During this phase, which should last a minimum of four weeks, you'll learn how to keep your calories in check by getting in touch with your hunger, putting a lid on sweets and other treats and eating proper portions.
Reigning in your treat calories—using Anything Goes Calories—can help keep your weight loss going. The number of Anything Goes calories you get each day depends on your daily calorie needs and activity level. You can spend these calories on whatever foods you like, including those that you eliminated in Phase 1. Check out the chart below to see how many you get each day.
In this phase, weigh yourself once a week. If the number goes up, don't be hard on yourself. Just look over the changes you've made and see where you may need to fine-tune your efforts. Also, think about increasing your level on the activity scale. This is optional, but exercise can provide some of the comfort you might otherwise find from eating, thanks to endorphins.
Reevaluate at the end of four weeks. If you've met your goal weight, move on. If you're 20 pounds or less from your goal and still losing, you have two options: Stay in Phase 2 until you reach your goal; or go to Phase 3, where you'll continue to lose while also making important dietary changes, such as reducing sodium and replacing less nutritious foods with healthier fare. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose and are consistently dropping, stay in Phase 2.
If you've stopped losing and still have 20 or more pounds to go, don't be discouraged. Make sure you're following the first two phases and haven't let extra calories slip back in your diet. Keeping a food diary can help you get a good picture of what's really going on. If you've been true to the program, try cutting your calories or increasing your exercise another notch. You may have hit a plateau, and this will help jump-start your progress.