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Drifting down to goal... this is what I was told to do

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Old 12-26-2007, 08:59 PM   #16
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I love the idea, I often wonder why doctors suggest a 500 less than you goal weight to lose anyway? What is the hurry?

Why not just eat at what it takes to maintain? If I eat a caloric level of an 185 person, and get active I will "drift down" to 185 pounds. I believe this isn't recommended because it's a slower process and most people don't have the patience to do it like that.

I bet that people wouldn't be as hungry on their programs, I bet most people could actually stick to such a calorie level because they will have to keep the weight off anyway. Of course it wouldn't be for everyone, but it's a approach that could really "cure" the obesity problem in this country in my opinion.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:40 AM   #17
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I think this is a great idea, you just have to be willing to be patient...and the last 10 lbs would take a looooooooong time.

The benefits of this is you would probably lose less muscle than a lot of people do who create a larger deficit. But the truth is you will have to adjust based on your activity level and your bodyfat %. How you eat will also make a difference.

I think it is a great place to start though. One of the most concerning things I have seen on here is people who are very overweight STARTING at 1200 calories...you have no where to go after that. My philosophy is eat as much as you can to still lose SOME weight and take it nice and slow.

OK - to try and answer your original question VERY ROUGHLY taking one calculator and some estimates....lets say you ate 1700 cals a day on a sedentary lifestyle (what about.com thinks would maintain you at 150lbs)

Right now 230 lbs without exercise you would lose about 0.87 lbs/week - add exercise and this is a very reasonable rate of loss...if you are active at work which as a nurse I think you must be and I could easily see you losing 1-2 lbs a week
at 200 lbs ..0.54/wk
at 175lbs.. 0.27
at 160lbs..0.11
at 155lbs..0.06
at 151lbs..0.01/wk ( in otherwords to lose that last 1 lb would take almost 2 years WITHOUT exercise - but fortunately we have exercise!)

In reality no one is going to eat precisely 1700 every single day and burn precisely the same calories every single day
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:58 PM   #18
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I always liked caloriesperhour.com to calculate how much time it would take to lose weight and stuff like that, they have lots of nice little calculators

losing weight slowly is the best way.. but most of us dont want to wait that long lol. Losing weight slowly almost guarantees you wont gain it back, whereas losing it quickly you run a high risk of putting those pounds back on... I unfortunately learned that the hard way
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:34 PM   #19
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From my reading and hearing others' experiences and talking to doctors and all that good stuff (you learn a lot about diet and nutrition and such when you've been overweight since about age 5 and obese for your entire adult life), those who have been overweight and then lost weight typically require fewer calories to maintain the same weight as those who were never overweight at all. That is, if 2 women (let's make them identical twins, so same build, same height, same genes, all that jazz) both weigh 150 pounds, but one has never weighed more than that while the other used to weigh 250 and lost 100 pounds, the one who lost the 100 pounds will have a lower maintenance calorie level than the one who never weighed more. So if you're eating at the suggested maintenance level of someone who hasn't lost any weight to reach that point, then it's likely not a low enough calorie level for you to actually reach that weight (unless you do a lot of weight training and build up a lot of muscle, which is difficult for most women to do).

I hope that all makes sense
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:40 PM   #20
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I think we are basically all saying the same thing. The actual number of calories for you to successfully lose weight and then to maintain is going to be personal to you. There are lots of estimates and guidelines that we can give but in the end you will need to work with this number to find out what is successful for you. This number may also change over the course of your weightloss journey.

You have to start somewhere and the formula that has been provided you is at least a reasonable place to start. Just don't get so fixated on this number that this is the only solution. It may work for the full 80lbs and then it may not.

There is no possible way to tell today. Best of luck.

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Old 12-28-2007, 12:40 PM   #21
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It seems like this equation can give you a good jumping off point. The word choice 'drift' is a strange one though, in my opinion. Reducing calories and sticking with it, whether or not you call that a diet (I don't like to either), takes planning and effort - it's an active thing. 'Drift' is so passive! Usually we've been 'drifting' with not so favorable results before we start paying attention and taking charge of our health.

Whatever you choose to do, and whatever you choose to call it, good journey to you! The time to start is now!
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:24 PM   #22
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Jill - your post is absolutely fascinating! I've never heard that before. Do you have any links to where I can learn more about that?
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:42 PM   #23
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Scenestealer, I posted about the slowed metabolism of reduced obese people here: Some Answers About Genes, Environment, Obesity and Maintenance. In a nutshell, a large weight loss results in a reduced metabolism due to lowered levels of leptin and other hormones. Our bodies conserve energy in an attempt to return to the status quo of what we used to weigh.

In practical terms, it means that I burn about 20% fewer calories than another woman of my weight, height, and age when I'm at the gym, even if we do the exact same workout.

A good book that discusses the science of obesity (and why maintenance is so challenging) is Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata, New York Times science writer.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:54 PM   #24
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Thanks so much, Meg! Your post was really fascinating, and I am definitely going to look for that book.
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:40 AM   #25
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Even still, if I was to believe that ex fat people needed fewer calories to keep the weight off said ex fat person would still have a certain caloric level to maintain your weight loss. I still believe whatever that is it's a good caloric level to shoot for. Said ex fat person would have to get use to it anyway.

One more thing, I will have to see some hard and strong studies to believe the x fat people need fewer calories.

I believe keeping the weight off is hard because people go back to their old eating habits, and/or eat too much of the good stuff. Another reason could be they ruined their metabolism through excessive calorie chopping during their weight loss and their bodies can't wait to get some food to build back up their stores.

My mind can be changed but it'll take some strong evidence. I hope to do my own study when I get to goal weight.

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Old 12-29-2007, 07:39 AM   #26
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kimmieone, the article by Meg and the book she recommends do contain some scientifically investigated stuff about this.

My personal belief is that metabolism can be changed with regular, consistent exercise/activity to build muscle, endurance, stamina, etc. But I don't think there are any studies about this... not that I know of, I should say.

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Old 12-29-2007, 07:56 AM   #27
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Jay, I don't know of any studies about building muscle to increase metabolism either, but I have my personal experience, for what it's worth. Right after I finished my year of weight loss, I had my RMR tested and it was 1395. After a year of intense weight training, I was retested and my RMR was 1600. Muscle rocks!

Interesting, there are clinical trials underway to see if leptin injections can work to reverse the metabolic slowdown caused by weight loss. The theory is that if reduced leptin levels cause the slowdown, then perhaps leptin supplementation will counter it. I don't know of any results being reported yet.
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #28
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kimmie -- I'm another who also likes to see good, solid evidence. But the problem is that there aren't a lot of great studies out there that have been done on people. Science just takes so darn long!!

But the work done on the biochemical side to date is very interesting. You state that people gain the weight back predominantly because they go back to old habits. I agree. The question is WHY do people go back to old habits? Some of the work on our biochemistries suggests that formerly obese people have different chemical makeups. For instance our levels of leptin may tend to be lower, making us feel more hungry and less satisfied with the food we eat! So, we may go back to old habits in part because our bodies "encourage" it.

Of course it's much more complicated than one hormone or chemical. And frankly, it's somewhat depressing. But it's also fascinating!!!
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:23 PM   #29
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I tried to post here yesterday, but got kicked out of the site. Anyway, what I was going to say is this:

Last Jan. I made a goal to lose 45 lbs. by my 45th birthday, I didn't make that goal, but I did succeed at getting 25 lbs. off and keeping it off. I've made this years goal to be 146 by my 46th, but most importantly to maintain if I get there before then.

I think losing weight slowly is the best way, even though we all want to lose it as quickly as possible. DH and I have made exercise a regular part of our routine and eating healthier, we're not saints, but I think learning to get back on track after slipping away from your healthy plan is a big part of learning to maintain.

Let's face it, we can lose the weight, keeping it off is the challenge. I can see where "drifting" to your goal weight has merit. I also believe incorporating exercise/activity into your daily life, making it a habit is huge.
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
kimmieone, the article by Meg and the book she recommends do contain some scientifically investigated stuff about this.

My personal belief is that metabolism can be changed with regular, consistent exercise/activity to build muscle, endurance, stamina, etc. But I don't think there are any studies about this... not that I know of, I should say.

Jay
I agree, but again, just subjectively. I USED to struggle to lose weight on 1800 calories a day and now I seem to lose weight on 2000-2100, but I never had my metabolism tested on either end.
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