Sandra has been successfully maintaining her 5st weight loss with Nutracheck for 25 years, and so we thought we'd ask her some questions on how she personally keeps her weight in check.
The transition from losing weight to maintaining was made easier with the diary. I worked out first what extras I was going to allow myself. These transitions included switching from skimmed milk to semi-skimmed, using olive oil instead of spray oil, and opting for wholemeal wraps rather than crackerbread. I then added in some extras to my meals, such as chips instead of a baked potato, ice cream, scone or cake with coffee. Sometimes I replaced dinner with a cheeseboard supper or just allowed myself the butter portions that come with soup and a roll in cafés.
If I find I’m still losing weight, I might add a slice of toast along with my fruit and yoghurt and a few crisps and coleslaw with lunch. When losing I always have a huge salad with beetroot, pastrami and crackerbreads. Anything can be added in – as long as it's recorded in the diary.
And of course, keep up the exercise and the steps.
I have continued using the diary every time I lost weight, and in the almost 12 years I've been with Nutracheck, I have never gained after losing by using the maintenance diary. My gains always occur when I've been away on holiday or over Christmas. After that, I'm straight back on it!
Once I'm in a rhythm, I might not write everything in the diary. For instance, I tend to eat lean all week, so I add it into my diary. However, on the weekend, I might have a pizza, cooked breakfast, alcohol, Chinese takeaway, etc. During those days, I might leave my diary blank. Nevertheless, come Monday morning, I'm back on it.
I weigh myself weekly when I'm losing weight and I have a sneaky peek during the week. I do the same when I'm maintaining my weight.
I lost my initial weight in 1998 and have been maintaining it ever since. So it's almost been 26 years.
Currently, I'm not using the diary, but that's because I've been very unwell for most of December, so my appetite has been off. I have just over 2lbs to lose after Christmas, so I will restart now. But, I have been using the Nutracheck forum that I belong to and checking my Fitbit stats on the diary to make sure I'm still burning enough off.
I still weigh myself weekly – I think that's essential. Otherwise, you may not realise that your portions are getting bigger. You may have also enjoyed one treat too many, or worse, gone back to your old bad habits. It's just not worth the feelings of despair when you see the weight going on rapidly, and I see this happening all the time on the forums.