Last year I lost 50 pounds (195 to 145 pounds). I've been at goal for 3 months now and discovered this board when I was struggling with a bit of excess hunger and looked around the Web for guidance.
I'm still in the experimenting phase, trying to figure out what eating patterns are most likely to help me maintain my weight. I've listed them below. If any of you have tried them and found them NOT to work, I'd be interested in hearing your experience. Also feel free to post your own maintenance guideposts.
1. My maintenance intake is about 1,900 calories per day, so I've been aiming to consume about 100 calories less than that in order to "free up" an extra 3,000 calories or so for two larger meals (at restaurants or with friends) or one no-holds-barred all-you-can-eat meal per month. I don't eat more on weekends than during the week, but right now I'm not willing to give up the occasional luxury of a much larger meal than normal. For me, life without an all-you-can-eat sushi dinner a few times per year would be less worth living! I don't know if this is a healthy attitude, but it's my plan for now.
2. There are a few regular indulgences I'm simply not willing to give up, so I'm building them into my eating plan: one glass of wine with dinner, popcorn at movies (which I eat in lieu of dinner), chocolate or Nutella (which I melt and eat with a banana as a meal every couple of weeks), and real butter (which I regularly have with breakfast toast). Other than that I eat mostly healthy foods, with an emphasis on fish, tofu and vegetables and a split between whole-grain and refined carbs.
3. I tend to distribute my calories fairly evenly between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks -- 400 to 500 calories each. I find it a lot easier to eat a small dinner than to restrict myself at breakfast or lunch.
4. I discovered these great pickled chili peppers at our local Chinese grocery store and have been snacking on them regularly. (My weakness has always been for exotic foods with strong flavours, rather than junk or comfort foods.) Although I have an "iron stomach" and haven't had any symptoms, I do wonder if this is a sustainable habit or if it will do damage to my gut. Any thoughts about this?