Rebekka asked me a couple of days ago to write about the weight maintenance algorithm some more. I already mentioned it pretty recently, but I'll do it again. As always, I find there's a difference between the ideal and the reality, and that difference changes over time too, and I'll try to show that.
Okay, so in this post long ago I explained some me-specific context, a few habits I have all the time that set me apart from the average person. I don't drink a lot of caloric beverages, I eat a lot of vegetables, I use small plates at home, I'm habitually wary of sugar and white flour, I don't buy much snack food (lately this has slipped -- I can at least say, "not for me"), I keep almonds in my car, and I chart my weight daily.
That's pretty much the extent of my self-control as long as my weight stays within range. I would like to say I don't eat kids' PB&J crusts, or that I don't take seconds unless I'm actually still hungry, but it's not true. I don't eat like I used to, but that's largely because I'm used to a different level of eating, not because it requires a lot of self-denial. The small plates are a big help.
So, if I get seven measurements in a row above my target weight, that's what triggers my "oops, I need to lose weight." And then I don't get to go back to maintenance until I bring the five-day average down at or below the target.
So while I'm in that "oops" mode I am mainly working on reining in the sloppiness that may have developed since the last time, a surprising amount of which consists of "eating things I don't even want to eat." Often, getting rid of that is all it takes, and I'm back to my usual weight in a week or two.