Maintaining your weight is the most important part of the protocol because it’s the part that will be there for the rest of your life.
Dr. Simeons recommends maintaining your weight during every break you take until you reach your goal. In fact, he says to stay within two pounds of our last injection weight (LIW) during breaks. This window serves as your boundary during both phase 3 of the protocol (three weeks during which we refrain from eating sugars and starches) and phase 4 (without specific dietary restrictions).
Regardless of whether you are on a break or have reached your goal, it is important that you learn to maintain your losses. This will eventually lead to the creation of a new weight set-point for life.
The Happily Thinner After (HTA) Community has found that an integral part of maintaining weight loss is using your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) when making dietary decisions. Your BMR is the number of calories you need to consume daily to keep your body alive (at rest). Many BMR calculators are available on the internet.
One that is popular among HTA members can be found at: BMR Calculator
Each person’s BMR varies according to age, average daily activity level, height, and weight. Consequently, your BMR will change as you progress toward your goal weight. You should recalculate your BMR, as needed.
Consuming calories above your BMR can cause a weight gain. What is surprising is that consuming too few calories below your BMR can also result in a weight gain. Eating just within your BMR range should help you to maintain your weight. (We say “should” because there could be instances where eating the right amount of calories, but eating the WRONG type of calories could cause weight gain. But that is an article for another day.)
Using an online BMR calculator can help you discover what your particular daily calorie needs might be. To determine how to calculate your BMR for your activity level, HTA uses guidelines suggested by one of the HCG clinics. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, HCG recommends adjusting your calculated BMR to include an additional 300 calories. If you live an active lifestyle, then 500 calories should be added. Those of you who live an athletic lifestyle would add 700 calories. These figures are close to those obtained from more complex formulas, such as the one used here: Harris Benedict Equation
The HTA Community prefers to use the amounts stated above for the ease of calculations. Using the Harris Benedict Equation is much more accurate, although it does fail to include a person’s lean body mass in its calculations. This variable is also important because a person with a higher percentage of lean body mass is more efficient at burning additional calories.
Using the Harris Benedict Equation will lead to an underestimation of calorie needs for the very lean, and an overestimation of the caloric needs of the not so lean.
Here’s an example of a how to calculate calorie requirements using BMR: Let’s use a 45 year old woman, who is 5 feet tall, and weighs 175 lbs. Let’s also assume she leads an active life. The BMR Calculator states that her baseline BMR should be 1505.55. That is the absolute MINIMUM number of calories she should consume daily to stay alive. If we use the simple formula, her BMR would be 1505.55, plus an additional 500 calories for an active lifestyle. Her calorie total would be 2000.55 per day to simply maintain her weight.
That was easy enough, eh?
Easy for some. Not so easy for others.
But, knowing your BMR is not enough. For it to be effective, you must use it to make dietary decisions.
Some people find it laborious to keep track of their calories. Others do not want to be attached to a calorie counter because that is what they did before with little payoff for their efforts.
I recommend keeping a weekly food journal. You might be surprised at how much of the same foods you eat. After dealing with these same foods day after day, you may find it easier to estimate the number of calories you consume daily without keeping a calorie counter in your back pocket.
Most people in the HTA Community spend a few minutes each day recording what they eat because it has a powerful effect on maintaining weight. It takes just a few minutes to use an online calculator like FitDay to record your daily food intake. Afterward, you can look over your menu for the day and see where you might need to change things. Taking a few minutes out of your day is a little investment that offers a big payoff.
Being on Protocol means so much more than just losing the weight. It means making sound choices that will last you for life. This is the path to good physical and mental health, the path to being Happily Thinner After!
I actually find freedom in recording because I Know where I am on the macronutrients and I can make better choices. I can leave room for some planned indulgences and not feel “bad” about having them!!