AIM: Winter Maintenance

This sign, that our friend Lynn found, got all of us AIMer’s thinking about the hazards of winter weight loss maintenance.

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I do hear people talking about how hard it is to lose or maintain weight loss in cold weather. Comfort food and all that jazz. But just think about it. Winter is at least 25 per cent of the year (and in some places it lasts longer than that!) If you are not working on your weight loss or maintenance for 25% of the time, no matter what time of the year, you are not going to be successful. That’s just the way it is.

Before I started losing weight (nine years ago this month!) I was ALL about the comfort food. Pretty much everything I ate was comfort food, and I was good at figuring out how to make my favorite foods. No holds barred! I still remember when I realized that fat was the key to deliciousness (not sure why it wasn’t until I was an adult that I figured this out.) Everything was better with MORE! FAT! on it. It was VERY comforting. Until it wasn’t. Because, darn it, at 255 pounds it wasn’t even comfortable to sit in my favorite chair. That’s just not right.

So when I started Weight Watchers in January 2005, I thought there were foods I could never have again. And then I learned–hey, if you’re willing to learn and adjust your tastes and expectations, you can still have the essence of that comfort food and it can be a regular part of your diet! That was a good day when I discovered that. The best example I can think of is my mom’s beef stew. I just thought anything with gravy was out forever. And then I learned that you could still thicken the sauce with a minimum of fat, measure the flour or corn starch that you use to thicken it, and bump up the veggies to meat ratio, so you can still have a nice sized serving.

My scones have undergone a complete metamorphosis! The original recipe (which was delicious and COMFORTING,) used white flour and heavy cream. I’ve tried a lot of different versions, but my current scone recipe, which uses rice flour, oatmeal, and greek yogurt is my favorite, and is also the lowest calorie version. The key I learned there was to add a LOT more fruit to make the scones seem luxurious and satisfying. I ate these scones all last winter while I was losing 25 pounds.

The sign is EXACTLY right. If you choose to take the route of “NO WINTER MAINTENANCE” you will indeed be”TRAVELING AT YOUR OWN RISK.” Don’t do it. Its just not that comfortable.

This month we’re asking you to participate in our post with an “Ask Us Almost Anything” feature. Just click here, and you’ll be directed to a survey where you can ask whatever you’d like about long term weight loss maintenance. It will be fun to see what topics you all come up with.

Be sure to check out my friends for their views on winter maintenance. I’m pretty sure they might have something different to say about the risks and rewards of traveling this rocky road of weight loss maintenance.

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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9 thoughts on “AIM: Winter Maintenance

  1. it is SO MUCH more challenging living where it isnt always summer (texas) Im going to look to the new puppy (COMING THIS WEEKEND!!) to keep me moving in the cold.

  2. I never thought about maintenance/weight loss that way: if we are ignoring it 25 percent of the time, it won’t be successful. It is a full-time job, and like any full-time job, there will be days we want to call in sick. I’m rededicating myself to “call in sick” less often in winter 🙂

  3. ” you can still have the essence of that comfort food”

    That was a huge “click” moment for me too. I don’t enjoy cooking that much, but I do love finding that happy balance between indulgent and healthy.

  4. I’m totally digging that sign! I agree that there are ways to have ‘adapted’ comfort foods but it takes a bit to figure it out. One thing I’ve found that works very well for me in winter is soup. Soup is super comforting yet so easy to make healthy!

  5. You are so right- the comfort foods really aren’t that comfortable when it shows up as excess weight! I’m learning too that their are plenty of delicious healthy foods to eat so there’s no need to feel denied or to starve eating celery and carrot sticks.

  6. Well, when you look at it as 25% of the year, then absolutely, you cannot ignore winter, or give yourself a pass on eating…yikes! Great point, and also I love your “Don’t do it. It’s just not that comfortable” – AMEN, sister.

  7. I love the 25% thing. Never thought of it that way, even though I certainly understand it when I put my bike away for 4 months.

  8. The 25% thing is so true. There is always an excuse to eat more. In Winter you want to eat comfort food, in Summer there are barbecues and ice cream. Moderation is the clue if you ask me.

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