INTUITIVE MAINTENANCE (IM): What It Is and How To Make The Adjustment!
Most of us lost weight by strictly counting daily, weekly and activity points – and now have a tool belt of strategies in place to closely monitor our *happy weights* and *danger zones*. We have found what works for us individually to maintain our goal. We enjoy the freedom of knowing how to pull in the reins if things get a little off course. Tracking as the need arises is always an option, but the goal of INTUITIVE MAINTENANCE is to stay conscious of our choices, nourish our bodies wisely and lose or maintain weight intuitively. Some of us have actually given up tracking altogether!
So whether you have given up – mostly given up – or are even just *curious* about giving up tracking… Welcome to Intuitive Maintenance!
Here are some tips to get you started. And remember to join our thread on the GOAD board every Monday and Friday!
- Don’t start until you’ve been confidently at goal for a while.
- Weigh Yourself Daily. You will begin to see what the effects of some weekend sodium, alcohol or sugar does to your body by Monday.
Usually a quick gain will be gone in a couple of days without altering your routine. You will also begin to lighten up about the number on the scale.
- Choose Your Zones~ RED (Stop!) YELLOW (Pull In The Reins~) GREEN (Happy Weight
The decision as to the size of the zones is your own comfort level. Your “Happy Weight” does not necessarily have to be the same as your WW goal. It is where you feel the best. Green Zone is that weight or below. A pound or two above that is your Yellow Zone, which means~ it’s time to re-think what you’re doing, pull in the reins a bit, maybe up the cardio. Red zone is the weight at which you simply must STOP and do whatever it takes to get back to yellow and green. This may require tracking, as most of us find it extremely hard to intuitively lose.
- Watch Your Portion Sizes - Keep your WW scale and measuring spoons nearby to measure portions when needed. Also, being in touch with your satiety/ hunger levels are important. You have to know when you have had enough to eat so you don’t keep going (and going, and going
- Remember to get in your GHGs, and all the other great WW “Tools for Living” you worked so hard to master (Reframing, Mental Rehearsing, Rehearsing, Anchoring, etc…)
- Activity. Stick with it. Choose some form of exercise that you like and will continue to do. If your routine gets stale, switch things up!
- Track When You Need To. No shame there. When you hit your High Yellow or Red zone (yes, it happens to the best of us…) Pull out the pen and paper or online tracker and get back to basics. Get back to your happy weight.
- Some folks try the Simply Filling Technique (Core) as a gateway to Intuitive Maintenance, as several of the skills and benefits of that approach are applicable to maintaining intuitively.
- Lighten Up With Yourself! It’s a Lifetime thing. Life WILL get in your way and you WILL be making adjustments for the rest of your life. Chill out and enjoy the things that make you happy. Just do your best to stay conscious of your choices, one day at a time, and re-set your sails accordingly.
Most importantly, to keep the weight off, stay connected to WW, either online or at meetings, and have some kind of accountability for yourself:
~ If you lost your weight at meetings, then commit to weighing in once a month at a meeting and keep your Lifetimer status current. It really helps to make that commitment.
~ If you lost your weight online, then log your weight weekly (either with the online tools or on some kind of personal document or spreadsheet). Participate in the message boards or an e-mail accountability group. If you do check in with the board, keep your stats regularly updated — since you don’t have a WI in front of another person, this keeps you accountable to others instead of just yourself.
Remember, WW has provided a series of tools that we can use to maintain our weight. Intuitive Maintenance does not mean ignoring all of the lessons we’ve learned. It just means taking those tools and applying them in a way that allows for a level of individual flexibility.
Best of Luck, whatever you decide to do to maintain your hard won success~. We’ll be there for you Mondays and Fridays on the GOAD Board!