Weight Loss Support - Scared of re-gaining after I lose the weight

08-11-2008, 09:08 PM
I have been losing weight, and now I am trying Atkins. But I am so worried that after I lose this 102 lbs left that I will gain it all back. I am a picky eater, and I am trying new foods. I am scared after I lose the weight I will go back to my old habits: eating when I am not hunger, eating lots of fried food and sweets, and drinking lots of soda.

Do any of you have similar fears? I am just so afraid that I am wasting my time... that I will just get fat again. But I have been trying to look at it in another way - this is my chance to live a happy life.

I am afraid that if I don't lose weight I will way over 400 lbs by the time I am 40. I want to have a long healthy life, but sometimes thinking about all the food I have to give up is unbearable. I miss French fries most of all.

I am just now sure how I can manage my weight once I do lose it.

08-11-2008, 09:16 PM
Moonring - one of my favorite, favorite things about 3FC is our devotion not only to weight LOSS, but to weight MAINTENANCE. We've got a whole forum dedicated to it, and lots of maintainers working maintenance EVERY DAY. So when the time comes for you to maintain, you'll have a whole squad of folks there to give you information and support.

You CAN lose weight and keep it off, and many of us here HAVE. Don't let that fear stop you from making positive changes!

08-11-2008, 09:19 PM
Hi Moonring05! I have to confess I have the same fears you do. I don't want this weight back ever again!

I feel I also have to confess I did Atkins and lost 50lbs, but then I fell off the proverbial wagon and couldn't get back on for four years.

Just take it one day at a time, this is a life change, not something you do 'til the weight is off. This is something you will want to do for the rest of your life.

08-11-2008, 09:20 PM
You don't have to deny yourself the foods you like. Just have it as a treat occasionally. But I can understand the fear of working so hard then gaining it all back. There are some members around here that have posted about regaining all the weight twice and I even remember reading one post by someone a while back that said she was on her third attempt and that it really really had clicked with her THIS time. Plus what Mandalinn said is absolutely right. They have a great maintainers forum! Plus take it ONE day at a time too!

08-11-2008, 09:24 PM
I do understand how you feel. I've had those worries too. I've been a food addict for a long time, so I do get it. I think you have answered your own question in a way. You know that if you don't give up those tempting foods, you could very well die, as any of us can. As as as those foods....yes, giving them up is like giving up a great friend, when, in fact, it's not your friend at all. It is killing you. I have given up lots of foods I thought I could never live without. I thought I could never ever live without them, but I can. There's nothing I can never have though! I have been planning my birthday dinner for a long time (it's not until November), but somehow, it help me to know that on that day, I will eat whatever I want. I might get to that day and decide that I"ll wait until the next birthday or I might not. I will tell you that I don't crave those foods as badly anymore...especially now that I'm getting closer to goal. So, I don't think I'll gain it back this time. I've lost weight before...many times, but I"m not relying on any programs or gimmics this time. I'm doing it the old fashioned way: counting calories and working out a lot. I'm reminded of when I had my boys and how hard it was for them to give up their bottle. They didn't want to give it up...it provided lots of comfort and pleasure, but they had to grow up and that process was not easy. For me, this was similar. I had to mature and know that I have to resist temptation if I want to have a good life. I'm not saying that people who are heavy don't have a good life...not at all, but now that I"m getting back to my old shape, I'm starting to remember just how great it is to be thinner. Good luck to you!


08-11-2008, 09:29 PM
Hi Moonring- from someone who has previously lost 90 lbs only to gain it back you need to be vigilant. Don't stop weighing yourself, when you gain a bit of weight back get strict with yourself again. The last time I tricked myself into believing now that I was thin I could live like my thin friends- not true. If I want to keep the weight off I will need to watch what I eat for the rest of my life- that does not mean that I can't have treats but when I do I will have to make up for it elsewhere- either by increased exercise or lower calories the next day. You can do it- just be realistic about maintenance. I looked at as if Yeah, I made it I'm homefree. This time there is no question it will be different.

08-11-2008, 09:35 PM
2 summers ago I lost 25 lbs and kept it off for a little over a year, how I have no idea...as it stayed off I started weighing myself less and eating more and thinking nothing would change...how naive. Than I started dating this guy and over the next several months of being with him I gained all the weight back...as our relationship started to crumble I once again fell into a depression and that led to binge epsiodes for me (as it always has) now I gained even more weight and am finally taking it off again although its slower this time.

My recommendation would be to not lose focus - dont stop weighing in, dont become mindless of what you are eating just because you feel happy you've come "this" far that attitude made me gain all the weight back. Now I realize the only way I'm going to keep it off if is I have constant reminders for myself to weigh in, take my vitamins, and my stepping machine is in front of my tv and not in the basement (unlike my treadmill which I havent seen for years...because well who wants to work out in a dark stuffy basement? :(

Just keep your goals in mind and you'll be fine :)

08-11-2008, 09:43 PM
I can understand your fear. I have lost over 100 lbs twice in my life only to have gained it all back and then some. I have now lost 119 lbs (I need to update my ticker) and am still fearful of gaining it back. In fact, my weight can fluctuate 10-30 lbs. But is the fear of gaining it back reason to give up? I don't think so. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is a struggle. And no, we cannot eat like naturally thin people. But the alternative of staying at a weight that makes us unhappy and unhealthy does not seem like a better option. You can do it - consistency is the key. And taking it one day (and sometimes even one hour) at a time. Good luck - know that others are right there with you. And, as a 40 something - I can tell you it is better to gain control now - it does get harder the older you get...

08-11-2008, 09:53 PM
Moonring, you are sooooo not alone! I worry about this every day. I lost 40 lbs 8 years ago at my first attempt at a diet. And it took a few years but I did gain back all of it plus 70 lbs. And Atkins especially can be very scary because you think, it's impossible to go the rest of my life and never ever eat pizza again (my personal favorite). Or french fries. Or birthday cake. Or just a freakin' bologna sandwich!

But, the trick is, once you're at your goal, you can eat them in small amounts, and balance it out by more time on the treadmill or going a day with salads. By the time you're at your goal, hopefully your mind will be in the right place. I lost 45 lbs in 6 months, then maintained for 4 months. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, but I made sure to weigh every day, and when I saw the scale get to the edge of my 5 lb window, I clamped down on my carbs. So, now I just have to make sure I can do that every day of the rest of my life. I may not be able to pass up carbs for the rest of my life-actually I know that is impossible for me-but I can step on a scale and make a decision about how strict to be.

08-11-2008, 10:26 PM
I can also understand your fear. I have lost and regained alot of weight multiple times in my life. Don't give up though. You are capable of doing this!

08-11-2008, 11:11 PM
I am scared of it every day :)

I have lost weight before and always gained it back. This time, I thought from day 1 how will I keep it off, my whole goal has been keeping it off. Changing my focus from "lose weight' to "lose weight, keep it off, be healthy" made a HUGE difference for me.

For me, when my goal was "lose weight' when I lost the weight, I was done and the diet ended. I started resuming my old habits and the weight came back (with MORE weight). This time, my goal is to lose weight, keep it off and be healthy - there is no end. There is no diet to stop, this is just the way I eat.

It's been over 3.5 years and I am still within 5 lbs of my original low weight - it CAN be done, but it involves permament change. I focused on making changes I could stick to forever.

You are more than welcome to come hang out in Maintainer's Forum right now, all of us work on maintaining our weight loss every day and support each other.

08-11-2008, 11:48 PM
I totally understand where you are coming from... Even though I just started last week I have this fear too. I have lost weight many times only to gain it back. This time I am making a LIFE style change! This is the way I am going to eat for the rest of my life, and I guess that is the difference for me this time around. I agree with everyone's plans on how to maintain weight too. Good luck hun, I know you can do it!!!

08-12-2008, 02:03 AM
I think about it sometimes too. I've lost weight several times over the years and gained it all back (and more, of course). I think my thinking this time around has definitely changed, like others here, I look at it as a lifestyle change and not as a diet. I've had to come up with habits and stuff that I will be able to follow the rest of my life. I haven't forbidden any food...I figure if I tried, I'd only want it even more. So I allow myself a treat, but only once in awhile. That said, I still worry a little bit. I've stuck with this lifestyle change alot longer than I have before, and I've lost more weight than I ever have before. I think, in five years, will I still be this vigilant? I don't think this very often, but I hope I will be. You are definitely not alone in this.

08-12-2008, 03:11 AM
i do worry about it....
but i figured the loosing weight is the actual difficult part....
so long as you still eat well and exercise (all be it less frequently) when maintaining it should be manageable....

08-12-2008, 07:04 AM
Losing weight for me is the easy part. I can do that, have done it many times so my fear of regaining is very real. I'm really trying to change my 'diet' mentality that tells me I've got to where I want to be so I can stop now. I know that's not true and I certainly haven't turned things around and got back to my old eating habits overnight. Its more subtle, more insidious than that. Its just giving myself permission to have a little extra dinner here, substitute a biscuit for a low-fat snack. It creeps in little by little and soon I find myself 10lbs heavier and haven't had the skills to stop things in their tracks.

I've now come to the conclusion that constant vigilance is the answer and I do hope I do better this time than I have in the past.


08-12-2008, 07:09 AM
Yes, I can relate! I have lost and regained weight several times over the years. I've found that I regain the weight when I stop self-monitoring. If I start reverting back to the old habits -- mindlessly eating too much of the wrong things, not exercising regularly, and avoiding the scale -- then it definitely comes back on.

But, I've been maintaining now for about 8 months and the difference this time is that I keep right on doing all of the things that I did when I was losing: keep a food diary, count all of the calories, exercise faithfully and weigh myself regularly to see how I'm doing. I do pretty much all of the same things that I did when in the weight loss phase, just have a few more calories to "play" with, that's all. If I see the scale creeping up, then I adjust my intake and exercise until it goes back down. I can NEVER go back to the way I ate before, because it was simply way more calories than my body needed for fuel. I have to be intentional about my eating and exercise program, now and forever.

Maintenance is challenging, in many ways just as challenging as the weight loss phase. Someone has a "sig" that says something like: Being fat is hard, losing weight is hard, maintenance is hard - pick your hard. I love that! Maintenance may be hard too, but at least you reap all of the benefits of the weight loss including improved health and mobility and being able to wear cute clothes. It it certainly worth it!

08-12-2008, 08:58 AM

Count me in the "I've lost it and gained it all back" club. Twice. Once 99 pounds, once 80+.

Looking back what I see is that my idea was that I lose the weight and then I could eat "normally" which meant eat the way I always did. Bad idea! The truth is that the way I always ate was sufficient to support 250+ pounds, and everytime I went back to it, the weight came back too.

I think the difference for me now is that I know that this way of eating must be permanent. If I go back, so does the weight. I'm trying hard to focus on eating well and healthily. For me that includes some french fries and desserts, with the goal of not eating once I am full, and no mindless eating.

It's been about four months. I'm losing, not as fast as I would like, but without feeling deprived...and in fact my tastes are changing.

You can do this...one day at a time...and know that the changes have to be forever! (And with these changes forever can be longer than without them!)

08-12-2008, 09:30 AM
The reality is that most people who lose a significant amount of weight fail to maintain their loss.

So, it is very good that you are thinking about this now. 3FC is the first place I had ever heard of "maintaining" for a weight loss. Lots of places focus on the loss, but maintaining is overlooked--which is a bummer. We spend many months losing, but the rest of our lives will be maintaining---if we are in that minority who can.

Maintaining may be hard, but hard is NOT impossible. You can do it. I can do it. I have learned that it takes vigilance and commitment. I know it can be done, cause of the maintainers on 3FC. The fact you are thinking about this now means you are ahead of the game.

08-12-2008, 09:46 AM
Even more than six years after reaching goal, I'm still afraid of regain. And I'm thankful for the fear! I know that I will always have to vigilant and that I'll never be safe or immune from regain. So the fear keeps me on track and from falling into the deadly complacency that leads to regain. So I pray never to lose that fear. :)

08-12-2008, 09:53 AM
When I decided to lose the weight, it was after realizing (finally) that I didn't have to be fat if I didn't want to be. That it was all within my power, my control. So, I now use the same strategy for keeping it off. I don't have to regain the weight and be fat, if I don't want to be. It is all up to me.

I never, ever want to go back to that unhappy, miserable, underproductive person that I was at 287 lbs. I will do everything in my power to avoid going back. But nevertheless, I do have the fear that I can gain it back. Thing is, I use that very fear to keep me on my toes and super duper vigilant. I control this. I decide if I'm going to gain the weight back or not. It's my choice. And I choose NOT to.

08-12-2008, 10:53 AM
I totally understand. I am a bit worried about keeping the weight off (once I make it to my target weight) as well. Maybe that's partially why I just adjusted my target weight to a lower value - it is easier to lose it but I am not sure how easy it is to maintain. I am kidding - I did adjust my target weight because I still have way too much fat that has to go.

But, like Meg said, the fear of regaining is a good thing because it will keep us on our toes. And remember, we did not change our diets and ways of life just in order to lose - we made a complete lifestyle change and healthy eating and activity are to remain deeply embedded in our daily routines.

And I also agree with Midwife - I don't have any experience with any other weight loss forums (I found 3FC by total accident - I was actually looking for some info when I started exercising on my treadmill and developed a bit of pain) but I have never heard maintenance mentioned anywhere else either. It's always about weight loss, weight loss and more weight loss, but maintenance is just as important, if not more important, than weight loss itself.
Thank God for 3FC!!!

08-12-2008, 11:22 AM
Even more than six years after reaching goal, I'm still afraid of regain. And I'm thankful for the fear! I know that I will always have to vigilant and that I'll never be safe or immune from regain. So the fear keeps me on track and from falling into the deadly complacency that leads to regain. So I pray never to lose that fear. :)

Glad I read all the posts before I replied 'cause that's exactly what I was going to say :D

My weight has bounced around so much during my dieting *career* that I used to keep a closet full of such a variety of sizes I could have opened my own second hand store :o I haven't reached goal yet, and sometimes I get really frustrated that the loosing part has slowed to such a crawl, but the fear of gaining back even a few pounds keeps me totally OP, even on vacation or on really stressful days. This fear is a completely new experience for me so I'm thinking that using it as a tool to help keep me vigilant might just be what makes this time different.

I would say that, as long as it doesn't pull you into a place where you start cutting your nutrition short or falling into any unhealthy habits, it's a perfectly normal and maybe even positive feeling.

Beach Patrol
08-12-2008, 12:13 PM
Moonring (what a COOL name!) .... :hug:

I have yo-yoed at least 6 times in my adult life. I'm 45 now; it seems that I've been dieting forever. My 1st attempt to lose weight was so easy it stunned me! - I was 26 then, & all I did was walk four miles every other day & have a salad for dinner - I didn't change any other habits! I lost 21 pounds in a little over 3 months. I went from 136 to 115 & I kept it off for about 3 years...

... then one day I noticed my pants were a bit too *snug*. :o

My 2nd attempt at weight loss was going from 134 to 126.

My 3rd attempt was going from 142 to 130.

4th attempt... 152 to 138.

5th attempt.... 178 to 138

Now here I am in my 6th attempt to lose the weight (182 to 135 is my goal) & somehow LEARN to keep it off FOR GOOD this time! :dizzy:

Easy? No way. And seems twice as hard the older I get.

But the fact is, I will NEVER give up. I just can't. I feel so much better when I am thinner! - I have more energy! I have nicer clothes! I can paint my toenails & breathe at the same time! ;) :D

I always worry about gaining the weight back, because I always have. But I will never give up; NEVER SAY DIE(t)! Someday I will get that maintaining thing down to a science. Someday...:^:

08-12-2008, 03:20 PM
I can paint my toenails & breathe at the same time! ;) :D

Ha, ha, ha! I just realised the other day while painting my toenails that I could breathe while doing so.

08-12-2008, 05:27 PM
I am with all of you, I am on my fourth attempt to lose the weight after gaining it back and then some. My closet has three sizes in it and right now I am in the largest and it is getting tight so I have no where else to go but down.
I started a food diary that does seem to help me but my biggest weakness is nto so much the food (well carbs) it is a combination of too much food, wine and no exercise and as I am over the hill an on the downhill slide losing weight is even harder (or so they say)...with the support here I am sure we can do it

08-12-2008, 06:00 PM
don't mean to dissapoint you but atkins is not a very good idea if you are planning to keep the weight off.

giving up fries, breads, cereals..to lose weight and live a miserable life? doesn't sound so good to me.

in the end it's going to come down to calories in vs. calories out. any extra macronutrient that your body doesnt need is going to be stored as fat. you can go on any crazy diet out there but if you are eating more calories than what your body needs..you are going to put on fat.
extra carbs OR protein OR fat = fat

so if you want to keep the weight off, i advice you to eat a balanced diet with protein-carbs-fat and slowly lose the weight.

why? 1. you will learn to eat healthier, not completely starve yourself from an entire macronutrient. 2. when you are done dieting, all you have to do is continue eating similar foods except you get to eat little more now since you are not trying to create that deficit.

08-12-2008, 10:36 PM
don't mean to dissapoint you but atkins is not a very good idea if you are planning to keep the weight off.

giving up fries, breads, cereals..to lose weight and live a miserable life? doesn't sound so good to me.

I don't do Atkins, but nonetheless, I've given up LOTS of things. LOTS, including fries, fast food, soda & juice. Bread, pasta, rice, white potatoes, all added sugar, etc.. - 99.9% of the time and 100% initially.

And yes, I've lost weight. And lots of it. And I gotta tell you - my life is not miserable. Just the opposite in fact. Prior to giving up those foods my life WAS miserable. Now that I am a healthy weight, well, it's a pure joy. My quality of life has increased tremendously. TREMENDOUSLY.

Some people, ummm, that would be me, simply can't have those foods in their lives AND be a healthy weight.

We've all got to find out what works for ourselves.

08-12-2008, 10:42 PM
For more information on Atkins, see the 3FC Atkins forum:


This is a program where you really do have to read the book before you know what the program consists of. Lots of misconceptions exist about what Atkins is and what it isn't. People do have trouble with any lower-carb program if they are used to eating lots of carbohydrate, but I don't think any of those programs forbid eating healthy carbohydrates forever.


Mrs Snark
08-12-2008, 10:45 PM
don't mean to dissapoint you but atkins is not a very good idea if you are planning to keep the weight off.

Atkins maintenance mode can be a very healthy mix of complex carbs (as the individual's body will tolerate), protein, and fat. My mother is a long-term maintainer on Atkins and she is far from miserable and is very successful at maintaining a healthy body weight. :)

Perhaps you aren't familiar with anything but the induction phase of Atkins?

08-12-2008, 10:55 PM
Thank you all for your comments and support. I am definitely going to be discussing this with my doctor. I figure that if the weight does start coming back I can start counting calories and increase my exercise.

My grandmother was overweight 10 years ago. Since she was nearing her fifties it was getting harder for her to lose weight. She took all her weight off (about 80 lbs) in 4 months following a very strict ketosis diet from her doctor. It's very similar to Atkins. In fact, I have all the paper work and thought about trying it. But on that diet the only meats you can have is chicken and turkey. It's a LOT more limited then Atkins.

Anyway, my point is that she has kept the weight off for 10 years after that diet. Now she just counts calories.

I know it's possible to keep this weight off; nevertheless, I still am human with fears.

Beach Patrol
08-13-2008, 01:36 PM
in the end it's going to come down to calories in vs. calories out.

I wish I could agree with this... in fact, there was a time that I did believe it, but apparently, as science delves deeper & deeper into weight loss, this is proving to be a not-quite-so-true theory.

There's something to be said for people like myself, who can lower calorie-intake drastically and STILL not lose a single pound.

And we all know that a 400 calorie donut is way different than a 400 calorie lean chicken & broccoli meal with a dessert of Jello Sugar-free Pudding!

I believe the reason there's so many diets out there is because there are so many different people... what works for one may not work for someone else, what blows it for one may not blow it for another, etc.

We can learn so much from each other... from things we read, from our own successes & failures... We all just need to take our individuality into account & go from there.

08-13-2008, 01:41 PM
I wish I could agree with this... in fact, there was a time that I did believe it, but apparently, as science delves deeper & deeper into weight loss, this is proving to be a not-quite-so-true theory.

I think it really is calories in - calories out. It's just really difficult to be accurate about the calories, especially the calories burned. The calories out half the equation is just so much more complicated than it's often taken for.

08-13-2008, 01:51 PM
I worry about every day! I do feel like I am in control of food now..and I never felt that before when I lost the weight. As of Aug. 21...I have went ONE whole year without losing BUT...I also have NOT gained!!:carrot:I bounce around 3 lbs. every day. I am one who feels it absolutely necessary to weigh everyday. It keeps me accountable.

I am NOT a fan of Atkins...as in my opinion..I would fear that I, personally..for me..would gain it back to easy, as I have a problem with carbs.

Beach Patrol
08-13-2008, 01:56 PM
All I know is that I have lowered my caloric intake to 1200, 1300, 1400, & about to go to 1500 to try to get this weight moving. So far, nothing has given results.

I've read that you will NOT lose a lot of excess fat weight if you don't increase your metabolism before lowering your calorie intake. Even a slight increase in your metabolic rate will speed up fat loss over many months without strict dieting. There are many factors that can change the metabolism rate, and of course cardio exercise is the main one.

However, I do agree with you that "so much more complicated than it's often taken for."

08-13-2008, 02:13 PM
I'd say it's like this:

I. Calories in versus calories out,
.....A. Unless you are not getting enough of each of the macronutrients (protein, carb, fat)
.....B. And unless you are eating too few calories
.....C. And unless you are overexercising to where your muscles are breaking down.

This is my working hypothesis at the moment...


08-13-2008, 03:09 PM
I'd say it's like this:

I. Calories in versus calories out,
.....A. Unless you are not getting enough of each of the macronutrients (protein, carb, fat)
.....B. And unless you are eating too few calories
.....C. And unless you are overexercising to where your muscles are breaking down.

This is my working hypothesis at the moment...


I think it's still "calories out", it's just that A, B and C affect calories out.