Great job transitioning from weight loss to maintenance!  As you move from transition into maintenance you will need to identify your ultimate daily caloric requirement.  Use the calculator through the link above to estimate your basal metabolic rate (BMR).  Next, multiply your BMR by your activity level.  Finally, multiply that number by 10% or 0.10 to estimate the amount of calories you burn while digesting and metabolizing your food.

For example a 45 y/o 5’ 6” female weighing 130 lbs has a BMR of 1311 calories/day.  That means she burns 1311 calories to support her metabolism.  If she exercises 5 days a week doing moderate activity, such as walking briskly at 4 mph for 45 minutes, multiply the BMR by 1.55.  1311 x 1.55 = 2032 calories.  Next add 10% for the thermal effect of food or 203 calories to get a total of 2235 calories as her average daily caloric requirement to maintain her weight.

Remember, this is just a guideline.  Metabolic rate varies widely from person to person.  In particular, if you have lost a lot of weight your metabolic rate will likely be lower and you will need to adjust your calories accordingly.  The best strategy is to determine your daily caloric needs.  Once you complete transition, gradually increase your calories (approximately 100 calories per week) until your reach your target daily caloric intake. If you gain weight, make sure your activity estimate is accurate and reduce your calories by 10% to 20%. Continue to monitor your weight and adjust caloric intake accordingly.

By following the maintenance plan you can create a lifestyle change that can keep you at a healthy weight for the rest of your life.  Make sure you keep reviewing your health goals and remind yourself why you want to maintain a healthy weight.  If you do gain a few pounds, you can always go back onto the 5 & 1 program to promptly shed those unwanted pounds.  Remember, you have a new found tool to take control of your weight!

The role of your health coach does not end here.  Your health coach remains as vital resource to continue to guide and support you on your lifelong path to optimal health.  Stay strong, stay committed and live healthy!