100 lb. Club - how do you deal....

View Full Version : how do you deal....

05-07-2009, 03:46 PM
with these long term scientific studies that suggest that 95% or more of people who lose significant amounts of weight fail to maintain their loss?

my brain is spinning. i don't have blind faith in science, but the bodies of evidence these people are working with are huge.

it feels awful. i guess i will firmly focus on being in the 96th percentile.

discouraging stuff though.

what do you make of it?

here's what got me thinking about it:



05-07-2009, 03:52 PM
Well, there are the scientific arguments:

1. Those include ALL "diets", not just healthy, sustainable changes as are emphasized here at 3FC. So that includes regains from Master Cleanse, regains from starvation diets, etc. I am not aware of any study that parses out healthy lifestyle weight loss from "crash diet" weight loss in these stats.

2. There is a LOT of indication that these numbers aren't quite accurate. Numbers coming back vary from the 5% range to the 10-15% range. This is no means a decided question.

And then there's your anecdotal evidence:

1. Our maintainers section here - in the flesh proof that weight maintenance is possible.

2. The National Weight Control Registry: http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm

Statistics are one thing, and they're fine for what they do. But they rarely show the whole picture.

I would wager that the success rate of those who have group support, who exercise, who make healthy changes and develop healthy eating habits, and who are committed to weight maintenance would be CONSIDERABLY higher than 5%, or even 15%.

05-07-2009, 03:55 PM
Just because a good portion of people fail, according to studies, doesn't mean that I will--- so I guess I don't deal with it, I simply discount it. ;)

05-07-2009, 04:01 PM
everyday i fall a little bit more in love with this community.



05-07-2009, 04:28 PM
For what it is worth, I suspect that the studies are true: most dieters won't keep it off. But you need to define the term "dieter". I honestly believe that those who go ON a diet with the specific intent to lose x pounds by y date, and then go OFF the diet won't keep the weight off. And this is because those habits that resulted in excess poundage aren't addressed in the long term. The internet is FULL of stories about "I lost 10 lbs last week" and they normally involve restrictive diets and short-term deprivation.
These diets DON'T address how you are going to live the rest of your life!
SO, if you check out the maintainers' forum, you need to recognize that:
1. These guys ARE successful and are a HUGE resource for those of us who are looking to manage the rest of our lives.
2. The ONLY successful approach has been a lifestyle change and constant monitoring of calories in/calories out (through WHATEVER method).
3. It IS a struggle, and NOT ONE maintainer that I have followed actually maintains a perfect, say, 150lbs without SOME sort of fluctuation. And the difference between the successful maintainer and those who aren't is that the successful ones draw a line in the sand, so to speak. The old "IF I reach 155lbs, I'm back on a plan". And they get a grip on things RIGHT away.
The interesting thing is that those who DON'T "go on a diet", like my DH, do exactly the things listed above. He hasn't changed from a 33 inch waist since he graduated from university in 1987 (and he is 6 feet tall!), and what he DOES is monitor what he is eating vs how much he exercises; he draws that line in the sand (for him, it is 185 lbs); and if he gets to 185 lbs he restricts what he eats and monitors the results. He NEVER considers himself to be "dieting". If he is at his "danger weight" and I offer him something, he says "I'm off desserts for a few weeks and no bread either because I've put on some winter weight and I have to get it off". Or "I've been eating too many idle bits lately, so I'm going to cut back." No big deal for him. This is just part of his daily routine for living.
He is a normal person!
I want to be "normal" too! And I'm pretty sure I can do it.
And SO. CAN. YOU!!!!
Keep on your own path, ask advice, seek support when you need it, be patient, and change from a "dieting" mindset to a "lifestyle" mindset, and it WILL happen.

05-07-2009, 04:37 PM
kiramira for queen! I so agree.

05-07-2009, 04:43 PM
Colbert/Kira in 2012?...

05-07-2009, 04:50 PM
The statistics scare me and they don't scare me.

They scare me more then enough to keep me on my toes, that's for sure, which I kind of like. It just makes me KNOW that I will always have to be vigilant. Having that knowledge makes me aware of what I’m up against. And of course knowledge is power. I definitely know that having lost the weight, means nothing about keeping it off and those statistics are a reminder that this journey is never over.

But I also know that those statistics are BEATABLE. Those odds are beatable. And luckily, we've got the upper hand. Because it's in our OWN hands. It's up to us, hence why they ARE beatable.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a doable thing if you DECIDE to do it and see it through. Plain and simple. Being fat is a choice. Losing weight is a choice. Keeping it off is a choice. Gaining it back is a choice also. Choice. Choice. Choice.

As long as I (we) keep on choosing to keep it off - I (we) will keep it off.

I have wonderful “tools in my box” to use to help me “catch” the regain, BEFORE any lapse turn into a relapse, turns into a total COLLAPSE.

This new lifestyle of mine is completely ingrained in my head. And one that I love. There is no reason for me to ever go back to my old ways. No thank you.

I really and truly enjoy every little aspect of this lifestyle. I've learned to enjoy the process. So for me, not only do I enjoy being thin, but I've learned to love each and every thing about staying thin. From the planning, shopping and cooking to dare I say - the exercise. I believe that is key and will make all the difference in the world whether or not one regains back all the weight or not – loving the process.

So statistics be damned. I WILL be keeping this weight off. I am doing it!!! Nothing can stop me - but me of course. And I choose not to stop me. And as long as I keep on choosing to keep the weight off - I will.

05-07-2009, 05:08 PM
I am looking at the successful maintainer here! If they can do it, why can't I?

05-07-2009, 05:11 PM
So many people I know go on diets that are so lame and can't be maintained for life- it's no wonder they don't keep the weight off!

I mean who can eat cabbage soup everyday for the rest of their life?

All my friends who are overweight and see my progress flat out just don't want to work for it. They either starve themselves and eat one huge meal each night (definitely totalling way over 2000 calories). Or they eat so little that their bodies don't let go of the weight. It's no wonder they can't stick to that!

05-07-2009, 05:17 PM
Someone said prognosis isn't prediction, or something like that. Because X% die of a particle disease doesn't mean that you will. I've heard the 95% number often and think the universal "they" are probably right.

I'm one of those that gained it all back, plus some, big time. Three times. I never got back down to my goal weight but I'd lose 75 lbs or so, take a "vacation" from which I never returned and I'd get back up to weight and then some.

It is a life style change, it's a mental change, it's a body change, it's a spirit change. I'm not even close and I know I have a lot more ahead of me. But some part of the change has happened -- the last go-round I lost 98 lbs and lost "the mentality" but I only gained back 47 lbs where every other time, I lost 75 lbs, gained back 100 lbs.

The effort isn't all or nothing -- you work at it, you fall of the wagon, you work at it again. While I don't know for myself, I gather from the maintainers that eventually, the effort becomes part of just your regular life. I learn a lot on this board from folks who've been there, from their successes and their failures (failures are fertilizer).


05-08-2009, 09:29 AM
Statistics, staschmistics!! Just work YOUR program and you will be successful!

05-08-2009, 09:59 AM
I see this as added incentive to prove them wrong! I never did like to be told that I couldn't do something. It kinda puts my back up,KWIM? :lol:

05-08-2009, 10:42 AM
Statistics almost always have a valid story to tell, and yet, they can be misleading.

Look at divorce statistics ... 50% + of marriages made on this day will end in divorce, but that doesn't mean that 50% of marriages that already exist today will end in divorce (because of other stats, like number of years before divorce, etc).

I am thinking of that today because 6 years ago my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed my grandparent's 50th anniversary party and now we are preparing to to take a trip for his grandparent's 50th anniversary party.

Putting more thought into maintenance is a big part of why I'm glad I came to this board, though. The weight loss has been going great but I have only recently been formulating plans for maintenance. I've recently decided that I am most likely going to count calories forever, for example. I have surprised myself with gradual, permanent health changes and the relative ease of them -- whereas at first, last fall, it was all about restricting calories. It still is my priority, but like I said, I have surprised myself. Forgetting to have my weekly diet soda -- ! Wasn't I the one who swore about going down to one a day? Sometimes I wonder if I would've ever gotten started, if I knew in September what I know now. :)

05-08-2009, 10:53 AM
(Of course, thank God I did -- she hastens to add!)

Seriously, though. I want it all!

05-08-2009, 11:20 AM
Sometimes I wonder if I would've ever gotten started, if I knew in September what I know now.

If anyone had told me last August I would have voluntarily fasted for a day to begin testing for food allergies...well, I would have smacked them on the top of the head with my big heavy scary silver-pattern ring. :) Not to mention many of the other lifestyle changes I've made...which are now (gulp - really?) normal.

05-08-2009, 11:34 AM
I agree with Robin. The statistics scare me a little, but then again they don't.

I've learned a lot from my previous weight loss efforts and from the maintainers' forum here at 3FC.

I learned that if I eat and don't exercise the way I used to, I will regain the weight. I learned that cause it happened to me---twice.

I've learned that I need to continue my behaviors. Not perfectly, but consistently. My previous loss efforts resulted in regain because I stopped the behaviors.

I've learned that I really do control my behaviors and that my choices really do count. No one else controls this for me. The buck stops here.

I've learned that I must be conscientious about my behaviors. That means regular monitoring of my weight, planning for food and shopping, and scheduling exercise. If I stop these behaviors, I will regain.

There are some conversations in the maintainers forum about how focused on these behaviors and weight management individuals wish to be. I applaud those who can go on "auto-pilot" and not regain. I can't/won't do that at this time. Sure it takes time and focus and energy to maintain my weight loss, but it is worth it to me. I am conscientious of the valuable aspects of my life: my family, my work, and now my health. No auto-pilot for any of these. Planning does not make it hard, planning makes it easier. I've learned that I control the fate of my weight management. I don't have to regain....if I do it will be because of a sum of choices.

05-08-2009, 12:48 PM
I'm with Rhonda. WHEN I reach my goal and maintain I will part of the elite 5%, right?

05-08-2009, 05:13 PM
I try to not put too much thought into any kind of statistics. Yes they include a lot of people in their studies but are they me? No. Nuff said ;)

05-08-2009, 06:09 PM
I'm with Rhonda. WHEN I reach my goal and maintain I will part of the elite 5%, right?

Right :) I usually figure something is wrong if I fit right in with the prevailing normal/usual/average ;)

05-08-2009, 08:52 PM
For me, this kind of falls into the category of "stuff I can't do anything about anyway, so I am not going to sweat it." I figure that if the studies showed that 90% of the people that lost a lot of weight kept it off, I would STILL be one of the ones that would have to be vigilant. So, there is no difference in my head at all.

You can stack the odds in your favor, however: find a way of eating that you can stay with for life instead of short-term diet; come up with ways to increase the amount of physical activity in your life with hobbies or sports in addition to gym work so that being active is an integral part of your life; hang out with people who have the kind of habits you would like to have yourself; etc.

05-08-2009, 10:04 PM
The statistics are about "people who diet". I'm not dieting; I'm changing my way of life. It's not something that I will "go off". As others have mentioned, "dieting" is usually associated with restrictive behaviors that are temporary. If they're too hard to maintain over the long haul, then it's no wonder that people regain. That's what I did. It was only 30 pounds, but it was because I cast aside my heathy habits and gradually just ate my way back up to where I was in January.

I echo the sentiments of others--reading the Maintainer's forum has been invaluable for me. Because now I understand, at least intellectually, how it's done.

05-08-2009, 10:12 PM
ive been thinking the same thing the satistics where very discouraging to me .... but i hadent been discussing it with anyone because i didnt want people to think i planned to fail ...... but this community makes me feel more hopeful that with healthy LIFESTYLE changes maintainance is possible !

05-08-2009, 11:25 PM
Sign my name to Robin's post (as usual). This IS possible. And, thankfully - success is dependent on only one thing - ME!

I can do this! I AM doing this! 10 months of maintenance and counting :D

05-09-2009, 01:30 AM
Doesn't scare me at all. I know that realistically a lot of people regain. I also know that most of those people DON'T have a wonderful support group, a realistic mindset and an idea of what healthful eating even looks like. I do.

I know that I will always have to be hyper vigilant. I know that. I'm okay with that :)