South Beach Diet - Maintenance "secrets" on SBD

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04-06-2010, 07:41 AM
This question comes up a lot so maybe it's time to gather responses and create a new sticky. Remember maintenance starts the day after you lose one pound, so there are lots of maintainers around here! If you are maintaining and following SBD this thread is for you. If you are new and are planning ahead to maintaining (a really good idea!) this thread is also for you :)

Things I was thinking about when I started asking this question:

What do you eat? How is it different?
What about exercise?
Are there rules or guidelines you follow now?
How are things different now? Not sure how to phrase this but how is your relationship with food different? Something fundamental has to shift to keep the weight off, at least for me.

Obviously there is a lot more to this but maybe this will get the conversation started :)

04-06-2010, 07:54 AM
Thanks for starting up this much-needed thread, Cyndi! I'm sure there will be lots of great hints and advice here that we will all benefit from. :)

I still have several more pounds to go before I reach maintenance, but I think for me, it will mean basically staying on Phase 2 with a rare treat once in a while. It seems that I will gain, or my eating gets out of control, when I have too many grains, so I know I'll have to keep a limit on that.

04-06-2010, 08:23 AM
For me (and I still have quite a ways to go) I have noticed that I am conscious about what I am eating while losing or even maintaining. I think that for so long I ate unconsciously. I really realized this after my planned cheat on Easter. I went walking through the kitchen for something and there was a box of cheese crackers for my kids and I caught myself unconsciously grabbing a handful. I put them back but that one day off plan reminded me how easily my old habits could resurface. One other thing that I learned was that I found myself full but still wanting to eat something that was off plan for this special meal. I think that is where the guilt came in for me because I not only at off plan but I over ate that day as well.
So my tip is eat consciously....listen to your body when you are full STOP eating.

04-06-2010, 08:37 AM
Thanks for starting this Cyndi and your questions are great ones. I am very eager to learn from others here because I have lost weight many times but never maintained.

Here is what I think I now know for me personally, from my last two times on SB, having reached goal both times then regaining: I cannot go back to what I ate before without going back to what I weighed before. It really has to be a WOE for life. I think I agree with Linda that for me it will be staying on PH2 (or even 1.5 which seems to work better for me) with only rare treats and limited grains. I need to find the mindset, and keep that mindset, that I feel better and want to keep that feeling more than I want to eat something off plan.

I know that if/when I go off plan, even if that is in theory allowed on PH3, I need to then get back on immediately. No slippery slope that lasts beyond the one treat. I think I need to set a plan in writing that includes going back on PH1 at some point if I feel any cravings or gain more than a certain amount. This is what I failed to do before. I thought I could conquer the regain with PH2 or a day of PH1 and it did not work for me.

I am very interested to hear from the rest of you.

04-06-2010, 09:26 AM
Although I need to change my weights (I hit 122 for about 2 days :D, I was at 124-26 for a long time, til I had more off plan foods, now I hang at 128ish), maintenance for me is finding some kind of balance.

My challenge is mostly because of having children. Making them cookies occasionally, going out for ice cream, camping, parties, etc. I wouldn't do stuff with them because of the food it would have at it. Then I realized, I'm thin now, and occasional stuff is okay. But, I was a size 2-4 then (yes, I'm petite!) and a 4-6 now. I'm okay with that. (I started out at size 10, but many of those were too snug...)

But, my regular eating habits are drastically changed. I eat about 90-95% (guessing) whole grain breads. I haven't had fast food, outside of their salads, in ages. I have had no drinks that involve calories (other than coffee with milk) since I began. It is a rare day that I have less that my 5 veggies/fruits daily. I am very conscious of the amount of grains I eat, and most days I only eat one, maybe 2.

I think maintenance is tough. People tell me occasionally how thin I am, but I work hard and made some drastic lifestyle changes to do it. I am by no means one of those naturally thin people.

And I'm pretty confidant I probably won't follow in my daddy's footsteps of being a diabetic, as long as I stick to sbd principles.

04-06-2010, 01:59 PM
My maintenance has been pretty similar to Twynn's. I reached 115# about 2 years ago. Bottomed out at 112# a year ago, then maintained between 115-120# since then. I've never maintained my weight that low before SB and it was always a struggle when I was following WW. I haven't lost as much weight on SB as others (I am in awe of some of you), but I have struggled with my weight since college. I eat pretty much Phase II all the time with occasional planned off plan treats. There have been a few times over the last 2 years that I had a stretch of 3-4 days off plan, never more than that. They actually made me feel ill, bloated & achy. I go back on Phase I for 3-7 days and my weight returns to my maintenance level and I feel better again. I have not made exercise a priority in my life, but I do think I could eat more if I did. As I go through menopause, I think that exercise would be even more beneficial healthwise, so I need to make that effort more important. My husband's health and mine have improved under SB. Our cholesterols are great. People always ask my husband how he has stayed slender and he always tells them "She feeds me right". My Phase II consists of 1-2 fruits and 2 grains per day. I feel full and content on this plan. As long as I vary my meals a little, I am very satisfied. I enjoy using the recipes on this forum a lot. I also can't wait for Farmers Market to start next month, so I can start buying more fresh veggies!

04-06-2010, 09:47 PM
The truth for me is that maintenance is exactly like losing. I still follow a Phase 1.5 diet most days with a few Phase 2 days thrown in. I still count calories. I still exercise almost every day. My goal weight was the weight I reached when my body stopped losing and I was in a comfortable eating plan.

My go to resources to learn about maintenance are the Maintainers Forum here on 3FC and Thin for Life. They prepared me for the rest of my life.

Some things I have discovered about me:
I need a red line weight. I discovered that I need a low red line, just 5 lbs over goal. If I go higher, like I did last fall, it's really hard to get the weight back off.

I do weigh almost daily. I can gain quickly and not weighing would be too easy.

Wheat is something I avoid and grains are occasional foods not every day foods. Wheat makes me crave. It also causes other problems so I leave it out of my diet except for special items/occasions. I didn't know that before SBD!

High fructose corn syrup will lead to a binge and is completely off limits.

I like to eat a lot. I'm Italian and I think I will always love big meals. Luckily vegetables make me very happy. Tiny portions leave me feeling deprived and cranky and wanting to "sneak" food.

Maintaining my weight loss is the most important thing I can do for my health. That's true for all the usual reasons and because I have joint and disc issues that are worsened by any excess weight. I will ask anyone, anywhere what is in a dish before I will eat it and I will bring my own food if I need to. I never eat something to please someone else.

Some things will always be triggers for me and it's just better not to keep them around. I may be okay for months but then a day will come when I'm not. If I don't have a bar of chocolate in my drawer I can't eat a bar of chocolate.

Single serving packages may not be environmentally friendly but sometimes they are waist friendly. Bug Bites or a few dark chocolate covered blueberries (I buy them in the bulk department a few at a time) and 100 calorie packs of nuts are the only way I know I won't overeat chocolate or nuts.

I need more than a food makeover. I'm exploring the Beck Diet for that. Food and I have a long complicated relationship. Eliminating processed grains and sugars has really helped but there is more to figure out.

These things are true for me, they may not be for you :) One thing I've learned around here is that we are all, as the maintainers say, experiments of one. If something isn't working for me I need to keep tweaking until it does. Maintenance isn't easy. Sometimes it feels harder than losing because it isn't as exciting as that day to day campaign. It is always, always worth it though. It's the best thing I have ever done for myself, second only to quitting smoking. I would not trade my life now for all the cheese fries and brownies in the world :barf:

ETA - how could I forget?! Coming here every day and logging my food every day are so important. It keeps me accountable.

04-07-2010, 07:36 PM
I've been maintaining for about 2 years now (my SB 3 year "anniversary" will be on the 16th!)

I pretty much just follow a phase 2 type of diet on a daily basis and occasionally (very occasionally) will eat something "bad" if it is totally worth it..but it has to be something extraordinary...not a chocolate chip cookie out of a bag!!

I think the whole secret is to keep it interesting and continually trying new things. If you like it, keep a record of it and add it to your files to fix again and if you hate it, no loss! Don't get bored and keep active and positive..that's pretty much it. BTW, I still LOVE to eat as much as I did before SB and I probably eat the same amounts or maybe more, but I've learned to listen to my body and know when to eat certain foods, what time of day something will set me off etc. It's a learning curve and you just have to listen to what your body is telling you (which is very different than the evil voice that tells you to eat a box of cheese-its!)

04-07-2010, 10:57 PM
I, too, avoid wheat. My grains consist of oatmeal, sweet potatoes & occasionally brown rice. I don't miss bread a bit. I weigh myself every Saturday and weigh in as WW Lifetime member the first Saturday of every month. I cannot eat Triscuits or any kind of cracker, as they are a red light food for me. I usually eat more than the 4 1/2 cups of veggies on SB, (I like to feel really full) and this is the biggest change I have made with SB. I think that and the addition of healthy fats (which I avoided on other diets) has kept me satisfied on this way of eating. In some ways I still feel like I have to eat a lot to feel satisfied (I can eat as much as my 190# husband) but I guess I can get away with it by eating the bigger veggies and protein portions I eat on SB. I think a lot of people would be far healthier if we ate more fruits and veggies and less carby type foods. Oh, and don't forget about the beans. Before SB I rarely ate them. These days I try to eat them daily.

04-09-2010, 09:10 AM
excellent thread, thanks! I'm only 39 days along and keep wondering what it will be like a few more months from now. I got down to 153 and then gained 3 pounds because I was eating 2 whole grain breads and 3 fruits a day. I thought you could do that on Ph 2 but I quickly discovered that my weight loss stalls if I eat that much. I am finding that I lose (slowly) if I have ONE grain and ONE fruit per day. And another thing that I am delighted to discover is that I feel so much better without sugar in my life...I have not experienced one single craving for sweets since I began south beach. I seriously feel like i've been set free of the bondage to sugar.

This is the first time in my life that losing weight hasnt been an ordeal wrought with starving, cravings, cheating, guilt and then beating myself up for it afterward. I'm so thankful that I finally found the "secret" to being healthy. I used to think that I was overweight (my highest weight was 210) because I was weak and had no self-control and I thought that I was eating for emotional reasons but i really understand now that the compulsive need to eat junk (even when I am emotional) really is about my body's addiction to all of that crap. Yes, sugar gives me a lift and my body learned to depend on it so when I felt down, my first thought was to reach for junk food. Got rid of the sugar and guess what...I can get upset and NOT want to reach for a donut, chips & dip, cheesecake etc. Here I thought I was an emotional eater!

Fat Melanie
04-10-2010, 03:19 PM
I don't really have anything to add, but I do think this is a great thread for those (such as myself) struggling right now. It shows it CAN be done, and those maintaining weight loss are good examples for people like me, especially reading your experiences. It's very inspiring. I was thin and healthy most of my life, so when I did start gaining weight, I had no clue on how to take it off, because I had never had such a problem before. Now I find myself losing 30ish lbs, then gaining it back in a few months going back to my old eating habits. Maintaining is very hard for me. I will repeatedly read this thread and everyone's responses... because it's showing me that yes it can be done, and also, how to do it.