What To Do When You Reach Your Target Weight

What follows is an extract from ‘How To EAT LOADS And LOSE WEIGHT’ – available now. 

Here, in a nutshell, is how a low-carb or keto diet works: keep your carbs as low as possible, your fats as high as possible, your protein moderate, and your body will gradually convert your stored fats into ketones. You won’t feel hungry, you might feel healthier than you have in a very long time, and all the while you’ll get slimmer and slimmer and slimmer.

And then one day—without really trying—you will finally reach an arbitrary number on the bathroom scales that you decided some time ago was your target weight.

But let’s get one thing totally clear: that magic number was made up by you. It doesn’t really matter how you came up with that number, my point is that your body doesn’t care.

So now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about what your options are when you finally reach it. Is it possible to adjust your diet such that your weight, by and large, stays constant?

And the answer is… {drum roll}… Yes! (Sort of.)

So. How do we go about introducing carbohydrates back into our diets?

We (me and Val) have experimented with three approaches. They all have their pros and cons.

Approach 1: add carbs into your daily diet.

Each day find a way to increase the amount of carbs you’ve previously allowed yourself.

Now, how you go about this is up to you. Missing toast for breakfast? Maybe this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Hankering for the occasional jacket potato? Your hankering days might be over.

However, from experience we’ve found there is a slight problem with this approach. A wrinkle in an otherwise sensible plan: carbs are quite triggering.

They’re supposed to be. We’re designed to get MORE hungry when we eat them, so that all those sugars can be converted to fats, and stored, for when there are no more carbs to be had. Ever tried to eat just one piece of milk chocolate from a bar, then wrap it up and save the rest for later? Your body doesn’t want you to do that. It’s a waste of chocolate! Someone else might eat that chocolate in the meantime! That might be the last bar of chocolate in existence! Eat it all! Eat it now!

Introduce carbs every day and you might find that your hunger slowly begins to rise. Instead of one slice of toast for breakfast, you’re having two. Then a snack at around 10am when you start to feel hungry again. Then lunch is suddenly a sandwich. Two sandwiches. With a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. And all the while your weight is hovering ABOVE that magic target number you set for yourself. Never below.

To get around this, what you might ‘like’ to do, is forget about toast or potatoes or pasta, and instead introduce carbs that you were less fond of, before you started your diet. Maybe… carrots. Parsnips. A few berries for dessert. That sort of thing.

I know, I know… I can feel your disappointment from here.

Let’s try something else.

Approach 2: add carbs into your WEEKLY diet.

Instead of subjecting yourself to triggering carbs on a daily basis, try remaining low-carb during the week, but allow yourself to ease up at the weekends. Or maybe pick a day during the week when carbs are back on the menu. ‘Toast on Tuesday.’ Whatever works for you.

Personally I find this easier. This is where I’m at right now. Weekends come and I eat whatever I fancy. I don’t go crazy—I don’t fill up my cupboards with carby treats in preparation for Friday night—I just don’t stop myself from ordering chips if I’m in a restaurant. Or buying an ice cream if I’m on the sea front.

And come Monday morning, when I stand on the bathroom scales, I look down at the reading, and… “Oops!”—and then I return to low-carb. Sometimes (if I’ve really overdone it) I’ll start a sixteen-hour fast after my Monday evening meal.

Now I’m not going to lie to you; this approach requires discipline. And it tends to work better if you’re the sort of person who might go out for a meal at the weekends, or order a takeaway. It’s not so easy if there are still carbs, in your house, waiting to be consumed, when the weekend is over.

Also, if you have any kind of medical condition that’s made worse by sugars (such as asthma, or acid reflux) then bear in mind that a total carb binge at the weekend could come back and bite you in your ever-expanding bottom.

Approach 3: add carbs whenever you’re in credit.

Which leads us onto the third approach; an amalgamation of the first two ideas.

Weight yourself each morning. If you’re OVER your target weight, no carbs for you. Back on the keto wagon. But, if you’re UNDER your target weight—happy days!—today you can have some carbs.

Now, personally speaking, this is the approach I took for almost a year after I’d initially reached my target weight, and it worked quite well. Quite.

However it took me most of that year to learn that on the days I found myself ‘in credit’ (which were nowhere near as often as I liked) I couldn’t slam my foot on the gas and eat my body weight in potato crisps. Followed by a pizza. And flapjacks. And ice cream.

Gradually I had to learn (the hard way) that it was better to squeeze that metaphorical gas pedal, just gently.

So, if I was in credit I could enjoy a chocolate bar (singular). OR some chips. OR half a pizza. OR a five bean curry. If I did that, then maybe, just maybe, I could do the same a couple of days later. Maybe even the following day.

Finally, I was maintaining.

If you’ve got any maintaining tips or tricks, feel free to share them with me in the Facebook Group for this book. Link below.


How To Eat Loads and Lose WeightBUY the book here

READ the opening chapter here

Join the discussion on our Facebook Group

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