Living Maintenance - A couple of questions for maintainers




VioletDolphin83
05-04-2013, 07:12 AM
I've read a lot about how people who lose a lot of weight eventually gain all the weight back. Are there people that actually manage to keep the weight off for the rest of their lives? What percentage of people actually manage to keep it off for at least 10 years or more?
The other question I wanted to ask is if the skin removal surgery is necessary. If I lose all weight needed to become a healthy weight what are the chances of me needing surgery? Because I really hate the thought of having surgery and I would rather put up with the excess skin.
Thank you in advance for any help.:)


lin43
05-04-2013, 07:59 AM
I'm not sure of the exact percentage of long-term maintainers (i.e., those who maintain their weight loss for more than five years), but I think the National Weight Control Registry keeps up with this (Google them for info). Although I'm not sure of the exact percentage, I believe it is, unfortunately, very small.

Can't help you about the loose skin; I'm sure someone else will chime in.

JenMusic
05-04-2013, 08:57 AM
I don't know the exact number of "forever maintainers" but I'm sure there are several numbers floating around online. The NWCR that lin43 references might be a good source for info; also, the book "Thin for Life" probably has some numbers - but also excellent strategies for how long-term maintainers do it.

I made a conscious decision a long time ago not to think about the percentages. Maintaining weight loss is very, very difficult (for me, at least, and for many others, but not for everyone). But you know what? I've done a lot of stuff in my life that other people haven't done, or that only a small percentage of the population has accomplished. I have a graduate degree. I've lived long-term in a foreign country. I've accomplished things in my personal life . . . those aren't based on "odds." Those things were difficult and I struggled, but I accomplished them. Why not weight loss maintenance?

As for skin removal - it's not inevitable. The general consensus is that no one knows what you will look like after weight loss until it's happened and maintained the weight loss for a year or so to let things "settle." There are people on the boards who've had skin removal surgery and many, including myself, who have not. I will say that I'd rather deal with extra skin than with extra fat! :)


bargoo
05-04-2013, 10:05 AM
Maintenance is not easy but can be done. Just like losing you have to work at it. The question is, how bad do you want it ? I would rather do what it takes to keep it off than start all over again, Or, worse just resign myself to being fat.I do have loose skin, I would like to have it removed but because of other health issues I am not going to do it. As long as I keep my clothes on nobody sees it but me. Their are some who have had it done and are brave enough to post pictures.

novangel
05-04-2013, 12:13 PM
The reason why most people gain back is because they don't understand that weight loss is a permanent lifestyle change and isn't a temporary "diet", they think once the weight is lost they can go back to eating as usual...that would be great but it doesn't work that way. You have to eat within a certain caloric range for life.

As far as excess skin everyone is different. You will know if you will need/want it or not once you're at goal. Is it necessary? No.

freelancemomma
05-05-2013, 07:28 PM
I think maintenance is not easy, but definitely doable. In my experience, you need to have one ironclad rule in place: if you get beyond weight X, losing the excess 5 or 10 pounds becomes your top priority over the next few days or weeks. As long as you follow that rule, you need not be perfect.

I'm far from perfect. I often overeat and still occasionally binge. But so far I've followed the rule, so I'm OK.

Freelance

ChickieChicks
05-05-2013, 08:53 PM
I've maintained by having a RED LINE number on my scale. No matter what sort of craziness life throws my way, if I get close to, or over my red line, I have to purposely "diet" and eat at a deficit for a few days. Just doing this gets me back on track with making generally better decisions.

krampus
05-06-2013, 12:02 PM
I think one of the biggest things that keeps maintainers from losing their minds and going insane is knowing that it's NORMAL to fluctuate and go up and down 5 pounds. No one in the world weighs exactly the same every day for months or years at a time, and it's unreasonable to expect that to happen.

bargoo
05-06-2013, 12:24 PM
I can handle the 2 pound fluctuations , when I start getting close to the 10 pound mark I get worried, I take steps to see that doesn't happen, just the simple act of getting on the scale every day allows me to know if that may happen.

time2lose
05-06-2013, 04:58 PM
I like to read the blogs of some real people who have lost large amounts of weight and are working at maintenance. I found the blogs here at 3FC as at least some of them were members of 3FC. Five of the bloggers have teamed up to address common issues and have started "AIM Adventures in Maintenance." Once a month the all address the same topic. They just happened to have posted today. I think that you will be interested in their posting. Start at
http://findingradiance.com/. There are links to the other blogs at the end of Lori's post. I have been getting so much encouragement from their blogs.

Bright Angel
05-13-2013, 12:01 PM
I've read a lot about how people who lose a lot of weight eventually gain all the weight back. Are there people that actually manage to keep the weight off for the rest of their lives? What percentage of people actually manage to keep it off for at least 10 years or more?
The other question I wanted to ask is if the skin removal surgery is necessary. If I lose all weight needed to become a healthy weight what are the chances of me needing surgery? Because I really hate the thought of having surgery and I would rather put up with the excess skin.
Thank you in advance for any help.:)
I am very short, 5'0". My high weight was 271 in 1992, so I've been very fat.
In September 2004 I weighed 190, and I achieved my weight-loss goal of 115 lbs in January 2006.
I have now been CONSISTENTLY working very hard to keep it off since that time.
Since September 2004, I have listed all of my food intake into a software journal every day,
which tells me the nutritional values of my food - including calories.

Although each of the past 3 years my yearly average DAILY calorie intake is only around 1050 calories
my weight has been creeping up a few pounds each year. This morning I weighed 130 lbs.
I have been a member of the National Weight Control Registry for more than 5 years.
Regarding people who keep off their lost weight,
the percentage most commonly agreed upon is less than 5% of everyone who successfully loses weight.
For me ..Maintenance is NOT any easier NOW ...(even with a slight weight creep) than when I first lost weight.

Although I am very short and rather small,
and have had a very large loss, I have not had any plastic surgery,
and feel no need for it. I dress in flattering styles, and look good in my clothing.
I've never dressed to showcase either fat or loose skin.
I am fine with the way I look without clothes, and ...
due to my clothing choices ...
my feedback from those people who wish to comment about my appearance, is positive.

I have a lot of personal videos and articles at my personal Blog, DietHobby,
which is a dot com website.
If you would like more information about me and my point of view, check it out. :hug:

freelancemomma
05-13-2013, 04:25 PM
[COLOR="Blue"]
Although each of the past 3 years my yearly average DAILY calorie intake is only around 1050 calories
my weight has been creeping up a few pounds each year.

How is that possible? (Your BMR should be higher than that, let alone your TEE.) Have you consulted a doctor about it?

Freelance

Bright Angel
05-14-2013, 12:39 PM
How is that possible? (Your BMR should be higher than that, let alone your TEE.) Have you consulted a doctor about it?

Freelance
Some people simply have bodies that use food very efficiently.

I am a short, elderly woman who is in good health.
I use no medication.
All of my test numbers are fine - well within normal range,
and I have spent quite some time discussing this issue with my health care providers.

The BMR and RMR numbers found in online calculators are based on "averages",
Many people are above and BELOW those averages, and some are FAR below (or far above).
I appear to fall in the range of those whose BMR/RMR is about 10 to 15% below average,
plus I am a "reduced obese" person which makes for a TEE lower than normal.

I wrote a really detailed article (on May 3) about the specifics of how this works,
and applied it to my numbers personally at DietHobby,
The article is titled: "150 Pounds"
DietHobby is my personal Blog, and if you are interested in reading my article,
you can find it there at www. diethobby.com

You might be surprised at some of the things you'll discover.
Another good article to read is, "Weight Management - A Rubber Band" (posted April 25)

freelancemomma
05-14-2013, 02:38 PM
Hi Bright Angel,

I read the blog posts you mentioned. Thanks. I've also interviewed Dr. Sharma a couple of times. I find his view of obesity (basically a life-long disease) a little pessimistic. I've also seen conflicting evidence about metabolic erosion after weight loss. Some studies suggest it may be permanent, while others suggest that metabolism bounces back after the weight loss phase has been completed. The latter has certainly been my experience, and I've yo-yoed several times in my life. Perhaps it's different with different people?

Freelance

Edited to add: Here's a link to a report of a very small study suggesting that (for some people, at any rate) hormonal changes post-weight loss may be long-lasting. What I found most interesting about the study was that participants lost an average of 2.9 pounds per week on a 550-cal diet, which completely gives the lie to the "starvation mode" myth. I have no doubt that severe caloric restriction slows metabolism, but never to the point of making weight loss impossible.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/health/biological-changes-thwart-weight-loss-efforts-study-finds.html?_r=0

On the other hand, this National Weight Control Registry study suggests that (for some people, at any rate) metabolism in the reduced obese is no lower than expected from their current body mass.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357738

Bottom line: We're still spectacularly ignorant about metabolism, and much of what passes as fact is no more than speculation.

neurodoc
05-14-2013, 09:07 PM
Phyllis, a couple of questions about your post, "!50 pounds" about the table you put in. First, are the weights along the right supposed to be total body weight or lean body mass? If the former, are you assuming a 75%/25% lean/fat ratio at each weight? If the latter, is the lean mass supposed to be 95# all the way up the scale, with all of the additional weight being fat? The second question is, what do you mean by activity # (as in, Mifflin + activity #)? What does that cover? The difference between RMR and RMR+activity in your chart is only about 200 cal. That's a calorie burn you can get from a single hour of walking, or from 4 hours of fidgety sitting. It surely can't cover all the activity you perform over a 16-hr. period (24-8hrs sleep). And I assume that you do some form of exercise at least a few times a week over and above that, for a TEE on those days that would be several hundred calories higher still.

I'm the last one to believe the averages published in many manuals for TEE values based on BMI since I have proven to myself that I am a good 200 or so calories per day LESS than those averages. But even to me, your numbers seem too low.

And BTW, I LOVE that picture of the 150 pounds women at different heights. To that, I would add that 150 pounds on 5 different SAME HEIGHT women can look almost as radically different, depending on their lean/fat ratio.

Bright Angel
05-15-2013, 11:31 AM
Bottom line:
We're still spectacularly ignorant about metabolism,
and much of what passes as fact is no more than speculation. Precisely so! ;)

Bright Angel
05-15-2013, 12:29 PM
Phyllis, a couple of questions about your post, "!50 pounds" about the table you put in. First, are the weights along the right supposed to be total body weight or lean body mass? If the former, are you assuming a 75%/25% lean/fat ratio at each weight? If the latter, is the lean mass supposed to be 95# all the way up the scale, with all of the additional weight being fat? The second question is, what do you mean by activity # (as in, Mifflin + activity #)? What does that cover? The difference between RMR and RMR+activity in your chart is only about 200 cal. That's a calorie burn you can get from a single hour of walking, or from 4 hours of fidgety sitting. It surely can't cover all the activity you perform over a 16-hr. period (24-8hrs sleep). And I assume that you do some form of exercise at least a few times a week over and above that, for a TEE on those days that would be several hundred calories higher still.

I'm the last one to believe the averages published in many manuals for TEE values based on BMI since I have proven to myself that I am a good 200 or so calories per day LESS than those averages. But even to me, your numbers seem too low.

And BTW, I LOVE that picture of the 150 pounds women at different heights. To that, I would add that 150 pounds on 5 different SAME HEIGHT women can look almost as radically different, depending on their lean/fat ratio. In preparing my personal chart used in my blog article, at www DietHobby.com
I brought up an online calculator for the Mifflin and the Harris Benedict formulas.
I input my own personal data; i.e. my own sex, age, and height.
The Weight column at the far left of the chart reflects total body weight
...using my own personal data...from 95 lbs through 165 lbs, topping off at 200 lbs.

The Mifflin RMR column and the Harris-Benedict BMR column are the
online calculator's numerical results based on that data.

For the Mifflin plus Activity number (Mifflin + Activity #) column,
I added the standard 1.2% activity factor for "sedentary".
Yes... that DOES cover ALL of the daily activity of a normal sedentary person
with MY PERSONAL DATA. i.e. My sex, age, and height at those specific weights.

For the column on the extreme right: MY Mifflin plus Activity number,
I subtracted a percentage of between 10-15% (150 calories) from the total "average person with my numbers" calculation.
which resulted in bringing me very close to the ACTUAL numbers
shown by my own personal detailed long-term daily food-intake computer records,
during the past 7 years while my body has been at a weight of between 110 and 130 pounds.

I consider myself to be a sedentary person, and have discovered
that ... FOR ME ... additional exercise does not result in much of an increased calorie burn.
Also, my long-term exeriments have proven that My body compensates
for additional exercise by making me very hungry, AND very tired.
I'm fairly good at resisting the extra food when I'm hungry,
however, I'm unable to resist resting when feeling extremely tired and/or sleepy.

I agree with those experts who believe that, for many reasons,
it is almost impossible to get accurate individual Exercise Calorie calculations.
However, to give you an example:
an online exercise calculation --for a person WITH MY PERSONAL DATA, --
20 minutes of walking at 3 mph would burn a total of about 60 calories.
NOTE: I am quite short so 3 mph is quite a brisk pace for me... almost a jog.

REMEMBER -- I am a short female in my late 60s....
AND... on top of that I'm a "reduced obese" person,
which Dr. Rudolph Leibel's research indicates has a lower exercise burn
than "normal" people.
For more info read the sticky topic above :"Some Answers About Genes etc...."

freelancemomma
05-15-2013, 03:11 PM
I consider myself to be a sedentary person, and have discovered
that ... FOR ME ... additional exercise does not result in much of an increased calorie burn.

Interesting. I'm 56 and also quite sedentary aside from my 3-5 hours per week of formal exercise. In my case, however, it seems that the exercise makes a huge difference. I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't be able to maintain on anything close to 2,000-2,200 cals/day (my current range) without it. This is just an unscientific hunch, but I've always felt that I burn more calories than most people when exercising, because I don't have naturally good stamina and exercise is really WORK for me.

Freelance

neurodoc
05-15-2013, 05:35 PM
I have just played around for a while with the calorie calculator at calculator.net. Very interesting. I've never done this kind of math before. The difference in estimated daily calorie needs (to maintain) between sedentary and moderately active (defined as exercise 3-5x/week) is 400 cal (1371 vs. 1771). Commensurately, to lose 1 pound per week, I would need to drop my calorie intake to 871 (!!!) if I remain sedentary, but "only" to 1271 if I exercise. Not coincidentally, I have found through trial and error that I lose weight on 1200 cal/day + 1 hour of exercise 4-5x per week. As you (Phyllis) point out, the trick is to not allow that hour of exercise to influence my eating, but to remain steadfast at 1200 cal/day regardless of activity, which is d*mn hard. But, at least for me, still easier than eating <900 cal. day for weeks at a stretch.

Oh, I also learned that there is another formula (Katch-McArdle) that takes into account your body fat%, which the Mifflin formula doesn't (and which presumably means that people with a lot of muscle mass for their weight can eat a bit more than the Mifflin formula would suggest), but, stupidly, loses the information about age and sex, which presumably adds a source of uncalculated variation into that one. Pity there isn't a version of Mifflin that works on lean body mass instead of total body weight, because I bet that would make the darn thing a lot more accurate.

Bright Angel
05-15-2013, 11:46 PM
I have just played around for a while with the calorie calculator at calculator.net. Very interesting. I've never done this kind of math before. The difference in estimated daily calorie needs (to maintain) between sedentary and moderately active (defined as exercise 3-5x/week) is 400 cal (1371 vs. 1771). Commensurately, to lose 1 pound per week, I would need to drop my calorie intake to 871 (!!!) if I remain sedentary, but "only" to 1271 if I exercise. Not coincidentally, I have found through trial and error that I lose weight on 1200 cal/day + 1 hour of exercise 4-5x per week. As you (Phyllis) point out, the trick is to not allow that hour of exercise to influence my eating, but to remain steadfast at 1200 cal/day regardless of activity, which is d*mn hard. But, at least for me, still easier than eating <900 cal. day for weeks at a stretch.

Oh, I also learned that there is another formula (Katch-McArdle) that takes into account your body fat%, which the Mifflin formula doesn't (and which presumably means that people with a lot of muscle mass for their weight can eat a bit more than the Mifflin formula would suggest), but, stupidly, loses the information about age and sex, which presumably adds a source of uncalculated variation into that one. Pity there isn't a version of Mifflin that works on lean body mass instead of total body weight, because I bet that would make the darn thing a lot more accurate. Playing with the numbers is an interesting activity,
and I enjoy it. One important thing I keep in the front of my mind is
It's ALL based on an "AVERAGE" mythical person...
I find the numbers useful to see where the "average" is,
with the understanding that there can easily be a large difference in either direction.
Unfortuately, for me personally, the difference is LOWER, not higher.

The Katch-McArdle formula involving lean body mass is interesting,
but, as you discovered, presents problems.
Personally, I don't think the metabolism differences between people
would be resolved by using a "Lean Body Mass" formula,
and .. of course... acurately calculating that number "EXACTLY"
takes a lot more individual information and expertise
than merely stepping on a sacle.

VioletDolphin83
05-19-2013, 07:50 AM
I've been lurking around the maintainers section for a few months now and maintaining sounds so difficult! So I've decided to aim for losing about half my excess weight. If all goes well and I can maintain that weightloss for about half a year or more then I'll continue to lose weight.:)

Bright Angel
05-19-2013, 11:07 AM
I've been lurking around the maintainers section for a few months now and maintaining sounds so difficult! So I've decided to aim for losing about half my excess weight. If all goes well and I can maintain that weightloss for about half a year or more then I'll continue to lose weight.:) That sounds like a good plan. ;)

VioletDolphin83
05-27-2013, 08:38 AM
^ Thanks! :)

Skinnyminnie Wannabe
06-02-2013, 11:03 PM
I've maintained by having a RED LINE number on my scale. No matter what sort of craziness life throws my way, if I get close to, or over my red line, I have to purposely "diet" and eat at a deficit for a few days. Just doing this gets me back on track with making generally better decisions.

This is the thing that I failed to do the most the many times I had been successful in losing. Especially when the "creep" gets to be around the 5 lb. mark for me.

I am nowhere near goal and in fact haven't been making much effort to lose recently. That's going to change. But I needed to come to this section because of this little voice in my head that was going "Why bother at all - you'll just gain it all back?" Guess whose voice that was . . . Satan's! :devil: Not gonna listen to it! ;)