. Maybe I need a treadmill desk for winter? This usually resulted in some type of retail therapy…after looking online for a treadmill desk set-up.
Because I started weigh-in when my weight was good (a few weeks after the last race of the season), the scale isn’t the enemy.
- Weigh yourself every day or two. In past years I weighed in weekly. Once per week just isn’t a good picture of what weight is doing. Within the week, my weight can fluctuate a couple of pounds anyway. It’s tougher to spot a trend with four data points per month versus 16 or more.
- No deprivation of things you enjoy, only portion control. In the past, once I was already over my goal weight, I took drastic measures to get my weight backunder control. I deprived myself of foods I enjoy. Currently, I still enjoy those foods, but I really watch portion size. That means no eating mindlessly out of a bag. Most of the time I take a serving size, close the bag and go enjoy the food. Though I don’t have to do this in summer, I must do it in the winter.
As my cycling buddies (there are a few others that are trying to do the same thing as Kevin and I) continue the winter weight maintenance journey, I’ll keep you posted on what helps us maintain weight and what things get us into trouble.