Keeping it Off - life after weight loss

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k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 15:45
Well, I'm almost there. It's been a long road, but the end is drawing near.

I'm really starting to think about mainenence. My plan is to raise my calories by 100 per week once I hit my goal. I'm guessing my weight will dip below 180 during this period, but in all honesty I'm not concerned about the exact number. Eventually, I should be able to eat about 2000 calories a day as long as I continue exercising, which I will do for sure. But I will need to find the right number. I'd be okay eating 1500 calories a day forever, honestly. I've become very comfortable with it. But I am thinking if I slowly raise my calories, I will hopefully avoid regaining weight and avoid losing more than I want to lose. And I want to really focus on building muscle, for which I know I need more calories.

What's your plan? I'm especially interested in hearing from people who are maintaining or who are getting close. For those who are there, what have you learned? What has worked? What has not? I know this weight isn't going to keep itself off! So I need a plan...
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suremeansyes

Joined: May 10
Posts: 142

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 18:22
I can give you a "don't do this" lol...

I was at 129 in Oct. Got very depressed around that time and began not caring about what I ate and how much of it I ate. I was still cooking dinner at home, but not measuring (was just eyeballing, since I had done the measuring for so long and lost 35 pounds, big mistake). Started hitting drive-throughs and since I didn't gain immediate weight, got almost cocky about it.

Now this is all circumstances of my life, but here's the advice part. Make sure during maintenance that food doesn't become a crutch in hard times (one reason many people gain weight). Also, don't get TOO comfortable or laxed about counting your calories. You have to live your life obviously, and during maintenance your life doesn't have to revolve around calories (and fat, and sugar...and sodium...lol) as much. Best part of maintenance? Be proud of your hard work.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 18:27
I'm thinking about maybe counting calories once a week? Or one week a month? I did a little stint here where I stopped counting but just went with what I had learned- and I still lost weight so I was very proud! But I did continue to measure portions of things I know are high calorie- like cheese, pasta, and peanut butter.

I've lost and gained it all back, so I am very wary this time!
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rjenkins27

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 830

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 18:39
I hope I can get by without counting calories. Diligence is key, but I would hate to think that I'm destined to log everything I eat for the rest of my life.

My plan is similar to yours k8yk. I've already increased my calories from 1600-1800 to 2000-2100 for the "soft landing" you've mentioned before. I lost over 2 pounds the first week I did this, but this week doesn't look like it will be as good, and may show a slight gain. I don't care. If I am going to be able to do this for the long term, I need to be able to eat more (within normal limits) and not gain weight.

I believe starvation mode or calorie conservation is real. Ideally, my metabolism will be tuned enough to eat a rational amount without my body storing it as fat for future use.

I plan on continually increasing calories gradually over several weeks/months until I find the maximum to sustain my ideal weight. Exercise will continue for the myriad of benefits it offers.

Given your knowledge and attitude, I doubt maintenance will be too difficult. I still eat a lot of fast food (out of perceived necessity), so again, diligence will be key.

As far as not counting calories, my plan is to have 200 be my upper limit. I intend on losing until I hit 190 and then stop counting calories. If I hit 200, that's the signal (and penalty) that I need to count calories until I hit 190 again. I don't think a 5% weight fluctuation will be too harmful, and since I hate counting calories, I expect that 195 will be a signal to monitor intake more closely before the penalty kicks in.

Goal - never weigh more than 200 again!



I work for the Department of Redundancy Department
suremeansyes

Joined: May 10
Posts: 142

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 18:46
Maybe gradually wean off of counting? Like, pick two days a week to not count for a month, then the next month pick three days a week, and so on.

Like I said, not measuring my intake (not necessarily counting calories) seemed to be my biggest downfall (starving myself basically some days, and way over indulging another), but my circumstances were not normal. And in fact, I lost the whole 35 pounds originally without counting a single calorie. I'm here to watch my intake and stay consistent, as opposed to counting calories.
suremeansyes

Joined: May 10
Posts: 142

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 18:47
Btw, congrats to both of you for almost reaching maintenance and losing the pounds!
usemyotherad...

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 1,052

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 21:28
What if you counted calories on even days, and ate what you wanted on odd days? It's a tough call, when I don't know what really works for you the best. We all metabolize differently, and you know your trigger foods that put you in danger. The key for you, is that you work out, and have muscle, so you can burn fat even when sleeping. I do not work out because of my leg...

When I have been on maintenance before, I keep a strict regime for 6 days, and eat what I want on one of them. It worked before, but now that I am older, I will have to keep tweeking options till I have something that works without putting too much thought into it.
arianalj

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 55

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 21:48
I use to be a bodybuilder.....yes me...and getting to a certain weight and staying there is not as difficult as people would think. What worked for me was either cut out cardio for two days instead of one or eat a extra meal. I've tried both and they both worked great but I prefer the extra meal. I plan on doing this soon because I'm not to far from my goal...15 lbs to go. Hope it helps k8yk.
Life is great!
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 22:34
My bf, and my own personal fitness guru, suggests that I change my routine when I get to my goal weight and do a lot less cardio and more/heavier weight lifting. He says I should do that first and see what happens before adjusting my diet. I'm honestly very comfortable with what I'm eating now and I'm not in that big of a hurry to change it or anything, so I guess I could try this. He hasn't led me astray yet, and I would like to build more muscle.

Anyway, I feel confident that I can do it, but healthily wary as well. I think in the past when I lost a lot of weight, I just didn't think about how I would keep it off. I know now it isn't going to keep itself off. And I knew from the get go that this change had to be permanent, so I have not been looking to an end to it at all. I agree with Matt55 that it is just the beginning.

Another thing I'm doing is trying to branch out in terms of exercise. Fortunately, I have my bf who always goes to the gym with me and keeps me there for an hour and a half. I've also been jogging outside (not today though- 100 degrees already!) I'm going to try out a kickboxing gym. I need to figure out other ways to work exercise into my life because I can honestly say I have no intention of hitting the gym 6 days a week for the rest of my life. But I do fully intend to get exercise every single day in some form. The human body isn't meant to sit at a desk all day, I've come to understand.

Just thinking about it makes me feel better about it.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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AmyCoulon

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 84

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Posted: 21 May 2010, 23:26
Hi Kate. While I certainly understand your bf's logic in focusing more on strengthening for the incr muscle mass that will make it easier to burn calories at rest, don't totally bag the cardio. Your heart really needs that exercise it gets when your HR goes up, after all the heart is a muscle too that needs strengthening. Smile I think the current popular school of thought from the AHA, is cardio activity 5 days of the week, only needs to be 30 mins. Best of luck in setting up your maintenance plan!
"Kharma is a powerful thing..."
arianalj

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 55

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 12:24
Kate I agree 100% with your trainer and Bf. That you should lower your cardio and increase weight training. I did cardio back then 6 days so cutting out 2 days worked for me. But I tried adding a meal and that seemed to work better for me.

I think you have a incredible outlook on life...your attitude is wonderful. Keep it up.

Felita
Life is great!
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 12:46
Thank you Amy and Felita Smile I love to do cardio! If I could I would just do cardio every day. I love the worn out tired feeling and the feeling of raising my heart rate. And I love the feeling of accomplishment after completing a 3 mile run or walking up 100 flights of stairs. Currently I have been doing 4-5 days a week of 1+ hour of cardio and 2 days a week of 1+hour of strength training.

My boyfriend's suggestion is to do 4 days of strength training and 2-3 days of cardio. I will probably give it a try. He says I should adjust my diet based on how this makes me feel at the gym. If I feel like I run out of energy halfway through my workout, then I need to eat more during the day (we go to the gym in the evening). I'm thinking I will probably end up increasing my lunches. I currently eat a very light lunch and it is the one place in my diet I feel like I'd like to eat a bit more.

It is amazing how much more in tune with my body I am now. I do feel it when I run out of steam at the gym and I know it's tied to what I ate that day.

Amy, I've actually read a recent study that we need more exercise than 30 min a day x 5 days a week. Check it out. It might come as a shock to some people, but it doesn't much to me. We just aren't meant to be sedentary! Now they're linking all these diseases to sitting for long periods of time. Man, I need a career change...


How Much Exercise Prevents Weight Gain?
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anapdc

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 14:44
k8yk wrote:
Now they're linking all these diseases to sitting for long periods of time. Man, I need a career change...



Yes, I thought about it too. I am an engineer, but I work as a techinal translator, so at least 10 hours a day sitting in front of a pc. I love my job, but I know it is far from being healthy.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto
Glen e

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 54

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 15:27
I've lost 42 and have about 7 more and have giving this a lot of thought. Like you I am not sure exactly what I'm going to do. Like you BF is suggesting, I'm gonna knock my cardio back to 4 x a week and the gym 1 or two times a week. I think increasing a few hundred per day will also be my plan. I'm going to continue to eat the foods I eat now as I'm dead sure that going back to fast food, regular crap even in moderation will not work. I've accepted that there are things I can never have again and that's perfectly fine with me as I have an addictive personality. Believe me I don't miss them at all. One thing I do know is I'm not gonna ever forget what it's like to be fat - I'm not going back there - you are never cured with an addiction - you are just in control. I'll be tracking FS and weight like a hawk from here on out. It's a lifestyle that is very comfortable with me.
Glen - 59
Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Diet: Jenny Craig entrees/my veggies and fruits
Start 2/22/10 @ 283 lbs
CW: 226 lbs
Goal: 225
obakemono

Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 308

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 16:49
There's a quote I heard before that was applied to alchoholism - "Remember, once you're a pickle, you can never be a cucumber again." - and I think it might apply to keeping the weight off indefinitely.

Controversy still rages on regarding fat cells: do they increase their numbers when we gain weight, but do not decrease their amounts when we lose the weight - they merely shrink.

Sooo, my thinking is that once we lose the weight, it'll be something we'll always need to keep an eye on. Continue exercising (if not for the weight maintenance, but for the benefits it'll have on our golden years), and only increase calories to a number that will maintain our weight. Treats will be okay, but again we'll need to mindful of how it factors into our overall calories ingested over the space of a few days.

I hate the idea of counting calories forever, but I think I'll know the calories of pretty much everything once I've reached my goal. I'll also know the counts of my standard meals.

And despite hating it, I'll probably check calories on new foods or meals. I may HATE counting the calories, but I'd totally freak-out and be ultra-disappointed if I put the weight back on.
PETER LORRE:...."How bout some jellied spiders...rabbit's blood?......deadman's hair?"
VINCENT PRICE:.."No...we don't keep those things in this house.....we're vegetarians!!"
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k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 22 May 2010, 19:12
I'm not so sure about that, Matt. Though I'm sure there are some people who have an addicted relationship with food, I feel that what caused me to gain weight, and probably most people, was bad habit coupled with ignorance.

I think that MOST people can change these habits by slow and steady adjustment to a new way of eating and exercising and self-education. That's what I feel I've done. I no longer feel any desire to overeat, scout's honor! Just repetition of a normal way of eating and really learning to love the healthy foods I eat, has completely changed my way of looking at food.

Sometimes I think that this "addiction" people speak of is just an excuse not to take responsibility for oneself. The food never MADE me eat it. I decided to. I was in control the whole time and I made all the wrong choices, not because I'm a bad or stupid person, but because I was ignorant and no one ever taught me anything about good eating habits and exercise. So now, I'm 32 years old and I've finally taught myself. I taught myself to make good choices and not to want to make the old choices.

I know something about real addiction from some experiences involving people near and dear to me. Although we do sometimes use food as an emotional crutch, it is not the same as real addiction, for MOST people. I do think some people develop something like OCD toward food, but I think a lot of us are just misguided or never thought to care about what they were eating, but not "addicted".
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
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AmyCoulon

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 84

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Posted: 23 May 2010, 22:41
You're right Kate. There's conflicting opinions in the medical world of exactly how much exercise we need. It seems that all of us truly need an hour of exercise everyday (I mean you figure cavemen used to have to chase down their food!). But I think in an effort to not deter people from doing any exercise at all, they've scaled down the recommendations to 30-60 mins of exercise 5-7 days of the week. I suppose they figure that way they don't scare off the "all or nothing" folks. Smile
"Kharma is a powerful thing..."
wintersmith

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 142

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Posted: 24 May 2010, 03:16
My advice, from earlier this year before I decided to try to get to 175 lbs, is to keep counting calories. Honestly, it is such a habit at this point you won't be messing with your routine. You'll have absolute control over what you eat and how much, and if you do start to see a change in your weight you'll have a record to review exactly what might be causing it. Also, it will help to keep from backsliding into the bad habits that led to weight gain in the first place.

To be absolutely frank, I plan on counting calories for the rest of my life, and teaching my kid(s) to do the same. Looking back I wish my parents had gotten me to do something like that, I'd have realized so much earlier what I should and should not be eating!



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