Living Maintenance - Need to work on maintaining now?

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03-28-2014, 04:32 PM
I'm finally at the weight range that I would like to be, and this is the first time I have ever been in a size 4 pants in a LONG time. I've been eating around 1,500 calories a day and I bike ride for an hour every other day and lift weights for a half hour on days that I don't bike. I was wondering if I might be able to maintain at 1,800 calories? I suffer from an eating disorder (I'm trying to eat throughout the day because for a long time I only ate one meal a day) and my greatest fear is that if I eat more I will no longer be wearing the same size pants. I've heard some say that people won't gain on 1,800 calories but am iffy about trying it. I also have heard that if I do there will be a weight gain but it will likely be water weight at first.

I would like to hear from fellow maintainers. This is the very first time in my life that I am trying to maintain. I've been obese most of my life. If it helps, I cook pretty much everything at home and I eat a lot of vegetables, protein-rich foods, and lean meats. I am 5'2" and my BMI is 21 at 119 lbs.

traveling michele
03-28-2014, 06:40 PM
Congratulations!! You have lost another person (albeit a small one).
The key to maintenance IMHO (in my humble opinion) is not to do anything drastic. I would not jump from 1500 to 1800 overnight. I would add a small amount in at first and see how you do... maybe a few nuts or a small piece of cheese-- 50 or 100 calories.... see what happens for a week. You may continue to lose. If so, add a little more. If not, keep at it. Maintenance is tricky and not an exact science. Please start posting here-- we're a friendly bunch!

03-28-2014, 06:59 PM
Hi and welcome to the Maintainers forum.
I agree with Michele in not going directly from 1500 to 1800, though I might increase by 150 cal rather than 50 since you've been losing weight on 1500. And I would suggest holding the cals steady for 2-3 weeks between increases because of short-term weight fluctuations that can give you a false impression of weight stability. Many people can maintain on 1800 (or even higher) cals/day, though I am not lucky that way (I maintain on 1600, just barely). If you're still losing weight, however slowly, on 1500, you will almost certainly be able to go up by 300 cals/day and not gain. Good luck and congratulations on your terrific weight loss.

03-28-2014, 07:04 PM
Thank you for the advice. I tried (about two weeks ago) bumping up the calories from 1,500 to 1,800 and gained a lot of water weight from it but then after I cleaned out my system my weight actually dropped by two pounds. It'll all be a process of elimination it seems.

03-29-2014, 07:15 AM
Thank you for the advice. I tried (about two weeks ago) bumping up the calories from 1,500 to 1,800 and gained a lot of water weight from it but then after I cleaned out my system my weight actually dropped by two pounds. It'll all be a process of elimination it seems.

:welcome2: Blue Horse!

For me maintenance is a constant experimentation. Frustrating as I can't just do the same thing over and over but rewarding too as I find the new way my body wants to be.

Dagmar :cool:

03-29-2014, 09:46 AM
I agree with Mudpie. Finding your maintenance range takes experimentation. I was losing on 1400 and I kept adding until I got up to 2200 per day! I never imagined I would be able to maintain on that high of a number (although I do A LOT of exercise). Now, 2 1/2 years into it, I may have to lower that a bit as I think it may be too high now. Our bodies change, and we need to adjust with that.

The main advice I would give you, though, is not to panic over a pound or two gained when you start increasing your calories. You will literally have more food in your body, so you may see a temporary gain. The worst thing you can do is panic. It takes a while to start trusting yourself to not "gain all the weight back" because I know that the temptation for many of us is such all-or-nothing thinking.

Best wishes!

03-30-2014, 12:13 PM
Congratulations BlueHorse!!! I reached goal about 5 weeks ago and am still trying to figure out the calories. The advice everyone provides here is so helpful! I was going to just go to 2100 because that's what I read and I was advised here to add a little at a time. After the first day or so I realized it would be really hard to eat 2100 of healthy foods anyway! I was losing around 1200-1400 and so I went up to 1500 and then around 1700. I got down to 6 under goal so I have been adding a little more - about 1800-1900. The scale jumped up two and like Lin said I did try to not panic.
I try to remember that a pound is supposedly 3500 calories. Well, I did NOT eat 7000 or even 3500 extra calories so when the scale jumps like that it is just sodium, or the weight of the food, which will leave you!

Anyway all the wise people here have definitely taught me that there is no exact science to maintaining. Our bodies are different, but what we have in common is that we have all struggled with weight at some point, and we will have to be diligent to keep it off. Like I've said before, I can't think about that long-term, it just overwhelms me. I have to just think of it day by day. If I get through today, that's a success! I know that's the AA motto but I'm adopting it for me for this!
Good luck!

03-30-2014, 12:43 PM
I also agree to add back food slowly. I don't count calories, I count bites and when I got to maintenance I added 5 bites per day for a week, then re-evaluated. Then I added another 5 bites per day for a week and so on. I am now at 45 bites on weekdays and 55 bites Sat and Sun and my weight is inside my Maintenance Range now!

03-30-2014, 12:59 PM
I think one of the main keys to weight maintenance is picking the right eating plan (a "forever" plan) to begin with.

As an example, in order to lose 25 pounds to get sugar, BP, and cholesterol levels under control, I started (and still maintain) a low sugar/low carb eating plan. Ending sugar addiction was my main issue. If you can get sugar consumption under control, weight maintenance is much easier.

03-30-2014, 02:05 PM
I second what the others have said. It took me several months to slowly increase my calories before I found my sweet spot (I increased about 50 cal. per week or two). I average 1500-1600 calories. I gain if I go over that....but you could be different. Just go slow.

03-31-2014, 12:54 AM
Thank you everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it. Just wondering now how much time I should give inbetween seeing results? Like for example if I bumped up my calories by 100 (which would be me at 1,600 a day), how long should I wait do you think before I know if it permanently makes or evens out to me gaining weight? I was recommended that I should give it about two weeks.

04-24-2014, 11:51 PM

I am so glad I found this thread as it has made me feel so much better. Thank you BlueHorse17 and everyone else.

I hit my target a couple of weeks ago and raised my calories from 1200 to 1500. Now I have put back on 1.2kg. I have been exercising more so didn't think this weight gain would happen but it has and it's time to take stock. I realise going up 300calories was too much at once and as everyone has said, we are all different and this is a fine art getting it right.

I felt so demoralised by all this -I do not want to be one of the 98% who puts it all back on. But this thread has helped and i know it's not a disaster - I need to fine tune.

Thanks all.

traveling michele
04-25-2014, 01:10 AM
Welcome crazy cat woman and congrats big time! I hope you realize a few pound gain doesn't mean you'll gain all your weight back. This forum has helped me tremendously over the years. Looking forward to seeing your posts!

04-25-2014, 06:37 AM
crazy cat woman You might want to give yourself a "red line" - a weight you don't want to go over. If you reach it realize that you still have some more fine tuning to do.

I think weighing myself 3x per week really helped me figure out the way to maintain a range of weight, rather than going up and then dieting down again. More than that was too stressful for me due to the daily fluctuations we all experience.

You have to figure out your own plan. But being able to access all the experiences here is wonderful! I didn't even know there was a thing like maintenance until I found the Maintainers group. And I believe this is what's helped me keep most of the weight off.

Dagmar :dizzy:

04-26-2014, 12:46 AM
Thanks Mudpie and Traveling Michele. I have set a 'red line' for myself, and also started reading 'Thin Woman's Brain' which is a total eye opener, and think that will really help - not just with maintenance for food. I've got this addictive personality......

And in the short term I have dropped the calories back down so hope in a week or two to be back to my lowest weight and then raise it up gradually. Slow and steady is the message I am getting!