Weight Loss Support - Question about loss v. maintenance.

04-15-2009, 10:02 PM
Hey everyone. I have a small issue that I was wondering if y'all could help me with.

I started my weight loss journey 11 months ago, and in that time have lost about 40 lbs (between 35 and 40 right now). I am super, super proud of what I have done but I am wondering if I should stop for a bit.

I am starting to feel tired, you know. Like, I've worked very hard but I just don't want to do this anymore right now. I plan to continue to eat healthy, to keep working out as best as I can (I am injured, stupid knees/back :P), but I am thinking that I will just eat for maintenance right now, rather than weight loss. Part of it is the fear that my mindset is just not positive enough right now, coupled with the feeling that my body has started to resist my efforts.

What do y'all think? Do any of you take "sabbaticals" from weight loss to give your body and spirit time to...reboot?

Thank you so much, you all rock my socks!

04-15-2009, 10:08 PM
Sabbatical for me = weight gain. Every. Single. Time. Weight loss is the EASY part; it is the maintenance that is tough, tough, tough...
If you are prepared to watch what you eat and exercise religiously, then there isn't much difference between that and a weight loss regime. Except that you will eat more calories.
It sounds that you need to perhaps just shift your mindset from targeted, goal-oriented weight loss thought processes to doing exactly what you are doing without worrying about how much weight you are losing.
You only have 7 lbs to go. So why stop now? Do you have a fear of success? This is common with people as they approach their goals.
I personally would get to goal, then deal with maintenance...
Just a thought.

04-15-2009, 10:20 PM
Only 7 pounds to go ? I agree with Kira , why stop now ? Goal is soooooooooo close !

04-15-2009, 10:26 PM

I had a starting weight near yours, and I stopped when I got close to your weight now. That was a year and 8 months ago. I'm currently up about 5 pounds over my 147 goal weight and trying now to get back down.

You're right that it's hard work to lose. I did get pretty tired and felt run down...

In my opinion, maintenance doesn't have to be as hard as losing--but at the same time, you'll probably find that you have to keep exercising a certain amount and watch what you eat as well. Some folks say maintenance is just like the weight loss plan, but with a couple hundred or so more calories. It seems to be true!

One thing I do know is that going back to the old way of eating does not work. Those habits are what made me fat, and if I go there again, the same thing will happen.

Good luck whatever you decide to do!


04-15-2009, 11:07 PM
Quick response: No matter how burned out I am, I will never ever EVER go back to how I was eating before. That is my solemn oath to me, my dbf, and our unborn babies :).


04-15-2009, 11:35 PM
I say if you are going to do this because you're burnt out, then set a time limit. For instance, you have two weeks. For two weeks, you can up your calories, as long as you continue to eat healthily and exercise. After two weeks, you go back to your previous calorie intake, so that you can make your goal. So, if you feel you really must take a break, make sure it is just a break and make a deal with yourself to set a time limit.

04-15-2009, 11:48 PM
I went on a three-month sabbatical when the weather turned nasty. It was wonderful. I barely worked out, like once every couple weeks, and ate pretty much what I wanted. I needed it. I gained five pounds back. I started back up on WW and exercising with a renewed passion. I was also ten pounds away from my goal when I took the break. I hit my goal weight three days ago and now have a little more freedom.

04-15-2009, 11:50 PM
I don't think taking a break is necessarily asking for trouble. Sometimes it is. Sometimes not taking a break is asking for trouble. You have to figure out what's right for you, at this time. But there's no moral reason, or "should," involved. You're talking about maintaining, not regressing. And I don't think that's inappropriate when you've made so much progress. But I would definitely give yourself "appointments" to re-evaluate how you feel and what you want, so you don't give up accidentally.

04-16-2009, 12:05 AM
I think you can stop a lit bit, but you don't eat any hight fat food. You should eat some low-card food, then you can maintain your current weight.

04-16-2009, 01:19 AM
I agree with the others... u only have 7 lbs to go... keep going, you can do it!!!! :)

Finish line is nearly there! :cool:

~ tea

04-16-2009, 02:35 AM
I had lost about 64 lbs from January of '08 to October of '08 when I (even though it wasn't intentional at the beginning) took a 6 month or so break. I only had/have 16 lbs more to go, but I feel as though I would have gone insane if I didn't do it. I know now that I can very well make good choices in food and still get my exercise in without obsessively tracking everything on a day-to-day basis. Now I'm back, refreshed, and more motivated than ever to get rid of the last 16. I'd personally recommend that if you feel as though you need a break, take a break. The bonus is that you'll be better prepared for maintenance, when the time comes. :carrot:

04-16-2009, 09:20 AM
Weight loss isn't linear. I took me a year to lose 40 pounds, 6 months for the first 30, 6 months for the last 10.

Maybe you need a break, not from your currently regime, but from the expectation of weight loss. Keep doing what you're doing, but just not "expect" to lose anything. If you stay the same, great!! If you lose, better!! Also, maybe there's another way to shake things up a bit ...like finding another physical activity that is fun, but different than what you are doing now.

Taking a hiatus from the diet is a bit of a slippery slope, IMO. Maintenance, for me, is basically what I did for weight loss, except that I can take an occasional day "off" now. One thing I can NEVER do, is go back to eating like I did before, I would put that weight right back on. When I start feeling stale I either look for some new low cal recipe or start a new physical activity.

04-16-2009, 11:51 AM
My plan is not a diet it is a life style change. There is no food that I have said I cannot have but there are situations and patterns I will not return to. For me I really have to deal with the WHY I eat not the WHAT. If I start looking for permission to return to my old ways I will be right back to were I have been soooo many times before.

As MBN suggested continue without the expectation of losing weight. Find new foods and ways of cooking that make food yummy again. Find exercise that is exciting and fun.

Good luck

04-16-2009, 01:57 PM
I took an 8-day break from my diet last week. I ate the same things, but just in bigger quantities, at a maintenance level of calories; and I didn't work out much at all. IT FELT SO GOOD. I think breaks are very positive when done mindfully.

04-16-2009, 02:29 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a break from losing more, as long you take the appropriate steps to maintain your current weight. You definitely don't want a hiatus to undo your progress. Personally, I think that taking time to maintain for a while can be a good thing, because going many months (or in my own case, years) with a continuous calorie deficit can be hard on the body. Some weight loss experts even recommend doing a maintenance phase after each 10% of body mass lost to help reset the body's homeostatic baseline and prevent metabolic adaptations. I think it can also be worthwhile to practice maintenance skills along the way, especially after reading so many comments here about maintenance failures after reaching goal.

I haven't done a long hiatus yet, though I have taken a week or so in the past to "refeed" my body at maintenance level. I'm considering doing a slightly longer one when I reach 150, which was my original goal. Since I'm now healthy and fit, I don't feel the rush to get down to my goal weight as fast as humanly possible.

This is not a race!!

04-16-2009, 02:31 PM
Bad idea. Weight maintenance is hard. It can be harder than losing weight. What happens when you reach goal and go on maintenance and you get tired of healthy eating so take a sabbatical?

04-16-2009, 02:43 PM
Bad idea. Weight maintenance is hard. It can be harder than losing weight. What happens when you reach goal and go on maintenance and you get tired of healthy eating so take a sabbatical?

Sure, weight maintenance is hard, but does that mean we should all keep losing weight indefinitely to avoid maintenance? Of course not --weight maintenance is life... the rest of your life. And it's a skill we will all have to learn, unless we just never reach our goals. What's the difference between her maintaining now or seven pounds from now?

Also, I don't think the original poster intended to say she wanted to take a break from healthy eating, only that she didn't want to keep herself at a continuous food deficit. There is no rule that says we must lose all of our weight in one shot in order to keep it off successfully.

04-16-2009, 06:04 PM
My thanks to everyone that has posted in response so far, I really appreciate the thoughts and insights.

I would like to take just a second clarify what I meant and thank Drina for really hitting the nail on the head. I in no way meant that I was going to revert to unhealthy eating habits by taking my little break. Instead, I want to give my body a little bit of time to adjust to the fact that I have lost so much already. I know that the last 10 lbs or so are usually the hardest and I want my body to be prepared for that.

Also, emotionally I need a break from the "weight loss" mentality. I have been working so hard and I just need to back off and find some peace right now. I have started to feel bad about myself (despite the good work I know I've done) because I haven't hit goal and it's been almost a year. I guess part of me just needs to step back and regain the perspective to say: "Wow girl, you have come so far and you know what? You can make it the rest of the way."

I will be eating "maintenance" during this time, upping my calories slightly so that I am no longer eating with a deficit. But again, not returning to old habits. I will also continue to work out and keep up with my generally healthy lifestyle. I definitely haven't viewed this as a "diet" but a true lifestyle change, but our lifestyles have to be flexible enough that we can keep up with them...right?

All the love,

04-18-2009, 01:14 PM
I say, if you do it with such a mindset, then it may work. You just have to be careful to not revolve back, without noticing it, to 'fattening' habits, but it seems you're aware of that risk.

I hear you on the "need a break" bit. I did everything by the book and all I got as a result was to end up on the highway to ****, I mean to an ED. So much for the 'committment' and the 'success' that it was supposed to bring me. Then I got fed up and took a break to work on my problem before it really blew up, and since then, not only has it been quite easy to maintain, but I've even shed a few more pounds (pounds that I didn't manage to lose before, when I was counting and logging my food intake all the time).

If you go on with a healthy and activee lifestyle, I don't see why you shouldn't be able to maintain.