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Your Nutrition Plan for Weight Maintenance

How to Adjust Your Calories after Reaching Your Weight Loss Goal
  -- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert
Congratulations on reaching your goal weight! This article will help you figure out how to use SparkPeople’s tools just as effectively to maintain your weight as you have used them to lose that weight in the first place. Make sure you’re logged in now so that the links below will work for you.

Step 1: Update Your Calorie Range
Now that you’ve lost weight and are working to maintain that success, you’ll have to adjust your weight goal to get a new calorie range for weight maintenance.

Action Steps:
  1. Go to your Start Page.
  2. Locate your my Trackers column (on the left side), and scroll down to the My Goals section.
  3. Locate your weight goal (“Go from X to X by this date”) and click “Change” next to it.
  4. On the next page, simply plug in your new weight as both your “current weight” and your “target weight.” Then change the “by when” date so it’s at least six months down the road.
  5. Click the “Save Your Changes” button to update your program and return to your Start Page.
If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your fitness goals, now’s the time to make sure they are accurate too. The amount of exercise you do will affect your calorie needs, so here’s how to update your fitness goals for accuracy.

Action Steps:
  1. Go to your Start Page.
  2. Locate your my Trackers column (on the left side), and scroll down to the My Goals section.
  3. Locate your calorie-burning goal (“Burn X calories per week”) and click “Change” next to it.
  4. On the next page, make sure the amount of cardio exercise you currently do (and plan to continue with) is accurately entered.
  5. Click the “Save Your Changes” button to update your program and return to your my Fitness page.
Updating your weight and fitness goals will recalculate your recommended calorie range, if necessary, to provide you with enough calories to maintain energy balance and stabilize your weight. You can find your new calorie range at the bottom of your my Trackers column on your Start Page and on your my Nutrition page. Here are a few other things to keep in mind: Step Two: Restart Your Experiment of One
Like your weight loss calorie range, SparkPeople’s recommendation for weight maintenance is an estimate, based on general formulas and statistical averages. You'll need to see how things go for a while to know if it’s right for you, or then adjust it if necessary. Reaching your goal weight and shifting into maintenance mode is a BIG change, for both your body and your mind. So we recommend that you do pay attention to how both react to this new situation. Some of the physiological reasons for being especially careful at this stage of the game are explained in the article Maintaining a Healthy Weight.

Research shows that people who succeed at keeping the weight off tend to track the same details (like calories eaten, portions, exercise and weight) that they did when losing the weight. As you work to keep the weight off, your chances of being successful go up dramatically if you: