3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community Is There A Formula For Maintenance?
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 Living Maintenance general maintenance topics and discussions

 01-23-2009, 12:17 AM #1 Senior Member     Join Date: Nov 2008 Location: East Coast Posts: 563 S/C/G: 345/282/200 Height: 5'8" Is There A Formula For Maintenance? Howdy maintainers! Can anyone tell me what is the formula for figuring out how many calories where you will not lose weight OR gain weight in other words calories that will maintain you in neutral gain/loss environment? thanks! __________________
 01-23-2009, 12:31 AM #2 Moderating Mama     Join Date: Dec 2005 Location: Woodland, CA Posts: 11,712 S/C/G: 295/200/175 Height: 5' 8" Unfortunately...there isn't one! Most of us figure out our maintenance levels through trial and error. We go up and down, see what levels at which we gain, what levels at which we lose, and what is in between. Most of the calculators out there are inaccurate, for most of us. So the formula is to experiment! __________________ Goal Met - 10/28/07 - My Progress Picture Collage - My Goal Story - Where Have I Been? No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch! Maintained Oct 2007-Sept 2011, then got pregnant. Our baby boy was born in May, 2012...now to lose the baby weight!!
 01-23-2009, 05:04 AM #3 Senior Member   Join Date: Sep 1999 Posts: 8,974 As soon as I read your post, "trial and error" is what popped into my mind too -- then Amanda said it. Formulas and calculators are generalizations and averages, often based on research done decades ago. There's at least an +/- 400 calorie range on either side of the number you get from a calculator, so they're pretty useless in actuality. Just like the wise Amanda said, you have to experiment with your own unique body to see what level of calories and exercise will maintain your weight. The answer may surprise you one way or the other, but -- it is what it is. And it may change as the years go on (and you get ancient like I am! )
 01-23-2009, 05:14 AM #4 3 + years maintaining     Join Date: Sep 2006 Posts: 12,070 S/C/G: 287/120's Height: 5 foot nuthin' A set formula? Oh if only it were that easy! Just to echo what's already been said, there is no one math equation that will you give you the "correct" answer. No calculators, nutritionists, doctors, wizards, genies or even folks who have "been there, done that" can tell you. It's something you just must figure out for yourself. But it's not as hard as it seems. With a little tracking (of calories and the scale), a little experimenting and a little tweak here and there when necessary, you will be able to figure it out all by your lonesome. Rest assured. Last edited by rockinrobin; 01-23-2009 at 05:25 AM.
 01-23-2009, 05:40 AM #5 Senior Member     Join Date: Apr 2007 Location: Toronto, ON Canada Posts: 5,559 S/C/G: 152/???/132/33 Height: 5'4" My 3FC Diet Blog There do seem to be a couple of general "rules" that help us stay within maintenance. I think most of us have either a set number or a "maintenance range" weight (usually a fluctuation of about 5 lbs.) Most people post that they weigh themselves on a regular schedule (how often depends again on the individual). They also have a "red line" weight. Once they get near or go over the red line they switch into diet mode until they are in their maintenance range again. Dagmar __________________ Living life simply and slowly is my goal now
 01-23-2009, 09:24 AM #6 Senior Member     Join Date: Nov 2008 Location: East Coast Posts: 563 S/C/G: 345/282/200 Height: 5'8" hmmm I thought I had seen a formula that was based on body size and activity level and how many calories your body burns at resting rate that would give you an idea of what your calorie intake needed to be to put your body in neutral weight gain. Maybe I am wording my question wrong. Maybe I think I should explain why I need it. It is not because I am thinking about maintaining already. I am counting calories right now in my efforts to lose weight. For the most part it is working. I log everything that goes in my mouth and figure out how many calories it is. I try to get as close to 1800 calories as I can. Like most I screw up every now and then. For instance Christmas Day I took in almost 3500 calories. What I am trying to figure out is what is the caloric number that I can go to and not gain weight. So say on the days I do screw up and go over 1800 and say eat 2200 calories that day it would be nice to know that at 2300 (fictional number) calories I won't lose weight but at least I won't gain. I could have sworm I have read that there is a formula for this. Sorry if I am so confusing. And thanks for any help anyone may provide or have already. __________________
 01-23-2009, 09:55 AM #8 Senior Member   Join Date: Dec 2008 Location: beautiful Oregon mountains Posts: 331 S/C/G: 214/Ticker/130 Height: 5' 5.5", age 59 You can go to the site called "calories per day calculator", and punch in your info and activity level to get a rough idea. That is what I use, but it may not be accurate for you. As Kaplods says, since we are all different, one formula doesn't work for everyone. But, you can use that formula for a trial period to see how your body fits with the formula, and then modify it up or down to fit your body. But again, it only works when you are eating the right amount of food to keep you losing or maintaining. If you go too far in either direction, you might start gaining, or you might go into starvation mode and stop losing when you think you should be. So...it's still a learning curve, and a ball park that works for some, and not so well for others. __________________ Started 12/3/2008. Last weigh-in 04/16/09.
 01-23-2009, 10:29 AM #9 Senior Member     Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: California Posts: 7,097 S/C/G: 197/135/? Height: 5'7" I think you will find it very easy to google yourself a calculator. There are indeed formulas. They'll give you a place to start. But you CANNOT say, well, the calculator says I maintain at 2000 calories, so if I eat that, I won't gain. Because formulas just can't be that accurate for everyone. And on top of that, your body adjusts your metabolism all the time, so you just can't be that precise about it. But trial and error will give you a pretty good idea of what works for you. __________________ Started 4/14/08 LINK TO PROGRESS PICS 1/1/2009 "It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably" Epicurus
 01-23-2009, 01:45 PM #10 3 + years maintaining     Join Date: Sep 2006 Posts: 12,070 S/C/G: 287/120's Height: 5 foot nuthin' Yup, same answer applies. Whether you're looking to maintain your weight or to LOSE it. No one or nothing can give you and accurate answer. Experimentation. Trial and Error. It's something you must figure out on your own.
01-23-2009, 11:59 PM   #11
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 563

S/C/G: 345/282/200

Height: 5'8"

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rockinrobin Yup, same answer applies. Whether you're looking to maintain your weight or to LOSE it. No one or nothing can give you and accurate answer. Experimentation. Trial and Error. It's something you must figure out on your own.
OK I think it is sinking in now! LOL! Thank you everybody. I guess I won't know until I reach goal and start maintaining because I am losing right now and no way am I gonna increase my calories to find out exactly where I stop losing.

Hmmmm one thing you all have made me think now and that is the battle is not over after you lose the desired weight you want. It's gonna still take some effort to maintain. Maybe not as much as losing but still effort.

Thanks again I have food for thought!
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01-24-2009, 12:21 AM   #12
3 + years maintaining

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,070

S/C/G: 287/120's

Height: 5 foot nuthin'

Quote:
 Originally Posted by flatiron OK I think it is sinking in now! LOL! Hmmmm one thing you all have made me think now and that is the battle is not over after you lose the desired weight you want. It's gonna still take some effort to maintain. Maybe not as much as losing but still effort.
Good. Think about maintaining right now. Right NOW. This process isn't over when we reach goal. You'll find that most of us maintainers, if not all, do the same exact thing to maintain our loss as we did to lose the weight, the careful monitoring and tracking of calories, the "clean" eating, planning ahead, frequent exercise, frequent scale watching, etc. Some of us up our calories by a few hundred a day, others, like myself, keep their calories the same and adds in a splurge meal every now and then. You will have to discover what works best for you.

Remember, this is no "diet" that you're on. No going back to the old ways. The minute that you go back to those old ways, the minute, maybe sooner, that you gain back the weight. There is no way around that.

The good thing though is, you'll be so satisfied and delighted with your new body and LIFE that you will be more then happy to continue on with this lifestyle. You will have good habits in place and "know" just what to do to keep you there.

01-24-2009, 12:32 AM   #13
Senior Member

Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,192

S/C/G: 190/140/135

Height: 5'7"

Quote:
 Originally Posted by flatiron Hmmmm one thing you all have made me think now and that is the battle is not over after you lose the desired weight you want. It's gonna still take some effort to maintain. Maybe not as much as losing but still effort.
For me, it's pretty much the exact same effort except I get more calories per day when I'm maintaining. Everything else pretty much looks the same - meal planning, packing lunches, food journaling, staying within a calorie range. It's a LITTLE bit easier for social occasions since I can usually move my schedule around so a social occasion is my "treat" meal (I get one per week, but I still stick to all my forever no's - no fast food, no cream based sauces, no sugary soda, limit the breadbasket, no more than 2 glasses of wine, etc).

In some ways, it's easier than losing, because I have a lot of good habits in place, a lot of tried and true recipes, a lot of systems to fall back on. In some ways, it's harder because occasionally I get overwhelmed with the "this is never gonna end" doldrums.

Don't get me wrong, I love maintenance. I love my size 6 body. I loved the way my tushie looked in my black pencil skirt on Thursday. But - for me it requires ever vigilance.
__________________
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."
Michelangelo

 01-24-2009, 05:42 AM #14 Senior Member   Join Date: Sep 1999 Posts: 8,974 Flatiron and all you wonderful members who contributed to this thread ... I'm going to slightly change the title and "sticky" this thread because it's Maintenance 101 in a nutshell. I think a lot of our members who are wondering about maintenance will find it very useful. We'd ALL like to find that magic formula but the reality is that we have to live it, tweak it, experiment and modify to find the unique combination of exercise and nutrition that will let us keep the weight off for life. Great thread, everyone!
 01-30-2009, 07:51 PM #15 Maintaining :)     Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Michigan Posts: 4,751 S/C/G: 215/117/120 Height: 5'4" I like what Glory said about it being a bit easier - in some ways. I find this to be true. But I also remember a post from Amanda recently that should remind us all, that maintenance has a cyclical component. Most of the time, once the trial and error is finished, we just stick to our routine to maintain. But, occasionally, we get thrown out of sync, or backslide a bit, or start feeling sorry for ourselves because of what we can't eat. It is then that we need to refocus, strengthen the resolve, count our blessings and continue forward. Maintenance is actually easier than I thought it would be. That being said, one of the real reasons is because I have stayed connected to 3FC. The community we have here is another important piece of maintenance, I believe. __________________ Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? ICor 6:19 My Pictorial Journey " " My Goal Story