How To Select a Target Maintenance Weight

Day 281

I took a step back yesterday, gaining .3 after a great loss of .4 the day before. This was due to a little bit of cheating, which I can’t always avoid. However, the fact that I ended at 76.5 was still pretty good and only about 3 pounds over my target maintenance weight.

Based on experience, it is very hard to get below my target maintenance weight of 75.0. So my target weight is not easy to maintain and not designed to be easy. If I wanted it to be easy, I’d just put it at 78 kg or something like that. I can easily get well below 78.

My main consideration in deciding on a fairly difficult maintenance weight to maintain is that a higher mark might cause me to get too lax on my diet and exercise plan. Imagine this. Let’s assume I set my weight at 78, which is very easy for me to hit. Let’s say I get down to 76.5 kg, which I was at yesterday. With my target weight being 75, I know it’s still time to keep up the plan. There is no room to get lazy. But if it were 78, I could get lazy because I am 1.5 kg under (about 3 pounds). This could cause me to consistently get lazy over and over again or to stop trying as hard as soon as I hit 77.9.

I don’t see any good reason to pick an easy target maintenance weight. The risk of getting lazy is just too high. Conversely, if you set a target weight that you never have any chance of reaching because it is too difficult even when you follow your plan, then you may need to modify it upwards to have a more realistic goal. It is hard for me to hit 75. But if I get on a roll and maintain discipline, I know I can do it because I have hit 75 many times.

Just like anything, you need to find the right balance when setting a target maintenance weight. If it’s too high, you might not exercise or diet hard enough. If it’s too low, you may get frustrated that you are always far above it. This could make it difficult to take needed breaks or less strenuous workout sessions when your body needs it. So modify up or down as necessary to allow yourself to keep a reasonably difficult but not frustratingly difficult fitness level (by fitness, I merely mean a healthy weight for you, not necessarily being thin since that might not be realistic for you).

Today turned into a disaster because of rain. I was about 79.1 kg at the highest, which is a little too high but manageable. For example, look at yesterday. I was up to 79.4 and still was able to end at 76.5. However, that was with a 90-minute run. Today, when it was time to run, it was raining way too hard. So I decided to do some running in place under a roof. I ran in place for 90 minutes and had a near-worthless result. I had weighed myself at 78.0 before that workout and ended at 77.8. That was a paltry loss of only .2 kg during this session. That’s hardly even better than walking.

I went to the bathroom and dropped to 77.7. Then, there were about 3 hours to go before my official weigh-in time. So I was expecting to lose a little bit more, but there was no way I was going to get even remotely close to yesterday’s official weight of 76.5. This is a disaster I will just have to recover from in some way. Maybe I will do an extra 45-minute session tonight and then my regular run tomorrow morning before the official weigh-in. I dropped to 77.5 before the official weigh-in, meaning that I gained 1.0 kg today.

Read the Day 282 blog for more on the relationship among running in place, heart rate, and weight loss during exercise.

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