After Maintenance Phase (MP) – what to consider after the Maintenance Phase has been completed….
The MP can be said to be completed once the low weight you achieved during the Very Low Calorie (VLC) Phase is stable – that is, it fluctuates by just a few hundred grams daily when your daily weigh-in is consistently carried out (usually best time is after up in the morning and using the bathroom). The MP will generally last for about the same time-span you were on the VLC Phase, but in any event never less than 2 weeks, and weight should have been stabilised.
Like all phases of this program, Life After Maintenance is an important time. You could even consider it a “Phase” just like Loading, VLC, MP …. yes, a long phase that may go on indefinitely.
Many people who have had an excess weight problem recognise that they have genetic predispositions to holding excess weight. This does not change unfortunately…. what does often change is an altered attitude to food, food intake, health and associated thoughts along with an increased understanding of what foods actually are. So if your genetic predisposition it to put on weight easily when eating sugars, carbs and starches, resuming that exact intake will in most events see the weight return. This necessity to change habits and dietary outlook is part of the reason the VLC is minimum 3 weeks, and for the MP to be undertaken diligently. It is through these mechanisms that the body can shuck off some of the habits that may serve to result in excess weight.
Life After Maintenance may be a transient period prior to resuming another round on the VLC diet, or it may be because your weight is where you wish it to be.
The goal of it is to maintain your ideal weight, or even gradually reduce weight if you are still carrying an excess of stored fat.
This is done by gradually introducing foods that have not been part of the VLC or MP Phases – usually foods containing sugar, starches/carbs.
Do you really wish to invite all of those foods back into your diet?
Do you really miss them or find the mere thought of a slab of rich cake a bit nauseating?
If the answer is a sincere “no, I really don’t want sweets, lollies, cakes, fast foods and processed foods to be part of my life anymore – the thought of them is sort of appealing in my head but makes my stomach groan in anticipation”, then do what most successful long-term losers do and keep those foods to a real minimum. MP foods are certainly a complete diet with the addition of a few healthy carbs for sustained energy (often in the form of vegetables, nuts, some grains)
- How well have you felt on MP?
- How much energy?
- How would you rate your feeling of well being, zest for living?
If you answer like many people do “I feel so great and love my selection of fresh and healthy food…” then create your “After MP” lifestyle closely modelled to the foods you enjoyed on MP.
There are ways to help keep you on track – you definitely do not want to have to repeat all the work that you have done thus far …. so,
- weigh yourself daily still so that any sustained increase brought about by eating too much of the wrong foods can be dealt with well before it ever gets out of hand.
- a Steak Day can be just as viable option after MP as it was on MP.
- avoid any temptation to introduce regular snacks into your day (they always seem to get bigger and more varied!)
- only eat whilst at the kitchen/dining table.
- keep your concentration on your meal rather than have it distracted by reading or watching TV.
- choose a small dinner plate – yes, a small dinner plate (we use a deep plate that is about the size of a side plate. This really works) Buy a plate just for you – today’s dinner plates are huge! Far too easy to load them with too much food. We commented that new dinner plates we bought would not fit in our old dishwasher!
- put your entire meal on the one plate as opposed to having for e.g. salad on one plate, meat/veg on another, bread roll on another….. you would be surprised how spreading your food onto 2 or 3 plates tricks the eyes/mind to thinking the amount is not so great. Heap all of that onto one plate and you will realise the abundant amount you would be squeezing into your poor stretching tummy!
- it is “okay to leave food on your plate” …. we overeat and try and justify it by saying
- “mustn’t waste good food” (well, don’t put so much on your plate!)
- “people around the world are starving” (so overeating and stretching your tummy is helping those starving people? Instead, contribute to Plan or Medicine Sans Frontiers etc etc – we really kid ourselves, don’t we?)
- “it’s too good to waste” … how is that different to unnecessarily over-eating? Please! ….. put like this, it is easy to laugh at ourselves and recognise that we so easily succumb to temptation.
- consider always asking for a “small cappuccino”, a “small frappuccino”, a “small piece of cake/desert” ….. stun the waiter/waitress!
- if the meal consists of steak, salad and chips and you resolutely decide you will not eat the chips, make it easy on yourself by saying “please don’t put chips on my plate”. Stun the waiter/waitress again! Guess what happens? More salad will be added to your plate, guaranteed!!!! Oh, that suggestion is made because we respectfully suggest you will otherwise eat a chip or 3!!!
“Life After” is an important time to be diligent in the long-term, putting into place any newly acquired information you have learned regarding the effects of different foods on you as an individual. Remember, we all are individual so foods will effect each of us differently.
It is our ardent wish that once you have achieved your goal with our product, that you never need to repeat it. We are delighted to learn that someone’s hard work and success means they never look to our product again.