Maria's Maintenance

01 Jun, 2021

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Back in 2017, Maria, 34 from South Wales, reached her goal weight after losing an incredible 13 stone with Nutracheck. Fast forward to today, and Maria is successfully maintaining her weight loss. Here she shares her maintenance story and top tips to help others on their journey.

How much weight did you lose in total?

I started my journey at 28 stone. I stopped losing at 15 stone and decided to start maintaining this weight. It took me 16 months to lose the weight using Nutracheck – exercising 2-4 times a week.

How long have you been maintaining your weight loss for now?

I have been maintaining my weight loss since April 2017.

How easy did you find the transition from losing weight to maintaining weight?

Very strange at first. My calorie and fat allowance went up quite a lot, so I felt guilty eating more. I also still weighed everything I ate, and it wasn't easy getting out of that habit. Plus, without weighing, I was worried I'd go over my calorie allowance.

Over the next few weeks, I started weighing my food less as I had an idea about how much I was allowed to eat. So now I don't weigh my food at all. I also work out 2-4 times a week. I used to go to the gym, but since Covid-19, I have not gone back. Whilst we were in lockdown and gyms were closed, I started biking, walking and doing dance aerobics at home. I also bought some exercise equipment for home. Although the gyms have re-opened, I am still worried about going back as Covid-19 is still present, but I have done so well without the gym I don't think I will be going back.

Chair based

Did you continue to use your food diary when you moved into maintaining?

At first, yes. For a while, I was afraid I'd go over my calories, plus it was a habit. So I used it for a few weeks until I learnt the new quantity of food I could eat, then I stopped using it to track my meals.

I don't track my food now, but I use it to check calories in different foods before purchasing. I find it easier than reading the back of boxes, especially if comparing several items.

How frequently did you initially weigh yourself? How often do you do this now?

Whilst both dieting and maintaining, I weigh myself daily but record it weekly. I feel a week is a long time not knowing what you weigh and seeing if you've gone off track. I prefer to get back on track the moment I see that my weight has gone up. Sometimes you don't realise.

There are days when I've had a good day and have gained a little weight, and there are days when I've eaten fatty things and lost a little; therefore, weighing daily doesn't let me go too far off track. Now, as I'm maintaining, it tells me what sort of day I can have. If my weight goes over a certain weight, I will choose healthier options to get it back down that day. As I am trying to maintain my weight at 15 stone, I don't mind going up as far as 15st 4lb as I seem to quickly get it back down over the next few days by eating healthier options and keeping an eye on my weight.

How do you use the Nutracheck app now?

I use it to track my weekly weight. Also, I often hear of new foods or drinks, so I like to compare the calorie and fat allowance to see which one I should buy next time. Although I don't track my meals anymore, I'd never not need the app. It's nice being able to check foods' nutritional information before shopping.

Were there times when maintaining your weight was challenging? If yes, how did you managing this?

My weight did go up a lot after Christmas 2020. After the year we had, I thought just enjoy what you eat and don't worry. You'll get it off! It did take a lot longer to get off than ever before. We had a lot of wet weather, so going out to do exercise wasn't always an option.

At the time, I had no gym equipment at home, so I was not doing so much, and the weight was coming down slowly. So I decided to invest in an exercise bike at home and start dance aerobics, and eventually, I got back down to just under 15 stone.

Chair based

What did you learn from using the Nutracheck app that has helped you maintain your weight loss in the long term?

I've learnt you don't need to cut food out. Just eat in moderation. You can find healthier options in food. For example, sometimes a low-fat item may taste slightly different at first, but if you keep eating it, it will start to taste normal because you're then used to it.

Any notable milestones or achievements during the time you've been maintaining?

My health is so much better. I would feel under the weather a lot when I was overweight. Since maintaining, my health has been on top form, no sickness from work, I'm always full of energy, I just want to do things. I walk mountains – I recently walked up three peaks back-to-back on a mission to have no breaks while climbing, and I did all three. I'm very proud of myself, and how much happier and healthier I am now.

What would your top 3 pieces of advice be to someone who has reached their goal weight and now wants to maintain?

  1. Continue to exercise.
  2. Keep regular checks on your weight.
  3. If your weight starts creeping back up, choose healthier options for the next few days.

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