GREENSBORO, NC -- It's Maintenance Week on 2 Wants to Know and we are talking maintaining weight...with a real person.
Check out the before and after pictures; At his heaviest Kent Meeker was 292 pounds, but in 2011 he started a weight loss plan and has been holding steady at 177.
You may recognize Kent as one of the 2 Wants to Know tech experts, but now he is passing on his strategies for maintaining a healthy weight. Again, this is simply a real life example of what worked for him.
"I'm no expert, except on my own health, but I have learned a few things that I think can help others," Meeker said.
It was not "one-size fits all" for Meeker. He thinks each person should pick the weight loss plan that works for them.
"Body type, habits, schedule, and specific goals typically make that determination. Everyone has a different 'Spring Board.' Find the one that is right for you," he added.
He's maintained 177 pounds for 2 and a half years now, but staying motivated is hard. Meeker found, even as a guy, clothes helped.
"Buy the nice clothes that you've always wanted once you meet your weight goal, and wear them. Few things are as motivating as knowing that the nice pair of expensive jeans, shirt, top, or dress isn't going to fit anymore if you gain the weight back," he said.
Meeker admitted that he has a sweet tooth, but did the hard work of developing better habits.
"I like to eat something sweet after dinner. That use to consist of candy, cake, or just junk. Now, I'll eat an apple or banana with peanut butter or an orange, almost every night. Change your sweet tooth bad habit to a sweet tooth good habit. You'll soon find that, this not only satisfies the craving, but gives you a boost of energy," he said.
He also has a cheat day but uses it as motivation.
"So you've had a bad day. Ate junk food all day and now you feel mentally, physically, and maybe even spiritually terrible. It's okay. It's only one day. Bad food, like alcohol, enhances whatever we are feeling about ourselves. Take note and remember how bad you are feeling so you can reference it later (when you are about to over indulge again)," Meeker said.
Many people struggle with eating out and not missing out on eating out with friends and family, but he said planning helps.
"Think about all three of your main meals the day before. This falls into the category of planning. If you know you're going out to lunch with some people from work, think about where you are going and what you will eat long before you get there. Pull up the menu online. Envision yourself ordering grilled chicken and a salad instead of a hamburger," he suggested.
2WTK almost pulled Kent's "man card" when he gave this recommendation, but he says it works. Meeker says Pinterest has great healthy recipes and meal plans for free, so use it.
What are his other ways to maintain weight that might work for you:
Every meal is fuel: I often think to myself, "Is this going to be enough fuel to get me through to my next meal?". You'll soon realize that fast food, soda, and candy bars ARE NOT good fuel. You burn them out quickly and usually feel terrible afterwards.
Think about all three of your main meals the day before. This falls into the category of planning.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: It knows what it wants, you just have to learn to intemperate it. Have a craving for sweets? Your body is wanting sugar so eat fruit. Feeling weak? It wants protein so eat lean meats or nuts. Thirsty? Drink water because your cells are crying out for it. Tired? That's usually a need for (good) carbs.
Look at the ingredients: If there are more than five things on the package you can't read/understand.....don't eat it. Odds are you're body won't understand it either.
If you're going to have sugar, have sugar. Not Splenda, sweet and low, etc. These things are not near as healthy for you as they claim. Chemically created sugar makes the body work extremely hard.
You're going to mess up. It's okay. One meal isn't going to cause you to gain all the weight back. Even a whole day of bad eating won't do that. But 2-5 days could. So cut yourself off at one day.