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I would like to address a question, or concern posed by a reader in a comment under the “Getting Started” page/post. It is such an important concern that I didn’t want it languishing, relatively unseen, in a comment thread. The comment is copied below:

Your book and message made a difference in my approach. I did weight watchers and with the science, I took a different tact in my food choices (more protein, less bready carbs) and added in daily exercise. I’m now at BMI 24.5 and feeling great.  However, I’ve been here before. The challenge is keeping it off. WW maintenance has never worked for me in the long run, one of the weaknesses of the program.  Any advice that would make a difference? I need a different maintenance approach. Thanks.

First of all, congratulations, dear reader, for reaching your goal, which is an admirable achievement, and hard-earned I am sure. I too have reached a goal-weight in the past, only to let it slip away, sadly watching the numbers on the scale creep right back up to where I started at in the first place, and sometimes even higher.

First of all, dear reader, the thrust of my book, “The Relativity Diet,” is that the onus is on you, the reader, to utilize your newfound knowledge to choose the food types from the three groups of macro nutrients in a manner that you are comfortable with. Generally, this means managing your carbohydrates in regard to total volume (less than 120grams/day, and low-glycemic), concentrating on lower fat protein sources (poultry, fish), generally eating more protein at the expense of carbohydrate, and of course, managing your caloric intake (counting calories).

You see, all of the above isn’t a temporary “guide” to get to a special place.  Nay, all of the above needs to become your new “normal.” On the Relativity Diet, when you get to your goal weight, nothing changes; in this case, “more protein, less bready carbs,” and “added daily exercise.” Why would you want to cease something that is so obviously beneficial?

This is the problem, as I see it, with many diets, including Weight Watchers with the points system. I think it is difficult to follow a “plan” for the rest of your life. That is why I think if your diet is based upon the choices you make, which is based on the science you have learned, then you take ownership of your diet, and it becomes your “usual food and drink,” which is actually the definition of “diet.” It is impossible for someone else’s diet, whether it be Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, the points-based Weight-Watchers, or any other “plan” not your own to become your usual food and drink; it will be forever artificial, and thereby temporary.

There is no doubt that you will stray from your “diet” at some point. The important thing is to know that you are straying, that you stray not too much, and for not too long. As long as you return to your new normal of healthy eating and daily exercise, all will be well.

Thank you so much for your comment, and again congratulations.