Most diets pretend that weight maintenance is a simple task. They offer a few simple modifications and assure you that your weight will not fluctuate as long as you adhere to their formula.
Anyone who has ever dieted and then tried to hold his or her target weight knows that it’s not that simple. No matter how hard we fight it, our weight fluctuates. Perhaps work gets busy and exercise falls to the wayside for a week or two. A friend or relative comes into town and we find ourselves eating out every meal for five days in a row. When superimposed onto a complex life, simple formulas fail. In the most extreme cases, these formulas fail so spectacularly that the dieter regains all of their lost weight and more.
We offer no simple formula for weight maintenance. Instead, we designed Drink Your Carbs to be flexible enough to adapt to a constantly changing lifestyle.
First, you need to determine your ideal weight. Some people have an immediate objective in mind. Others need guidance in order to identify this number. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends using Body Mass Index, or BMI, to figure out your ideal weight. They have online charts which, by lining up your height and weight, will tell you your current and ideal body mass. We don’t care that the BMI scale has the imprimatur of hundreds of government scientists. We think the system sucks.
Case Study in the Failure of the Body Mass Index:
We have a close friend who epitomizes our objection to the BMI scale. This friend is very athletic. He works out five days a week in the gym. On weekends he goes for long bike rides, dragging himself and his road bike over the high mountain passes above Denver, Colorado. His body fat hovers around 12 percent. He is also seriously built; his muscles would still be visible if you dressed him in a burka. By all definitions, he is super fit. He also happens to be 5’ 4” and, according to the BMI scale, he’s morbidly obese. This is just plain stupid. Apparently, these failures are not uncommon for anyone who is short, tall or carries muscle mass.
Until BMI is updated to take people like our friend into account, we recommend that ask your doctor or a personal trainer at your gym to help you calculate your ideal weight. They will give you a far more accurate answer based on your body type and muscle mass.