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Shocked @ maintenance calorie allowance

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default Shocked @ maintenance calorie allowance

I meet with my nutritionist (and doctor/nurse team) every week as I am on a medically supervised diet.

In talking about my goals and where I want to be, I said my focus right now is to get to 199 so I can do my happy dance and finally exhale that I made it from the 300s to the 100s.

But in thinking about where I might be happy without really knowing, I chose 175 as my ultimate goal just for estimate's sake.

Between my "new" weight and exercise calories, my maintenance calories allowed per day are going to be about 2300!! That totally shocked me and I thought it was wrong.

I am medically supervised now but recently increased my calorie intake and I average anywhere from 1100-1300 before exercise (I never eat it back). When I first started my plan, I averaged anywhere from 800-1000 before exercise depending on what I ate. But regardless of my numbers, I was (am!) never hungry. I can't imagine eating 1000+ MORE calories a day when I am 50lbs lighter and actually not gaining weight back! Obviously it was pointed out to me that I can't make up the daily allowance with burgers and fries and soda, I can only have those within reason.

If I filled that gap with fruits and vegetables for example to make up 1000 additional calories, I'd be eating all day!!

Have any of you been shocked with how much you can eat once you are "off your diet"? I'm scared to be honest, I understand the science behind it but that amount of food just flashes big red lights "weight gain alert!" to me....and I have quite a few months to worry about this.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:08 AM   #2
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I'm not specifically counting calories so things will work a little bit differently for me. But the way my plan works is that once you lose the weight and go through the transition phase to get to maintenance, you start to add back in things. So right now, I don't eat fruit but I add that back in once I am at goal (although I plan to experiment with that in the summer and see if I can keep losing).

My plan also adds in some whole grains at goal, as well as the ocassional starch. And you add in Celebration meals, where you can enjoy a full "normal" meal with appetizer, entree, side dish, dessert and even a drink.

I'm not sure how all this will play out - and a big thing for me will be seeing what does and doesn't trigger any cravings.

Now, how and whether this gets me from the ~1000 calories a day I eat now up to 2000, I'm not sure. It's going to be a lot more experimenting to see what it takes to maintain. And honestly, it's the most scary part to me. As frustrating as losing weight can be, I think in reality, it's the easy part compared with maintaining!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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Well.... not to burst your bubble, but you can't know what your maintenance calories will be.

Some people can and do eat around 2000 a day to keep at their low weight (and meaning going lower in the BMI range). Some people need to eat no more than 1500 a day.

I have found for myself, at 43, that I maintain my weight of 170(ish) if I eat about 1500-1550 a day. I discovered that this summer when I wasn't exercising, but eating better. Now, when I say I wasn't exercising, I was still active. I was landscaping my yard ( dug up the sod in two huge flower beds, laid a stone pathway, put down 10 cubic yards of mulch all over my yard, etc). So, I wasn't just sitting around.

I "lose" when I exercise for an hour a day 6 days a week AND eat about the same.

I see several here who eat about 1500 or less a day AND exercise to maintain... So it does differ person to person. THAT just takes some learning. Many people will add back 100 calories a month to see where that takes them and so on.

I wish we could KNOW, that would be so much easier!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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I'm sorry too... But this is definitely one of those "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it..." sort of things... AND as I found out the hard way just don't be too surprised by how many fewer calories you may need to maintain than you think...
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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I'll go the opposite of some of the other ladies and say, ya, you may very well be surprised just how much you will be able to eat and maintain. Of course you won't know till you get there, and it takes trial and error.

I've found for myself, I've been able to maintain on between 2000-2500 (depending on my activity level for the day).
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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Funny....my doctor pegs my maintenance to be roughly 1600 a day when I finally hit my goal weight. But he did give me the disclaimer that anything can change that, such as metabolism, hormones, actual activity opossed to project activity, and the list just goes on and on and on.

Instead of focusing on tomorrow, focus on today. Cross that road when you get there...who knows...it might be less, might be more, or it might just be right on. But you will not know until you are there. Good luck, and happy lifestyle change to you!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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I agree with those who say you won't truly know what you can eat until you get there. At the beginning of the process you cannot predict that. It will depend on so many things.

Just stay focused on the here and now and worry about that later!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:41 PM   #8
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Thank you all!!! And nothing is bursting my bubble!!

I guess I have just been overwhelmed with thinking I'd ever eat THAT much again even if it is healthy food.

I think too I am just nervous to ever eat like a "normal" person again, even though before all this there was nothing normal about the way I ate. Ugh, makes me sick to think about!

I love that we can come here and talk things out and get other's perspectives. You all removed 99% of my stress for the day and brought me back to reality, I can't thank you all enough for that.

And I do take my diet one day at a time, just keeping my eye on the prize for now!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #9
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Default very good advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom View Post

Instead of focusing on tomorrow, focus on today. Cross that road when you get there...who knows...it might be less, might be more, or it might just be right on. But you will not know until you are there. Good luck, and happy lifestyle change to you!
This is some very good advice in general, not just with regard to projecting maintenance calories. I have a long way to go before I'll need maintenance, so I'm going to keep this in mind. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvislover324 View Post

I guess I have just been overwhelmed with thinking I'd ever eat THAT much again even if it is healthy food.

I think too I am just nervous to ever eat like a "normal" person again, even though before all this there was nothing normal about the way I ate.
I worry about this, too. My calories now are pretty low - about 1200/day. If I eat to maintain according to the calculator, that's 1800 per day. That's a 50% increase!! I'm afraid that increasing my calories like that will be very triggering for me to go off plan. I am going to very gradually add calories back in - like 100 per month. I may lose more doing that until I get comfortable with it, but that wouldn't be the end of the world - hehe. I can always gain it back if I want to! lol
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:04 PM   #11
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Elvis-- I had the exact same thought process about maintainance calories a few weeks back. Honestly, I'm so focused on losing right now, I rarely think about maintainance.

Lets get to onederland!!!! Hugs
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:29 AM   #12
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I'm more worried about what kinds of foods I'll eat at maintenance. I know I've had crackers for dinner before -- probably the same amount of calories as a balanced meal, but ALL CARBS and sodium.
Although I enjoy good food, it's a chore to me to keep variety in my meals and chop veggies and cook fresh foods. I just don't want to slip back into just filling up on whatever is convenient. But, that's a worry for another day. I still have to get to maintenance!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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Default re: chopping veggies

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Originally Posted by AwShucks View Post
I'm more worried about what kinds of foods I'll eat at maintenance. I know I've had crackers for dinner before -- probably the same amount of calories as a balanced meal, but ALL CARBS and sodium.
Although I enjoy good food, it's a chore to me to keep variety in my meals and chop veggies and cook fresh foods. I just don't want to slip back into just filling up on whatever is convenient. But, that's a worry for another day. I still have to get to maintenance!
I find food prep a chore as well. I'm sure you've heard this before too but I'm trying again to chop up a bunch of veggies at the beginning of the week and stick them in a container in the fridge so its just as easy to grab a vegetable as a cracker. My daughter loves veggies and tzaiziki or hummus, so that is a little extra inspiration for me. I don't want her to develop the same bad habits I did.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadedbluejeans View Post
I find food prep a chore as well. I'm sure you've heard this before too but I'm trying again to chop up a bunch of veggies at the beginning of the week and stick them in a container in the fridge so its just as easy to grab a vegetable as a cracker. My daughter loves veggies and tzaiziki or hummus, so that is a little extra inspiration for me. I don't want her to develop the same bad habits I did.
This is what I do. I cook twice a week and I make enough for lunch and dinner for a few days...I'll freeze cooked food if I have to. And I chop salad toppings up and keep them in tupperware with a paper towel to help with excess moisture. I'll chop up tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and keep a bag of broccoli slaw in the fridge. Then when I'm ready for my salad, I take a couple of handfuls of baby spinach/lettuce and a couple of spoonfuls of my chopped veggies. Otherwise having a salad with dinner seems like a real chore.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickieBoom View Post
This is what I do. I cook twice a week and I make enough for lunch and dinner for a few days...I'll freeze cooked food if I have to. And I chop salad toppings up and keep them in tupperware with a paper towel to help with excess moisture. I'll chop up tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and keep a bag of broccoli slaw in the fridge. Then when I'm ready for my salad, I take a couple of handfuls of baby spinach/lettuce and a couple of spoonfuls of my chopped veggies. Otherwise having a salad with dinner seems like a real chore.
That's a good plan. I'm trying to do more full meal prep ahead too, in addition to our veggie snacks. And I love broccoli slaw
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