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Transition from losing to maintaining

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default Transition from losing to maintaining

I'm sure this question has been asked a bazillion times, so feel free to redirect me to a thread if one is already out there

I'm a little over 10lbs from my goal weight. I lose fairly steadily, about 1.5lbs/week, so it won't be long before I reach my goal. This will be the lightest I remember being in my adult life (including highschool...I was 160lbs as a freshman). I'm still not entirely satisfied with my weight, so I'm thinking I might maintain around goal weight for a few weeks or even months and let my body readjust, then considering losing a little bit more. I can't imagine myself going below 135lbs, so I'm thinking 135-145 will be my comfort range.

I have never purposefully dieted before, so I've never experienced the yo yo effect. However, I feel that I've done it right the first time, my "diet" was actually more of a lifestyle overhaul. And I do feel that it's very possible for me to maintain this. I'm going through my days with no cravings, I can allow myself to indulge moderately (I had a pizza dinner with friends last night...enjoyed it, no guilt, still lost 1.5lbs for the week as of this morning), and I'm satisfied and not hungry all the time. I have an active lifestyle, so exercise was nothing new, I just needed to get my diet in check.

I'm just wondering how find the balance between losing and maintaining. My diet IS so comfortable for me, that I think I could just stay on it without ever increasing calories. Perhaps I should do that and just see where my body finally settles? I don't want to add so much that I start gaining again, because I refuse to yoyo.

What changes did you make between your dieting lifestyle to maintaining lifestyle? Just add more calories? Reduce exercise?
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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I definitely did NOT reduce exercise. It's healthy, and also most long-term maintainers do A LOT of exercise on a regular basis, per the national weight control registry. So I kept my exercise the same.

I did up my calories by 100 a week, until I stopped losing. Then I tweaked from there. Maintenance for me is so similar to loss (200-300 calories a day, really) that it wasn't much of a change.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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In the last two months I've cut back on exercise and set an eating level that is comfortable for me. You can read about it on the thread Lifestyle Based Maintenance #3.

I do eat more now than I did during weight loss. But my current weight is higher than my goal weight, so how much more is hard to say. I struggled for a couple of years before trying a new approach.

Jay
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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You may find that as you start in on those last 10lbs your loss slows significantly, since it takes fewer calories to maintain your weight if you weigh less. It was certainly the case for me. Towards the end I was losing slowly on about 1600 calories/day plus one cheat meal per week, and working out 3-5 days per week. I found that when I hit my goal weight, I didn't change anything (really, not a single thing), and I ended up losing maybe 2-3 more lbs and then stabilizing. After that point over time I stopped being quite as precise about measuring portions, and stayed right around goal for a couple years, up until I developed hypothyroidism, which is a whole different story.

In any case I typically have been able to maintain at about 1800-2000 calories per day plus one cheat meal (which puts one day up higher than 2000), and working out 3-5 days per week. If anything I've been working out MORE since I started maintenance than when I was losing.

I'd say if you're satisfied with your lifestyle, just keep doing what you're doing. If your weight continues to go down and you think it's getting too low, add in calories a little at a time until it stabilizes where you want it. Living a lifestyle you are happy with is key to maintenance!
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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Well, I'm a similar height/weight goal as you.

This is still a work in progress for me, but what happened is that after getting down to 153, it slowed down and kept going much slower from 145-140 and then 140 to 135. So I didn't do anything differently, just kept status quo and let the loss happen slowly. Then I got to 133. Basically my original goal was 140 but I started figuring I'd add calories back at 130 or 135.

However, my weight has bounced around from 132-137. Basically stabilizing at 135ish. So I haven't ended up raising my calories -- might never.

And I never intended to change my workouts, really -- in fact I went up a notch in resistance level and weights. And started taking Sundays off from working out, though I started doing that about 10 lbs away from goal.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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I really didn't make any change when moving from dieting to maintaining. I reduced daily cardio from 45 -60 minutes a day to only 35 minutes.
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