Weight Loss Support - Novel idea - I hadn't heard this one before

05-13-2012, 11:03 AM
I was listening to a fitness podcast and they were talking about "fake it until you make it".

The idea is that if you are say, 200lb woman and you want to be a 135lb woman, eat and act like they would to maintain 130lb rather than thinking of yourself as 200lb and acting like a 200lb person on a diet. This is supposed to put you in the mindset of "proper eating" rather than "dieting" and sets up all those good habits before you get to goal and so maintaining should be easier.

They were saying, that by default if you eat like a 135lb person, you must become one (or thereabouts).

So as an example, I am 5'6". If I was 200lb, my BMR would be 1666 calories, for my height. At 135lb I would need to eat 1383 calories per day as a BMR to maintain (plus exercise cals). So rather than trying to remove 500 calories from 1666 calories to loose weight, which could be quite tough, I should eat 1383 per day.

Has anyone tried this? It is an interesting idea.

05-13-2012, 12:02 PM
I've heard that before and honestly to some extent I would say that is true. But the issue for me personally is that when I first started out at my highest ever (226.5), I don't think I would've been satisfied to eat at the 135lb. level. I needed to learn and train my brain to get there so I started off with a higher goal of like a 180lb. person. Now that I have hit the 180's, I'll probably eat more like someone in the 150's and go from there. I just don't think that drastic calorie cuts work... at least not for all people. I've seen some people on here, though, do just that. Start out near 300 and eat like someone who is say 130. If that is what works for them, I say go for it! But I'd say that just as many people need those gradual changes to help them sink in and be permanent.

I have to ask you... which BMR calculator did you use because the one I tried out gave a much higher calorie count? It said doing nada that my calorie usage was up over 2000... I don't hold it as the end all be all number, but I sure would like to know if I'm off by a lot! LOL

05-13-2012, 12:14 PM
I fully agree with that idea. My only reservation would be that it might be difficult to start out eating at that level right away or to maintain it throughout weight loss. If you can do that, fantastic!


05-13-2012, 12:32 PM
I find it interesting that both responses think this would be a MORE drastic calorie cut. The point is it is LESS drastic. You eat like your goal weight on maintenance.

But I do think that 1383 is low for maintenance. 1383 is your basal, even if you are fairly sedentary you multiply by 1.2. Plus if you do exercise. Your maintenance number is probably closer to 1700 -2000

05-13-2012, 01:15 PM
Agree, it is the maintenance number. Looking at it now, it does look low doesn't it? I got it from a book I have here. I will check and make sure that I read it correctly! Nevertheless, I rather like the idea.

05-13-2012, 01:51 PM
I have a book that says that and I've seen a few things like it. Intriguing. I like the idea but I like having the amount of food I eat now to better transition. This doesn't hurt that much

05-13-2012, 02:05 PM
I find it interesting that both responses think this would be a MORE drastic calorie cut. The point is it is LESS drastic. You eat like your goal weight on maintenance.

But I do think that 1383 is low for maintenance. 1383 is your basal, even if you are fairly sedentary you multiply by 1.2. Plus if you do exercise. Your maintenance number is probably closer to 1700 -2000

Well, for me it WOULD be a more drastic cut. According to my calculators, just to maintain where I am at now my cals would need to be well over 2000. That's why I'm at 1600. To go from over 2000 to 1383 would've been a BIG cut for me. That's why I said for me personally I couldn't do it. But that's based on my calculator and not the figures that were used in the post. So, it could be different for different people with different calculators. Oh, and it also didn't take into account activity so even eating at 1666, it's not showing for activity level. GAH! Weightloss is so confusing. LOL And so many different things work for so many different people. I just think that for me that cutting back slowly and making small changes over time works the best. I just don't think that I could've made such a huge cut in calories like that. That was my point. Not that the 1383 was lower than the 1666-500. Just that if you're a bigger person, that large of a jump could be really hard... and I also don't think that the number was right. LOL 1666 to maintain 200 sounds REALLY low.

05-13-2012, 02:23 PM
Yeah, but it wouldnt be 1383 even if you are BEDBOUND. The point is it would be more like 1800 calories long term, not 1600. LESS drastic.

But if you are a really large person it could be more drastic. But not for most people. The problem is it means much slower weight loss for most.

05-13-2012, 02:28 PM
That's what I've been doing lately. And when I stick to it it's working. I've always had an image in my head about how I would eat and exercise once I'm thin. Why not just do that now?

mind you, I'm not counting calories, it's more just eating small portions and heavy on the veg. And I don't think it will work forever. At some point I will likely have to count calories in order to get to my goal weight. But that's a long way off. And if I can lose by being careful and exercising regularly instead of counting I'd rather do that. More of a lifestyle change.

05-13-2012, 02:29 PM
This is known as eating at your maintenance level and to me it makes a lot of sense. I didn't do it because I didn't know about it until I was almost at goal. Think bout this, the normal dieter cuts calories way down to lose and upon reaching goal tries to figure out how many calories they can add so as to maintain and not be above goal. This step is eliminated if you are already eating at maintenance level. There is a book"The Calorie Queens, Living Thin In A Fat World" by Diane Scott Kellum and Brett A. Scott that really explains it and how it works.

05-13-2012, 02:31 PM
it makes a lot of sense to me to eat at maintenence then focus on exercise to make a bigger calorie deficit.

05-13-2012, 02:48 PM
I think the idea is fair enough, but it's something that you can't just start doing, I would think you would need to do it gradually. You need to be able to let your body adjust to the change in a way that you can sustain it.

Think of it this way... your house temperature inside is 15C/60F and you turn the heating set point to 25C/77F because you want it to warm up quicker to get to the normal 20C/68F. It doesn't warm any quicker, it still takes time to get to the level a step at a time. Just because you make a dramatic adjustment to get to a point, be it a weight goal, you still have to go past levels to get there. You don't need to put extra pressure on by saying this is the weight I want to be, so I'll eat like someone of that weight. Don't look at the 100% result, look at 20% now, then look at the next 20% when you get close to that and keep adjusting along the way. It's like a marathon, you don't think of the full distance, you think of one step at a time which is achievable and the end result will take care of itself.

05-13-2012, 06:21 PM
I eat around 1200 calories a day and I've lost no weight. I don't exercise though, so I guess I'm just one of those people who absolutely has to work out to lose weight.

05-13-2012, 07:20 PM
I think that's an interesting concept.

At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that works for me is counting calories. Strangely enough, if I eat only 1200, I don't lose as much weight as I do eating 1500-1600. I've found a sweet spot of about 1500 -- coupled with exercise a few days a week, I've been losing about 2 pounds per week which I am happy with. I do eat more on the days I exercise.

As long as it's done gradually, I think that's an awesome idea.

05-13-2012, 10:13 PM
Kind of how I did it, but I just kept moving the goal weight, always about 30 lbs. lower than my current weight. So each month when I weighed in, I'd subtract 30 lbs and recalculate my calorie needs for that weight. That became my daily upper limit. If I ate less than that even better but it gave me a very "doable" upper limit.