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New to maintenance...and gaining back

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Old 04-07-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default New to maintenance...and gaining back

Hi guys,

After losing 50 lbs over an 8 month period, and eating 1000-1500 calories a day, I finally hit my goal weight of 140. Pretty much right after that I have started binging...I've gained 6 lbs in 3 weeks.

It's like I'm one extreme or the other with eating. Lately, I feel numb and at a loss of control and just want to stuff my face.

Does anyone have any tips on not giving up and getting back into the swing of things? I'd like to lose the 6 lbs I gained, but the binges keep happening.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:50 AM   #2
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Congratulations on losing the weight Mer. Everyone's experience of dieting and maintenance is slightly different, as we all are. This is my own experience and may not be true for anyone else.

I find that, after a long period of restricting my calories, my body starts fighting back and insisting on eating a whole lot more. I am tired and hungry all the time. If I increase my daily cals 3 times a week by about 300 the binging generally stops.

I also found that certain triggers (diet cola was the worst) also contributed to the binge eating. There is a theory that artificial sweeteners in particular set the brain/body up. The brain expects a lot of calories with the sweet taste and doesn't get them. So the food cravings start. Most of my binging stopped after I cut out the diet cola and the sweetener in my tea and coffee.

I never did reach my initial goal weight of 125 - too low. My body constantly fought back, demanding more food. I have adjusted my goal weight several times so that I can make peace with what my body wants to weigh. Living in a country with a cold fall/spring/winter I have a "winter" weight and a "summer" weight. They differ by about 5-7 lbs. I have accepted that and buy my wardrobe accordingly.

There is also a psychological side to losing a lot of weight. As we feel better and healthier and our clothes fit and we look good sometimes we also expect a bunch of other changes in our lives to automatically happen. Sometimes it takes quite a while for our brain/emotions to catch up to our "new" body. There are other people on this forum who can address this a lot better as they have lost really large amounts of weight and have had a a much greater adjustment to make.

Dagmar
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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Welcome!
Dagmar has very good advice. I don't have much to add. Maybe just try not to restrict so much which is what Dagmar said.

I know you'd much rather get a handle on it now than have to lose the weight all over again. I've gained about 10 pounds and sometimes I feel like I'm going to gain all my weight back and I fight with myself mentally. But I know I'd be furious at myself if I gained it all back. So, I'm constantly battling internally. It's hard. But so is being heavy.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:56 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you, it's helpful to know there are people who can relate.

I haven't had soda at all in almost a year, and try to avoid juice too. I feel like once I started with the candy and sugar a few weeks ago, it triggered something in me and I've been craving it all the time. I wonder how long I will have to go without sugar for the cravings to subside...anyways, thanks again for the support
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mer du Japon View Post
Thanks to both of you, it's helpful to know there are people who can relate.

I haven't had soda at all in almost a year, and try to avoid juice too. I feel like once I started with the candy and sugar a few weeks ago, it triggered something in me and I've been craving it all the time. I wonder how long I will have to go without sugar for the cravings to subside...anyways, thanks again for the support
I try to get my sugar from fruit. Doesn't always work but whenever I eat something with sugar or with a lot of artifical sweetener I find it helps to drink lots of water when the cravings start. A jolt of protein (cheese, piece of chicken, can of fish) also seems to help.

Good Luck and why don't you join us over in the weekly chat threads? We are all struggling with one thing or another and it's good to get support and understanding and know you're not alone in this.

Dagmar
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:22 AM   #6
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Mer, my experience with sugar detox is that 3 days gets me past the worst of it. I chew a lot of xylitol-based gum, drink a lot of water and tea, and sometimes, count the hours until 72 have passed. Now, breaking the HABIT of getting a "little sweet snack" ... which often turned into something larger and more embarassing ... I'm going on year 4 of overlaying different habits, and would say I'm about 95% successful.

Congrats on your amazing loss!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
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Maintenance is difficult. A lot of us struggle to stay at goal. We have things set here and there that signal us to diet again (like a red line weight) and sometimes the triggers work and sometimes they don't and we end up higher than we'd like. It's hard to find that perfect medium. Some of us feel like we're continually yoyoing.

Congrats on your loss and join us in the Maintainers Springing into Summer thread--it's for those of us struggling to lose what we've regained.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #8
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Mer, okay, bingeing is a complex subject, so I feel like I need some more information.

I still fight my binges, but at this point, I feel like I know my opponent pretty well. (My opponent is, of course, myself -- my binge is a moment when I'm in conflict and divided within myself, between the part of me who binges and the part who permits the binge and then "punishes" or feels guilt over bingeing.)

So I'll ask you this: How much do you know about your binges?
- When do they happen? Randomly, or at particular times of the day?
- What occurrences precede them, and what feelings you do you have before, during and after the binge?
- How do they happen? Do you rummage in cupboards and the fridge? Or make a ritual of driving someplace? Do you eat standing up? Or in your car? Or on the sofa in front of the TV? Or do you set out a plate and silverware like for a meal?

I think when you see your behavior from outside of yourself, you may have a few clues to start with.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
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I developed a binging problem as soon as I hit my goal weight "the first time" in 2010. I thought the answer was to buckle down and restrict calories again to lose the weight gained. It wasn't - I binge ate on and off (every 1-2 weeks) for months and months. When I ate more moderately (stopped trying to compensate for excess calories consumed during binges) and started eating to fuel workouts (you can't lift anything or run very fast if you're at a deficit), the binges seemed to go away on their own.

There's a really good thread in "Chicks in Control" about this topic that I think might be a good read: Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Welcome, Mer! I don't have an answer for you - I wish I did! I had similar problems once I reached maintenance. Krampus's link is a good one to look at (I've been following that discussion closely) and I do think that lack of a "restrictive," all or nothing mindset is a big part of this. However, I do, by choice, limit refined sugar and flour tremendously, because that's how my body feels best.

Just know that you're not alone, and it's not hopeless!
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Welcome and congrats on your loss!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mer du Japon View Post
I feel like once I started with the candy and sugar a few weeks ago, it triggered something in me and I've been craving it all the time.
This sentence raises red flags for me. It sounds like you met your goal weight three weeks ago, and then immediately started eating candy and sugar. Why? I know that the first time I lost weight, I restricted heavily, met my goal weight, and then declared that I was "done" and I could "eat normally" again. I went back to eating the same junk I had eaten before losing, and I gained back all the weight I'd lost plus more.

Maybe you know all of this already, but you're not "done" when you hit your goal weight. You can't go back to "eating normally" because "eating normally" is what made you gain in the first place. I guess when I see that you suddenly changed eating habits when you hit your goal weight, I worry that you perhaps have not set yourself up for long-term success by getting into the mindset of making a permanent change to your lifestyle.

I could be totally wrong though, so if I am, feel free to ignore me.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mer du Japon View Post
I feel like once I started with the candy and sugar a few weeks ago, it triggered something in me and I've been craving it all the time. I wonder how long I will have to go without sugar for the cravings to subside...anyways, thanks again for the support
This raised a red flag for me, too. Eating candy makes me want to eat more candy. Sugar makes me want more sugar. I have a similar experience with white bread (or "white" crackers). It takes me about 3 days of "detox" to break the overwhelming desire to eat more candy. I know some people out there can eat candy in moderation. They say things like "When I want candy, I just go buy a single serving package. Then I satisfy the craving and move on!" This will never work for me. Perhaps it won't work for you, either. Like Becky (ICUWishing) suggested, sometimes you just have to white knuckle it for a few days until the cravings subside. I'm certainly not saying I'm a saint when it comes to eating but I recognize the sugar craving feeling when it hits, after I've eaten something I shouldn't.

I also tend to "binge" (which I use in a non-clinical sense - never been diagnosed with a binge eating disorder or believe I truly have one) when I'm being extremely restrictive. And ditto Dagmar and Saef's advice, it is good.

Congratulations on your loss. Stick around! We'd love to get to know you. Keep us updated on how things are going as you transition into maintenance.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudpie View Post
Congratulations on losing the weight Mer. Everyone's experience of dieting and maintenance is slightly different, as we all are. This is my own experience and may not be true for anyone else.

I find that, after a long period of restricting my calories, my body starts fighting back and insisting on eating a whole lot more. I am tired and hungry all the time. If I increase my daily cals 3 times a week by about 300 the binging generally stops.

I also found that certain triggers (diet cola was the worst) also contributed to the binge eating. There is a theory that artificial sweeteners in particular set the brain/body up. The brain expects a lot of calories with the sweet taste and doesn't get them. So the food cravings start. Most of my binging stopped after I cut out the diet cola and the sweetener in my tea and coffee.

I never did reach my initial goal weight of 125 - too low. My body constantly fought back, demanding more food. I have adjusted my goal weight several times so that I can make peace with what my body wants to weigh. Living in a country with a cold fall/spring/winter I have a "winter" weight and a "summer" weight. They differ by about 5-7 lbs. I have accepted that and buy my wardrobe accordingly.

There is also a psychological side to losing a lot of weight. As we feel better and healthier and our clothes fit and we look good sometimes we also expect a bunch of other changes in our lives to automatically happen. Sometimes it takes quite a while for our brain/emotions to catch up to our "new" body. There are other people on this forum who can address this a lot better as they have lost really large amounts of weight and have had a a much greater adjustment to make.

Dagmar
Thank you so much for sharing your approach to maintenance. There is so much common sense in your approach (I esp. like the winter vs. summer weight). I'm realizing that it is so important not to panic and to learn to trust ourselves.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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Great advice from Jessica and Megan.
I continue to eat maintenance calories , Oh, I sometimes binge but try to keep that at a minimum.
Any sacrifice is better than having to start wearing Xlarge clothing again.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #15
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Hi there
Maintaining does take a lot of effort. I find I keep my normal diet pretty controlled. Lots of protein, veggies, good fats like avacado and even butter, and some dairy.

That way when an opportunity arises to eat something higher in carbs or sugar that I really want I have the leeway to indulge occasionally.

It works for me. The scale does go up and down a few pounds, but stays reasonably the same week to week.

If I see the scale creep higher, like after a vacation, I try to buckle down ASAP and stop the regain.

I also exercise regularly. For calorie burn and mental health!
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