Weight Maintenance: The Incredible, Edible Balancing Act…


“How To Say Goodbye to Diet Monday.”

You know the drill.  You plan on eating “good” all week, but then someone rolls out the birthday cake and you tell yourself you’ll give in just this one last time (and then you’ll be “good” once again on Monday.)  This is what we, of course, know as Diet Monday.  Before you know it, the scale starts creeping up and you find yourself wondering why maintaining your weight is just so gosh darn hard!

Let me introduce you to what has worked for me.  What I fondly refer to as The Incredible, Edible Balancing Act.

First an explanation of what this roughly drawn map of my life actually means…

The middle line represents absolute, 100% balance.  The place where I am eating exactly the same amount of calories that I burn (through exercise and/or just my average, daily activities.)

The middle line is, actually, a totally unrealistic place.

No two days are ever exactly alike, after all.  Some days I eat cookies and pizza (note: the dotted line goes up.)  Some days I forgo dessert in favor of orange slices (the dotted line goes down.)  The important thing is balance.  If I eat a lot for a couple of days, I’ll make it a point to eat a little less for a day or two afterwards.  If I know a party is coming up and I’ll be enjoying some wine and appetizers, I might skip my nightly chocolate for a couple days ahead.

I mentally try to keep myself as close to the middle line as possible, but since the middle line is (in all actuality) completely unrealistic, I allow myself to veer off now and then.  As long as I have a few low days to make up for the high days, everything evens out.

How to make this work for you…

  • It’s important to never let the dotted line go so low that you find yourself entering starvation mode.  Starving = overeating.  The point is just to shave off some excess calories here and there.  Repeat after me:  Do NOT enter diet mode.
  • Don’t use this concept so that you can binge one day and under eat the next.  The underlying principle is balance, health, and happiness.
  • In figuring out which excess calories to shave off on “low” days, cut out calories that you could care less about.  For example, use 1 Tbsp. dressing on your salad instead of 2.  Have 1 medium scoop of potatoes with dinner instead of 2.  Etc, etc, etc.  Don’t let yourself feel deprived!
  • Don’t focus on the logistics of this principle.  Just understanding the idea behind it and then implementing those ideas will go far in helping you maintain your weight.

QUESTION: What are some tips that have worked for you in maintaining your weight?


12 thoughts on “Weight Maintenance: The Incredible, Edible Balancing Act…

  1. This is so awesome! I am such a visual person that I think this type of thinking would work well for me, especially since I do believe in splurging and having some days that include dessert. 😉 I like the graphic as well!

    • Thank you, Nicole!! And I’m most definitely a visual person as well.

      (p.s. I agree…having days that include dessert is important. Life without chocolate isn’t really life at all. 😉 )

  2. This is SO helpful! A lot of the calorie-tracking apps just give you a snapshot of your day, not the bigger picture. Your advice is definitely something I’ll keep in mind. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Janelle! I definitely like to think of eating over about a week’s worth of time versus one day…I find it to be much more realistic. 🙂

  3. As a recovering anorexic, I relate deeply to this. It’s hard to know where the middle ground is. I can NOT enter starvation mode as from there it plummets but it’s also not good to go overboard. I’m becoming more comfortable with the middle ground. But, boy, does it take some serious surrendering on my part and trust in my body! Question: how do you like being a dietician? I’m deciding between RN or RD. I want to work in hospital or possibly with ED patients. Thanks for the posts 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences…I’m glad you’re in a positive place in regards to trusting your body. 🙂

      I love being a dietitian. Honestly, there are some things that I wasn’t expecting (e.g., paper work!) but that’s to be expected with any job. I love the message that I’m able to share with people and I love seeing lives changed. I think a lot of people go back and forth between being an RN versus an RD. (I know some people who have their RD and then went on to become an RN as well!) If you’re interested in the health care field, you’d probably be happy with either choice. My advice would be to see if you can shadow a couple of RN’s and RD’s and see what their typical day looks like, and then ask yourself if you think it would be a good fit for you. 🙂

  4. Yes! Absolutely. Everything is a balance.
    Living a life that you enjoy is of number one importance and your diet should be the healthiest diet that will allow you to maintain that enjoyable life.

  5. Hi! I used to read your blog years ago when it was running to slow things down, and I just recently found your new one and have been catching up! I would love some advice/tips..I read this post and your finding peace with food posts and they really hit home. I started counting calories in high school, and did that for 4 years. Then I switched to counting macros, making sure I hit a certain amount of protein, carbs, and fat. I did this for a good 3 years! And now, it’s time for a change. I don’t want to focus on numbers anymore, I want to be able to eat what I want and what my body wants/needs without thinking of numbers when I look at food. I’ve been trying to intuitive eat now for about a month, and I feel so free. But, I’m still struggling with some things! I don’t know how often is too often to choose to partake in an “unhealthy” meal or treats, like cake or french fries or chicken fried steak or whatever. We go out to eat once a week, and I never know if I should choose healthy options like in the past, or really eat what I’m craving. And when is it ok, or how often is it okay, to choose to have ice cream or dessert? I’m feeling kind of lost. Any advice you can give would be great! Thank you so much, I’ve always admired your philosophies and balance with food 🙂

    • Thank you for the feedback, April!! This is a wonderful question and I’ll have a complete post about this in the next couple of weeks. 🙂

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