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A couple of questions for maintainers

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Old 05-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default A couple of questions for maintainers

I've read a lot about how people who lose a lot of weight eventually gain all the weight back. Are there people that actually manage to keep the weight off for the rest of their lives? What percentage of people actually manage to keep it off for at least 10 years or more?
The other question I wanted to ask is if the skin removal surgery is necessary. If I lose all weight needed to become a healthy weight what are the chances of me needing surgery? Because I really hate the thought of having surgery and I would rather put up with the excess skin.
Thank you in advance for any help.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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I'm not sure of the exact percentage of long-term maintainers (i.e., those who maintain their weight loss for more than five years), but I think the National Weight Control Registry keeps up with this (Google them for info). Although I'm not sure of the exact percentage, I believe it is, unfortunately, very small.

Can't help you about the loose skin; I'm sure someone else will chime in.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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I don't know the exact number of "forever maintainers" but I'm sure there are several numbers floating around online. The NWCR that lin43 references might be a good source for info; also, the book "Thin for Life" probably has some numbers - but also excellent strategies for how long-term maintainers do it.

I made a conscious decision a long time ago not to think about the percentages. Maintaining weight loss is very, very difficult (for me, at least, and for many others, but not for everyone). But you know what? I've done a lot of stuff in my life that other people haven't done, or that only a small percentage of the population has accomplished. I have a graduate degree. I've lived long-term in a foreign country. I've accomplished things in my personal life . . . those aren't based on "odds." Those things were difficult and I struggled, but I accomplished them. Why not weight loss maintenance?

As for skin removal - it's not inevitable. The general consensus is that no one knows what you will look like after weight loss until it's happened and maintained the weight loss for a year or so to let things "settle." There are people on the boards who've had skin removal surgery and many, including myself, who have not. I will say that I'd rather deal with extra skin than with extra fat!
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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Maintenance is not easy but can be done. Just like losing you have to work at it. The question is, how bad do you want it ? I would rather do what it takes to keep it off than start all over again, Or, worse just resign myself to being fat.I do have loose skin, I would like to have it removed but because of other health issues I am not going to do it. As long as I keep my clothes on nobody sees it but me. Their are some who have had it done and are brave enough to post pictures.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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The reason why most people gain back is because they don't understand that weight loss is a permanent lifestyle change and isn't a temporary "diet", they think once the weight is lost they can go back to eating as usual...that would be great but it doesn't work that way. You have to eat within a certain caloric range for life.

As far as excess skin everyone is different. You will know if you will need/want it or not once you're at goal. Is it necessary? No.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #6
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I think maintenance is not easy, but definitely doable. In my experience, you need to have one ironclad rule in place: if you get beyond weight X, losing the excess 5 or 10 pounds becomes your top priority over the next few days or weeks. As long as you follow that rule, you need not be perfect.

I'm far from perfect. I often overeat and still occasionally binge. But so far I've followed the rule, so I'm OK.

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Old 05-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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I've maintained by having a RED LINE number on my scale. No matter what sort of craziness life throws my way, if I get close to, or over my red line, I have to purposely "diet" and eat at a deficit for a few days. Just doing this gets me back on track with making generally better decisions.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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I think one of the biggest things that keeps maintainers from losing their minds and going insane is knowing that it's NORMAL to fluctuate and go up and down 5 pounds. No one in the world weighs exactly the same every day for months or years at a time, and it's unreasonable to expect that to happen.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #9
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I can handle the 2 pound fluctuations , when I start getting close to the 10 pound mark I get worried, I take steps to see that doesn't happen, just the simple act of getting on the scale every day allows me to know if that may happen.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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I like to read the blogs of some real people who have lost large amounts of weight and are working at maintenance. I found the blogs here at 3FC as at least some of them were members of 3FC. Five of the bloggers have teamed up to address common issues and have started "AIM Adventures in Maintenance." Once a month the all address the same topic. They just happened to have posted today. I think that you will be interested in their posting. Start at
http://findingradiance.com/. There are links to the other blogs at the end of Lori's post. I have been getting so much encouragement from their blogs.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletDolphin83 View Post
I've read a lot about how people who lose a lot of weight eventually gain all the weight back. Are there people that actually manage to keep the weight off for the rest of their lives? What percentage of people actually manage to keep it off for at least 10 years or more?
The other question I wanted to ask is if the skin removal surgery is necessary. If I lose all weight needed to become a healthy weight what are the chances of me needing surgery? Because I really hate the thought of having surgery and I would rather put up with the excess skin.
Thank you in advance for any help.
I am very short, 5'0". My high weight was 271 in 1992, so I've been very fat.
In September 2004 I weighed 190, and I achieved my weight-loss goal of 115 lbs in January 2006.
I have now been CONSISTENTLY working very hard to keep it off since that time.
Since September 2004, I have listed all of my food intake into a software journal every day,
which tells me the nutritional values of my food - including calories.

Although each of the past 3 years my yearly average DAILY calorie intake is only around 1050 calories
my weight has been creeping up a few pounds each year. This morning I weighed 130 lbs.
I have been a member of the National Weight Control Registry for more than 5 years.
Regarding people who keep off their lost weight,
the percentage most commonly agreed upon is less than 5% of everyone who successfully loses weight.
For me ..Maintenance is NOT any easier NOW ...(even with a slight weight creep) than when I first lost weight.

Although I am very short and rather small,
and have had a very large loss, I have not had any plastic surgery,
and feel no need for it. I dress in flattering styles, and look good in my clothing.
I've never dressed to showcase either fat or loose skin.
I am fine with the way I look without clothes, and ...
due to my clothing choices ...
my feedback from those people who wish to comment about my appearance, is positive.

I have a lot of personal videos and articles at my personal Blog, DietHobby,
which is a dot com website.
If you would like more information about me and my point of view, check it out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Angel View Post
[color="Blue"]
Although each of the past 3 years my yearly average DAILY calorie intake is only around 1050 calories
my weight has been creeping up a few pounds each year.
How is that possible? (Your BMR should be higher than that, let alone your TEE.) Have you consulted a doctor about it?

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Old 05-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
How is that possible? (Your BMR should be higher than that, let alone your TEE.) Have you consulted a doctor about it?

Freelance
Some people simply have bodies that use food very efficiently.

I am a short, elderly woman who is in good health.
I use no medication.
All of my test numbers are fine - well within normal range,
and I have spent quite some time discussing this issue with my health care providers.

The BMR and RMR numbers found in online calculators are based on "averages",
Many people are above and BELOW those averages, and some are FAR below (or far above).
I appear to fall in the range of those whose BMR/RMR is about 10 to 15% below average,
plus I am a "reduced obese" person which makes for a TEE lower than normal.

I wrote a really detailed article (on May 3) about the specifics of how this works,
and applied it to my numbers personally at DietHobby,
The article is titled: "150 Pounds"
DietHobby is my personal Blog, and if you are interested in reading my article,
you can find it there at www. diethobby.com

You might be surprised at some of the things you'll discover.
Another good article to read is, "Weight Management - A Rubber Band" (posted April 25)
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #14
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Hi Bright Angel,

I read the blog posts you mentioned. Thanks. I've also interviewed Dr. Sharma a couple of times. I find his view of obesity (basically a life-long disease) a little pessimistic. I've also seen conflicting evidence about metabolic erosion after weight loss. Some studies suggest it may be permanent, while others suggest that metabolism bounces back after the weight loss phase has been completed. The latter has certainly been my experience, and I've yo-yoed several times in my life. Perhaps it's different with different people?

Freelance

Edited to add: Here's a link to a report of a very small study suggesting that (for some people, at any rate) hormonal changes post-weight loss may be long-lasting. What I found most interesting about the study was that participants lost an average of 2.9 pounds per week on a 550-cal diet, which completely gives the lie to the "starvation mode" myth. I have no doubt that severe caloric restriction slows metabolism, but never to the point of making weight loss impossible.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/he...inds.html?_r=0

On the other hand, this National Weight Control Registry study suggests that (for some people, at any rate) metabolism in the reduced obese is no lower than expected from their current body mass.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357738

Bottom line: We're still spectacularly ignorant about metabolism, and much of what passes as fact is no more than speculation.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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Phyllis, a couple of questions about your post, "!50 pounds" about the table you put in. First, are the weights along the right supposed to be total body weight or lean body mass? If the former, are you assuming a 75%/25% lean/fat ratio at each weight? If the latter, is the lean mass supposed to be 95# all the way up the scale, with all of the additional weight being fat? The second question is, what do you mean by activity # (as in, Mifflin + activity #)? What does that cover? The difference between RMR and RMR+activity in your chart is only about 200 cal. That's a calorie burn you can get from a single hour of walking, or from 4 hours of fidgety sitting. It surely can't cover all the activity you perform over a 16-hr. period (24-8hrs sleep). And I assume that you do some form of exercise at least a few times a week over and above that, for a TEE on those days that would be several hundred calories higher still.

I'm the last one to believe the averages published in many manuals for TEE values based on BMI since I have proven to myself that I am a good 200 or so calories per day LESS than those averages. But even to me, your numbers seem too low.

And BTW, I LOVE that picture of the 150 pounds women at different heights. To that, I would add that 150 pounds on 5 different SAME HEIGHT women can look almost as radically different, depending on their lean/fat ratio.
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