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Old 09-15-2011, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default What do you eat now that you're maintaining?

I'm not in maintenance yet, but I'm trying to prepare for it. I lost around 70 lbs. before getting pregnant and hanging on to about thirty, which I'm now trying to lose again. I was still 15 lbs. from my goal before the pregnancy, so I still have a ways to go.

Anyway, this time around I've been reading books about maintenance, lurking on this forum, reading the stickies, etc. in hopes of being more mentally prepared next time.

One of the books I read (Refuse to Regain), which I thought would give more behavioral/mental tips, actually gives a specific recommended diet (Primarian-- a variation on paleo and encourages avoiding sugars and grains for basically the rest of your life).

I realize that I can never go back to eating a bunch of junk all the time or eating as much food in general as I did when I was really heavy. However, I've always also thought that maintenance would be more like eating how I do while dieting during the week and then being able to have a dinner or two on the weekends that has higher calorie foods like in a restaurant or something. I don't intend to give up bread/grains forever. I'm on a low-carb plan now, and I plan to always eat higher protein, lower fat, but I miss things like healthy cereal or bread for a sandwich, and I plan to add that back in.

Anyway, my guess is that people maintain in a variety of different ways, so my question to the successful maintainers out there is-- what do you eat? Do you still calorie count? Do you still have off-limits foods, or do you just try to avoid high calorie stuff in general but make a few exceptions every now and again?

Until I read this book, I was actually looking at maintenance quite positively-- I realize it will be most likely harder than dieting and will take some getting used to, but I felt like it was doable. I'm trying to put it in perspective (just one author's opinion!) but it really did kind of get to me.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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I eat exactly like did while losing only a little larger portions.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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I eat exactly like did while losing only a little larger portions.
Same here... With the occasional treat (or more) included.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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I'm new to maintenance so I'm not sure if this is helpful.....I count calories and keep a log (loseit.com) of everything I consume and workout just as much as with weight loss. My goal is to eat the same amount of calories as at weight loss mode but since I do have a binge eating problem, I'm hoping not to let those binges derail me like they used to. If I find that I'm losing too much, I will increase my calories gradually.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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I pretty much eat exactly the same. I still concentrate on whole foods and avoid processed foods and my trigger foods (white carbs, sugar, packaged baked goods). I avoid my trigger foods because it's easier/more pleasurable to NOT eat them.

While maintaining, I eat around 1800 calories a day and a treat meal on the weekend (the rest of the weekend is on plan - healthy breakfast, lunch, etc).

For my treat meal,I stick to my "forever no's" - no fried foods, no cream sauce, one glass of wine and one piece of bread out of the bread basket. Even at a "treat meal" I don't go "all out." There are some foods I just would never eat again - like, loaded potato skins or cheese fries or a Bloomin' onion.

I will split a dessert though

I would say 95% of the time I enjoy maintenance. There is 5% of me that occasionally throws hissy fits that I can't "eat like everyone else" and just "eat whatever I want." Doesn't usually last very long.

I consider calories like money. I wish I could buy whatever I want, whenever I want, but I know I can't. I can't eat whatever I want either. If I eat too many calories, I will gain weight.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. Honestly what you all are describing is more how I pictured maintenance. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what trigger foods will do to me. I am getting better about "cheating" this time around. When I've had an off plan meal the past three times (I have about one a month), I haven't let it turn into days or weeks, and for me that's a huge improvement.

I think I was just expecting different stuff from that book, but it made me really think about things people maintaining might give up forever, but it sounds like it's not really that way for most people.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:26 AM   #7
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My chosen way to lose weight was to pick a way that I'd be willing to eat for the rest of my life and see what weight that took. So, after I stopped losing, no change was necessary.

That said, I now grant myself more off path excursions: an occasional ice cream (a small Ben & Jerry's at the Hong Kong airport for about $10), an occasional cream sauce (stuffed grape leaves with egg lemon sauce at a Greek festival last weekend), an occasional dessert (preferably split). This works for me as it avoids triggering my inner rebellious side.

The best thing I've learned is that almost all "thin people" also monitor what they eat - it's a very rare person who eats like a lumber jack and doesn't gain weight. My old notion of "normal eating" wasn't normal - it might have been common among the overweight population, just like couch potato’ing is common among the out of shape population, but it isn't "normal."

Good luck making the transition; my take is that you're winning by thinking about this in advance.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:45 AM   #8
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The best thing I've learned is that almost all "thin people" also monitor what they eat - it's a very rare person who eats like a lumber jack and doesn't gain weight. My old notion of "normal eating" wasn't normal - it might have been common among the overweight population, just like couch potato’ing is common among the out of shape population, but it isn't "normal."
Well said--and I agree completely. I think that many overweight people believe that "naturally" thin people can eat whatever they want, but in reality, that is really rare. My husband is "naturally" thin, but over the years, I've realized that he doesn't eat often (most of the time, just breakfast and dinner---he doesn't want lunch). Also, when he is full or satisfied at a meal, there is no way he will eat one morsel more no matter how great-tasting or rare the meal is.

I lived on a French island for six months, and I noticed that the French women---whom we Americans seem to always envision as effortlessly controlling their weight while eating cream sauces---watched what they ate. A "normal" lunch was slices of melon with prosciutto.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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I went on a business trip last month, and all meals were in restaurants and paid for by the company. I watched how other people were eating. Most of them were normal-sized people, and these people often left food on their plates--sometimes half of it! And let it be taken away when they were done--no saving for later.

This happened at every meal, even breakfast. It happened even when they were eating very rich and expensive foods. In other words, these normal-sized people apparently didn't feel as though they needed to eat everything with some sort of strange idea of wastefulness if they didn't.

This is a big clue, I think. I used to be a member of the Clean Plate Club, and I'm sure I ate way too much simply because that's what was served.

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:20 AM   #10
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In general, I eat the same way I did when losing. I didn't have any off-limits foods when I was losing though. I generally eat less during the week to allow a restaurant meal on the weekend.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:25 AM   #11
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I don't think I'm deprived, but now I'm living with my mother, and I see all kinds of things around me all the time that I won't eat anymore -- I stopped eating them cold while losing 107 pounds and haven't looked back: Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, prepackaged Betty Crocker muffin mixes, whole milkfat cottage cheese, corn chips, grocery store brand raspberry sherbet, Marie Callender dinners, frozen pizzas, etc.

I'm trying to buy the same foods I did when I lived alone, and prepare them the same way. My mother seems to support this, but she's not used to steamed vegetables -- wants them boiled & buttered -- and can't identify a lot of the vegetables that I buy, and can't tell the difference between iceberg and Spring mix, and sees vegetables in general as pretty dispensable, a sign that you're having a formal Sunday dinner, rather than as a habitual way of eating.

What I mean to say, it's hard for me to tell you how I eat now, in maintenance, because it's become the norm for me. I only see how differently I eat when I see my mother's cupboards and eating habits -- or when I try to go out to eat here, in this rural & suburban area, and find how hard it is to eat healthily. The restaurants here in general, are lousy, either chains in shopping areas or small & local family style, with hearty "country" fare or red-sauce Italian dishes. I've found neither of the latter are very conducive to my way of life.

So I've strayed from some "norm" without even realizing the extent of the changes I've made until being forced to defend & preserve it.

My mother is appalled at how much I spend weekly on groceries, particularly on produce, and thinks that I eat like a rich person now, and wants to stop me, because I should be saving my money now.

But I don't want to save my money at the expense of my health. I don't want to balloon back up again. If there's one thing I mean to do, it's to preserve my hard-won identity as a conscientiously healthy person who will NEVER BE FAT AGAIN. But I find myself surrounded by a relatively unhealthy culture and it's going to be a real fight.

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Old 09-16-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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Off topic, but Saef! I LOVE the avi!!!!!

So yeah, I eat the same way I did when I was losing. When I was losing I always had a "cheat" meal once a week and still do, although it has crept into more and I'm working on that.

I've never had any forbidden foods per se, but yes I have trigger foods and if I want to avoid a full blown binge, it really is best I stay away from those foods.

It really is about picking an eating style and goal weight that is sustainable for life. So whatever that is for you, go with it and don't question it if it looks different that someone else's. Good luck and congrats!!!
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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My mother is appalled at how much I spend weekly on groceries, particularly on produce, and thinks that I eat like a rich person now, and wants to stop me, because I should be saving my money now
I, too, spend WAY more money on food than most people I know. However, I've been doing that for years because I've bought organic for years and because my husband has to have some sort of meat with every meal (i.e., chicken, pork chops, etc.).

However, I don't feel guilty about it. After all, food is an ESSENTIAL part of life. Why not make it great?
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:32 PM   #14
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I'm doing the whole clean foods/vegetarian almost vegan/no processed foods/cooking from scratch thing. I eat out very rarely and prefer ethnic foods when I do (greek, thai, etc)

Because of not eating animals or much animal products, I actually spend a whole lot less on food than I ever have before. Not eating out saves a ton of money. I also found a food co-op where I can get a basket of organic produce every week and that cut the cost even more. Definitely recommend that if you eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruits.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBlueEyes View Post
My chosen way to lose weight was to pick a way that I'd be willing to eat for the rest of my life and see what weight that took. So, after I stopped losing, no change was necessary.

That said, I now grant myself more off path excursions: an occasional ice cream (a small Ben & Jerry's at the Hong Kong airport for about $10), an occasional cream sauce (stuffed grape leaves with egg lemon sauce at a Greek festival last weekend), an occasional dessert (preferably split). This works for me as it avoids triggering my inner rebellious side.

The best thing I've learned is that almost all "thin people" also monitor what they eat - it's a very rare person who eats like a lumber jack and doesn't gain weight. My old notion of "normal eating" wasn't normal - it might have been common among the overweight population, just like couch potato’ing is common among the out of shape population, but it isn't "normal."

Good luck making the transition; my take is that you're winning by thinking about this in advance.

I've seen your posts in the Beck forum. That was actually the first book I read, and it was totally by accident. I was browsing in the library, but I thought it was just another diet plan book.

It was a revelation to me that thin people control their eating, but I've been much more observant of others, and I've noticed that it's very true.

Also, the "hunger is not an emergency" is helpful. Even my husband, who doesn't have a weight problem, has been benefitted by that.

I have noticed that even when I do go "off" my diet, I'm eating less. I haven't had any "binges" where I've just stuffed myself, and I have in the past.

Thanks for the encouragement that it's okay to come up with your own plan. There are many things I plan to change once I'm in maintenance, but I do intend to eat pretty clean, like I do now. I feel so much better, and when I cheat, it's just not as pleasant as it used to be. This is the first time I've actually "enjoyed" being on a diet, even though I've dieted this way before, and I do enjoy it about 80% of the time.
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