Saturday, June 9, 2012

Be tough, not moderate- for weight maintenance

I'm picking a rule, with a sub-rule from Refuse to Regain (by Barbara Berkeley, MD) to write about. My opinions are my own, your experience may vary.  I would highly recommend the book.

This cactus grew in a tough spot!
Be tough, not moderate: Avoid moderation strategies.

This was a huge concept for me. I had fallen into the conventional wisdom trap of believing that "every thing in moderation" would work. I figured could happily grab a "snack sized highly processed" food item and be OK. Snack wells, 100 calorie packs, and mini-snack bites just are not the kinds of foods I can eat and maintain my weight.  I don't touch that stuff now.

What worked for me

  1. Eating within a structured plan, predetermined items. Made the break cold turkey, not bit by bit. 
  2. Eating every so many hours, most of the time. My hunger does not always speak the truth.
  3. Eating a medium sized  meal, most of the time. My full button is broken and always will be.
  4. Eating only foods that do not cause me to want to eat continuously. Some foods trigger me.

 What did not work for me
  1. Eliminating food items in baby steps ( I needed a whole new normal, all at once)
  2. Eating when I felt hungry ( I can feel hungry for about 5 different non-food reasons)
  3. Eating until I'm full and no more. (again my full button is broken)
  4. Eating trigger foods, even a little bit.( I still encounter a trigger food from time to time, easy to tell, and I can eliminate that food from my choices)
Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.


  1. I don't have any maintenance experience tips to share yet as I'm just approaching it myself (five pounds left to go), HOWEVER, hope you don't mind if I adopt yours, because they reflect my feelings exactly. As a matter of fact, I think these eight "mantras" will go on my refrigerator door today. These same things worked/did not work for me while losing. Why in the world would I think it should change just because I am maintaining. A trigger food has no clue whether I'm at goal or not. It just wants me to EAT it and then wants me to crave more of it!!! Thanks, Garden Girl!!

  2. You are welcome!!! I feel the need to record what does and doesn't work for me. That way , when life changes up, I can take what does work and change that up , too, so my weight maintenance goal comes along with me.

    Glad you are adopting what works for you. Still a lot work without the trigger foods, yet so much easier, too! Sometimes watching what trigger food is set out at different places, it's amazing that I made it to goal weight 2 other times. My food choices matter so much.

    Karen P

  3. There are VERY FEW people who can eat whatever they dream up in moderation. Most all of us have things we have to totally avoid to maintain.

    Some of us have more things than others. I have a lot as I have secondary conditions that are triggered by certain foods. And then I also have the emotional/chemical trigger foods too.

    I think that wheat is often a problem simply because it is almost always
    1. Processed
    2. Combined with additives

    So even if someone is not gluten sensitive, wheat can be a real problem.

    I also think the combination of salt and sugar has a sort of seesaw effect. Eat salt, crave sugar, eat sugar, crave salt.

    I also think baking soda/powder adds to that mix.