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To the maintainers... how do you do it?

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Old 05-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Default To the maintainers... how do you do it?

Questions for those of you maintaining your weight with calorie counting... how did you start? I have never reached a point where I had to maintain. I've always existed in the feast or famine mode. I am now 2kg away from goal (though I may lower my goal when I get to 70kg) and I dont know what to do! Did you gradually increase your calories to a point where you stopped losing or did you find out what your total calories were for maintaining your weight and just started on that? At the moment, I aim for 1200 calories but generally come under it. I went to a site (calorie calculator) which for my height and low active life style for me to maintain 70kg is to consumer 1700 calories a day. I worry that if I suddenly increase my calories to 1700 i might gain weight. So i was thinking of increasing calories by around 100-150 a week till I get to 1700. What do you think? I am terrified of gaining weight as that's been my life's story , losing, gaining, losing, gaining and i want to do it right this time but I dont know how and its making me anxious about reaching goal weight. I want to have a plan when I get there, rather than wake up one morning, be 70kg and be like "alright then... now what do I eat". Also another thing, do you continue to eat the same food or did you introduce treats almost from the begining? When I think about having a piece of chocolate as part of daily food, i get really nervous and excited and anxious. Did you feel like this? Its like the closer I get to goal, its like getting closer to an abyss. Do you find it harder to maintain than lose? funnily enough, ive never had trouble losing weight. Its keeping the weight off that I struggle with the most...

Any tips you can give me is very much appreciated
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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those are really good questions. I'd like to know the answers too! Especially the one about "did you start your weight loss at the amt of cals needed for maintenance?" that would seem really logical to me.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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With me it was just more of the same, but I added in protein shakes because I found I needed them to keep up the amount of cals.

When I hit 125, I increased my calories to 1600-1800, thinking that was what I needed to maintain. Eventually through trial and error (and 10lbs lost) I figured out I needed to eat over 2000 to maintain.

I allow myself more snacks now, because I find otherwise I will not eat enough. I've become accustomed to eating small portions that I get full on very little. This doesn't bother me because I figure that if I need to get on the losing bandwagon again that all it would take would be the elimination of snacks and protein shakes to put me in losing mode.

I allowed myself anything when I was losing—as long as it was within my calories—and maintenance is no different. I just have a bit more space.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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When I reached goal I asked long time maintainers how they did it. Their answer. They kept it off the same way they lost it. What a concept, now I have done the same thing. I have never consciously added X number of calories. I still count calories, I still plan all my meals ahead of time. I do occasionally add in a treat but that is the only differance.
gracesmomma brought out a good point, there are some dieters who start out from day one eating maintenance calories and they lose. I didn't do that because I didn't know about it but I think it makes a lot of sense I hope I never have to test it out.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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My original (before weight loss) daily calorie count was well over 3,000 cals a day give or take a few 100. I mean who counts calories when you aren't trying to lose weight...

Anyway, I orginally started by only eating HALF of what I was used to. Didn't stop or remove anything from my meals. Just 50% of it. So I still ate all the things I enjoyed.

Eventually, after a 50 lb loss, I started calorie counting. Started at 2000 cals a day. Then with every ten more lbs lost, I dropped a hundred calories off the original mark. This made the transition very easy for me and wasn't so overwhelming. In other words, I STUCK WITH IT.

Today, after 150 lbs lost and weighing about 110 lbs I maintain by eating the same amt of calories M-F. Which is 1500. I pick ONE day on the weekend where I don't count my cals. Sometimes I find that if I work out more than usual, or I see myself still "losing" I'll add an extra snack in or something. But the cheat meal helps me maintain on a weekly basis. Going on one year. 2.5 years at goal. But a full year at a solid maintain where I'm not yo-yoing up and down and stressing myself out.

I found, the less you really "try" at maintenance, the easier it is. It is different for everyone, but I need to keep all my meals balanced. Sometimes I go a whole week eating the same darn thing for lunch, but if that happens, I make sure I am eating something I really enjoy.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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I found a calorie calculator online and figured that I would maintain at 1700 per day. Well, I kept losing, so I increased it to 1800---kept losing---then up to 2000---kept losing---until I finally settled on 2200 per day. I weighed myself every couple of weeks during the process.

I did introduce more treats, but it continues to be a struggle. My new-found food freedom is difficult for me to deal with sometimes. I often find myself in the position of not buying treats because I can't seem to control myself around them. I refuse to give them up altogether, though, and will keep trying.
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