Weight Loss Support - I'll bet every maintainer...

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07-02-2010, 05:06 PM
...still eats the same way as they did when they were losing weight. All these "cheating" posts are really getting to me and I think I just want to drive home the point that they key to weight loss success/maintenance is not dieting, it's lifestyle changes. I'm sure deep down we all know this, but I'd love for all the maintainers out there to either prove or disprove this.

07-02-2010, 05:07 PM
Once I reach goal and am maintaining, you bet your butt I'll eat the same way I did while losing. I didn't work my *** off to just pack the pounds back on in a 2 month period.

07-02-2010, 05:07 PM

The last couple of days with all of these posts has just been crazy. I'm not even anywhere near maintaining, and it's getting under my skin a bit!

07-02-2010, 05:12 PM
Once I reach goal and am maintaining, you bet your butt I'll eat the same way I did while losing. I didn't work my *** off to just pack the pounds back on in a 2 month period.


07-02-2010, 05:14 PM

Really. It's like, why put in all that time and effort and all those tears and frustration, when you're just going to erase them and eat an entire chocolate cake to yourself? Okay, bad example, but you guys get my drift.

My birthday is coming up, and yeah I'll probably have a piece of cake, heck, maybe even two, but there's no way I'm going back to my old eating habits.

07-02-2010, 05:17 PM
I hear ya. Doing the whole "diet" thing most of my life and/or making excuses to eat "good foods" (ie, cheetos or what have you) is what got me to morbid obesity and no way, no how, not ever ever never will I go back to that old way of thinking and living ever again, nuh uh.

07-02-2010, 05:19 PM
I do eat more calories and allow treats (which I did NOT eat while I was losing weight). Take wine for example. I had one glass of wine while I was losing weight (on my birthday). As a maintainer, I have 1-2 glasses per week. Desserts are another example, I just didn't eat those while losing weight. Now I split a nice dessert once a week.

Now that I allow more calories, I eat more peanut butter, too. And there are a few little things, like the occasional (one time or less per week) chocolate biscotti with my coffee, or the occasional 100 calories of really nice dark chocolate.

07-02-2010, 05:19 PM
If you read the maintainer's forum, you know that is true. Since I'm maintaining and trying to figure out how to shed the last 1/4th of the weight I'd like to lose, I do experiment from time to time and I've modified my eating and views about food. The good news is I've maintained a 150lb weight loss for 2.5 years. Bad news is I can't figure out how to get the last 50 lbs off :)

07-02-2010, 05:30 PM
i maintain with pretty much exactly the same staples in my diet. only thing that's changed is their quantity so i won't lose weight anymore and rather.. keep at the one i am at.

said that: i can count on one hand that times i have been off-plan since i started my maintenance. these times WILL happen... a birthday, a trip, a something, but because they're rare and far between it actually stays in my memory and makes it special.

07-02-2010, 05:46 PM
What Glory said.

It's mostly the same, with more "treats" or whatever you want to call them. So, for example, while during loss I never drank at restaurants and avoided the bread basket, now I may have a glass of wine OR a piece of bread if it's really good, OR I'll split a dessert.

Some maintainers do well with keeping their loss daily calorie range with one or two planned, higher cal days/meals (weekends seem to be popular...and eating 1400 cals 5x per week and 2000 2x per week averages out to a perfectly reasonable maintenance range of about 1600 calories a day). Others raise their calorie range to a more stable, higher number (eating 1600 per day).

The basics are all the same, and if anything, my exercise has increased.

07-02-2010, 06:38 PM
I just hate the word "cheat". If treats or a particular splurge is in my plan for the day...then it's in my plan. It's not a "cheat". And it's never...no NEVER...anywhere close to what a "treat" or "splurge" used to be. It's a treat or splurge for my new lifestyle, if that makes sense.

It's a way of living for life, you know? Holidays included. You gotta get through them. They're going to come up again.

07-02-2010, 07:48 PM
If I ever get these last 15 pounds off, I will NEVER go back to eating the way that I did for so many years. It just ain't worth it!!

07-02-2010, 08:03 PM
Yes. When I look back at my adult life and the weights I was, when I was maintaining a low weight it was because I was eating really cleanly and really heathily every single day. The times when I was creeping up in weight was when I started to let myself eat crap "to treat myself".

I got fat in my late 20s because I started to eat "what I wanted" all the time.

07-02-2010, 08:37 PM
The whole "cheat" mentality just has to be changed. It's wrong, so wrong! Who are you cheating? What does that even mean? Are we naughty children? Are we sneaking a look at our classmate's spelling test? What IS that???

There are foods, and you eat them or you don't. You have a choice about every food. You understand the consequences of your choices. Those consequences will come--your body doesn't care about your justifications or sense of fun! It just takes the food and uses it, and stores the excess.

I hate it when I hear trainers talk about "cheat meals" as though this is a good thing. There has to be another way to frame it.


07-03-2010, 08:47 PM
I'm not particularly interested in cheat meals/days right now, but I've incorporated them in the past. It doesn't mean I thought I was somehow thwarting the diet gods. They were just days when I didn't worry about what I was eating. I did not incorporate them until the worst of my binge-y habits were broken, but I found my habits were enough changed by the diet as a whole that they were no problem. I think that if you are on a restrictive diet they are also a great way to "practice" for when you are eating normal quantities- teaching you to eat normal and not count calories, but also not go crazy overboard.

I will admit that I am not a "maintainer" exactly, but I did lose 36 pounds and keep them off for a period of about a year and a half. I will admit I pulled some crazy stunts when I was dieting that would not be acceptable were I not- substituting a smoothie or a protein bar for lunch, eating deli meats without bread, the like. And when I gained ten pounds back, boy was it obvious why- I was using food to comfort me whenever I was down. When I just fixed my massive dependence on food and sort of let things go as they would, I actually stayed on track.

My goal in losing weight is to not HAVE to worry all the time. I don't want to spend my life constantly counting calories. I want to be active and eat enough to not be hungry and sometimes splurge a little with friends. The worst thing for me about being fat was not being able to be normal, always having to worry what people thought of me and being afraid of food. I have not, nor do I plan to, maintain in such a way that even though the fat is gone it is always on my mind. Many, many people don't worry about gaining weight, and I think it's because they have a healthy relationship with food.

I guess what I'm saying is: I have bad feelings about this "dieting as a lifestyle change" thing. Surely you won't be dieting all the time- you'd either slow down your metabolism needlessly or constantly lose weight. Dieting for me is a lifestyle change only in that it taught me better habits in the way of knowing when I was full and just in general slowing down and enjoying my food. I WANTED food, but it wasn't a compulsion. THAT is the difference which is absolutely necessary.

I think the people starting the threads in question are concerned that they will NEVER get to eat the foods they love again, or never get to splurge with friends. The answer to "when can I enjoy my favorite food again" is "now, if you structure your plan right" or at worst "when you can handle eating it in moderation". This whole "diet as a lifestyle change" thing seems to be on the never side. It makes me anxious enough that I would never use the phrase. It is not that I am suddenly littering my meals with kale and tofu. I believe that vegetable dishes at every meal is a thing best left to those who can cook well. I am just learning to enjoy exercise and eating tasty things of many food groups, much as I did before, just with more enjoyment and control. That may not be how some people do weight loss, but I think it is disheartening to say that you must become a health freak to lose weight. I suspect it discourages those people who could actually benefit from a healthier relationship with the foods they eat already.

*steps down from soapbox* <_< >_>

07-03-2010, 10:47 PM
...still eats the same way as they did when they were losing weight. All these "cheating" posts are really getting to me and I think I just want to drive home the point that they key to weight loss success/maintenance is not dieting, it's lifestyle changes. I'm sure deep down we all know this,

Absolutely right !

07-04-2010, 01:04 AM
Thank you for posting this! There is no way I would ever want to eat the junk and go back to how i was before. It truly is a lifestyle change. :)

Arctic Mama
07-04-2010, 03:54 AM
Well I am not at goal, but I have been maintaining my loss now for almost a year. I don't eat obsessively, but I don't eat with no limits either. I eat in balance, thus my weight is in balance. What will keep it in balance, gaining or losing, will change as my weight drops, but there is no way I can eat like I did at 260-270 pounds and not expect to look like that again! A serving of candy or an extra slice of pizza once in a blue moon or scheduled into my daily calories won't make me fat again, but there are definite limits to how much junk I can eat and it is at the LOWER end of consumption.

07-04-2010, 10:01 AM
I was always able to lose but wan't able to maintain. I went thrugh the lose,regain.lose regain many times. When I got to goal the last time, I asked the people on themaintainers forum how they were able to maintain their loss, some of them for years. I was amazed to hear that you maintain it the same way you lost it. What a concept ! I tried it and it works ! I still count calories, still plan all my meals ahead and still exercise.

07-04-2010, 10:47 AM
I still eat the same delicious foods, in the same portion sizes. I keep to my definite no's, changing them up from time to time as need be. I still pre-plan ALL my foods, I still count (estimate) calories. I take snacks with me when I'm on the go, bigger meals with me as necessary. I bring actual journaling in and out as needed as well as a few other tricks in my bag when necessary. I am *on top* of my weight, as it's one of the most important things in my life.

What I have changed? I have the occasional planned splurge meal, from time to time. I've had more than quite a few unplanned splurges as well and a few stretches of time of *off* eating. The longest one was 10 days. I've had an 8 day one as well. When I was losing - this was NOT the case. I was not willing to have a stall or a gain. When I made the DECISION to lose the weight, that was that.

I think those *cheat* meals do lots more damage than the actual calories themselves and it makes this whole process not only much longer, but much,much, much harder.

This healthy way of eating now IS my lifestyle. Almost like a religious thing, kinda, sorta. It is automatic and for me to do differently would be ludicrous and out of character. For me, there was no losing the weight and than *going back to normal*. I created a new normal. A sane one. A delightful one. :)

07-04-2010, 01:01 PM
I still "cheat" frequently. I don't like calling it cheating or splurging or even treats though. I still eat off plan frequently, perhaps, but a key in my plan is the fact that I've allowed myself to eat junk food sometimes so it's not even really "off plan."

Shoot, yesterday I ate a turkey drumstick and french fries and didn't feel guilty.

90% of this whole process has been mental for me. I know that to keep myself mentally in the game, nothing can be forbidden. So even with my frequent and significant "cheats," I still lost the weight at a good pace, and I'm not going to change my eating habits if it doesn't affect my maintenance.

So no, I haven't changed my eating habits from loss mode to maintenance mode. I still have my indulgences. The only thing that I changed was adding 100 and then 100 more calories to my "on plan" eating days. I no longer eat 1300-1600, I eat 1500-1800.

07-04-2010, 01:22 PM
I'm with you. All the "cheat day" and "eating anything you want when you go out" post are just people who will be on different diets all their lives because they never learn that if you continue to eat the foods that made you overweight in the first place, in the wrong quantities, etc. you will just be a yo-yo dieter and never maintain.

I do speak from experience. I joined WW in 1972 weighing a whopping 356 pounds. I reached my goal weight in 1977 (took me awhile to learn it had to be a lifestyle) and maintained that weight until a few years ago when I had some bad health problems that now required me to go on Prednisone several times a year. I have 8 pounds to get back to goal.

Back in the early '70s we had no fat-free, low-fat, 100-calorie packs, etc. We learned to eat real food and limit the quantities. I do make use of fat-free and no-fat from things like cheese, margarine, and salad dressing and mayo. I do not use any prepared foods or box mixes, etc. I allow myself one dessert of no more than 200 calories once a week. The rest of my food is fruits, vegetables, lean meat, seafood, beans, whole grains, dairy, good fats (including nuts). Fast food, most desserts, snack. foods are too sugary/salty, fatty and don't taste good anymore. I do not feel deprived.

Life is good!

07-04-2010, 01:48 PM
The whole thing - losing weight and maintaining that loss - is a process that is never-ending.

I weigh myself daily, without fail. I eat carefully, within reason. I enjoy life and the good foods that God has provided.

I could regain all the weight I lost, but I won't. It would be very easy for me to regain it all. I could do it so easily, so quickly. But I won't because I am working on this healthy life I have found and I certainly don't want to lose it.

07-05-2010, 02:36 AM
I eat the same way, but more. For occasions/celebrations, I will now allow myself things which I did not have while losing (alcohol, dessert), but the rest is now so second nature to me that I just know that I`ll make it up (rather than being anxious that I may set myself up for a week of bingeing).

07-12-2010, 07:32 PM
JoJoJo puts it so beautifully.

I enjoy being thinner, happier, healthier and I can do things now as an older person I couldn't do when I was younger and much heavier. I like eating cleaner, healthier food. I like the way I feel eating less and moving more. I enjoy my life more. I am not yet at my goal weight, but I will be soon and I am delighted with living this way.

07-12-2010, 07:36 PM
I guess it depends what you mean by "cheating". I for one never considered an occasional zero deficit higher calorie meal cheating. I hate the WORD cheating because it implies not following a plan, when in many cases the PLAN is to have a higher fat/calorie meal once a week. If it is part of the plan, it isnt cheating.

I just posted on the buffet thread about my strict "chocolate every day pizza every week" diet.

Although I have to admit I find some of my planned zero deficit days really really fun. (I never have a deficit the day before a race I really care about). And that isnt cheating either. It's my plan.