A. For most people on our programs, weight loss will naturally slow down as they approach a good maintenance weight. A good maintenance weight level (or goal weight) may not be the same as the ideal weight you have made up in you mind (which, for many people, may be their weight when they were younger or one that will allow them to wear a preferred clothes size). With your doctor's consultation, a good maintenance weight is one which will bring you ideal health, comfort, and mobility, and, within these confines, one at which you look good as well.

Goal weights are not carved in stone. With the above considerations in mind, choose a goal weight range. This should be a three to four pound range with a specific high and low (to allow for normal variation or weight gain from eating out or on vacation). Making certain that you average your daily weights and using only weekly averages, check each week to be sure that you are staying within your goal weight range. Over time, you may decide that you would like to lower that range, and using the Guidelines for Weight-Loss Maintenance that follow, you can make subtle changes that will bring about your desired results.

While you are free to lower your goal weight range and to try a new weight on "for size," think carefully before raising your goal weight range. Be certain that this is not your addiction talking, giving you permission to gain weight and lead you back to old habits. In any case, choose a goal weight range as a beginning point, then using the Guidelines below, you can move up and down until you find a weight range that is just right for you. 

Guidelines for Weight-Loss Maintenance on The Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Program

Your maintenance program will continue to be as struggle-free as your weight-loss program if you continue to follow the program's three guidelines: 1) Eat carb-rich foods once each day, 2) Eat them within one hour in a well-balanced Reward Meal® (the balance will vary as written below), 3) all other foods eaten during the day should be low-carb. A word of caution though first: use the following guideline as it's written:

To stop your weight loss without getting a return of cravings and loss of control, vary your 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 proportion of your Reward Meal by adding a bit more carbohydrate to a Reward Meal once each week. Be sure to eat your salad first and certainly continue to finish your meal within an hour but once each week add a bit more carbs to a Reward Meal. Most people start by adding one extra portion of carb, some rice or extra slice of bread, even an extra slice of pie (yes!). Then, continue as usual for the rest of the week. Check your average weight at the end of the week.

If your weight loss has slowed appropriately, continue to adding the extra carb *once each week*. If your weight loss has not slowed, add one more higher carb Reward Meal to the week (total two per week). Never add more than one meal per week *after* checking your average weight. Continue to monitor your average weight. As you approach the low end of your weight range, add carbs to one RM each week; as you approach your high end of your weight range, decrease those carb "extras".

If, on the other hand, you find that you need to lose weight at any time, slowly decrease the carb proportion in your Reward Meals in general. In many cases, we find that many people are not faithfully following the salad first then 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 balance (protein, low-carb veg, carbs including dessert balance). This balance is a big determinant in continued weight loss.

If you are still not losing weight, you may be consuming hidden carbs during Complementary (low-carb) meals, artificial sweeteners, and/or msg (in its many forms). Posting your food log to the group (and including everything you eat and drink) may help pinpoint the culprit(s).

In all cases, remember that your maintenance program should never include more than one carb-rich meal a day. Adding a fruit to a non-Reward Meal or as a snack is *not* the way to go. In our experience, it will eventually lead to cravings and a return to old habits. Vary your weight by changing carb proportions of your Reward Meal (one day a week at a time). Sort of a Reward Reward Meal.

You can always "fine tune" your weight by varying your carb balance depending on where you are in your weight range but remember, we don't recommend adding carbs to your Reward Meal every day.

If you add carbs at more than one Reward Meal a week at a time, the weight can creep up on you and "suddenly" you've gained more pounds than you want to think of and, most importantly, if you add extra carbs every day to your Reward Meals, you will begin to "expect" and "demand" it and will be unwilling to return to the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 balance when your weight requires you to "buckle down".

In all cases, continue to weigh yourself every day, write down the numbers, average your weight each week and make changes in relation to how your weekly average compares to your goal weight range.

A Final Thought

One more idea that we have found helpful. While you are doing well, with no cravings and losing weight, record a three-day food log and put it away. If you ever have trouble in the future, you will be able to see *exactly* what you were eating to get back on track. Don't count on remembering; write it down, it can be very helpful.