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Topic 8 - Metabolism And Weight Loss

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Old 07-02-2007, 11:04 AM   #16
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Archy - just by being aware that you must continue to adhere to your lower calorie intake after to lose the weight to maintain it, you'll be in a much better position than most dieters.

There's a lot you can learn from Meg and the others on the Maintainers forum.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:22 AM   #17
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I've been reading the "rethinking thin" thread religiously, and I'm kinda starting to feel a little fed up. Not with you guys... you guys are fantastic, but I'm just trying to truly come to terms with the fact that I will always be "on a diet," and that I've been dealt a bad set of cards. It maybe be easier to come to terms with as I continue on in my struggles but its still a little depressing and to be honest it really really sucks. The little light that I'm seeing is from all you guys who say "its worth it" I'm hoping if I ever get to goal that I will have your attitudes. Well done girls you're all an inspiration!
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:20 PM   #18
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I also had to come to terms with the fact I will be watching how I eat forever. Honestly, it took 20 years for me to accept it. 20 years where I was heavy and miserable and had chafed thighs when I wore a skirt and hated myself. I finally accepted it, I do watch what I eat everyday, and will for the rest of my life and I am HAPPY. I am slender, I have collar bones, I love how I look in clothes. I love to go shopping. I love the food I eat.

For 20 years, I wanted to diet short term. I wanted to be "perfect" and always went very hard core - chicken breasts, ice berg lettuce, Snackwells, Yoplait yogurt. Unsatisfying, tasteless diet frankenfoods. I was always hungry, restless and bingy. Miserable. I hated dieting and wanted it to be over so I could eat normally. It took me 20 years to come to terms with the fact that dieting for short term did not produce long term results and that when I quit "dieting" and ate normally, the weight always came back.

When I decided to lose weight this last time, I really LOOKED at my weight loss history and tried to figure out why I couldn't lose weight. What I found was - I COULD lose weight, I just always gained it back. So, I started thinking why do I gain the weight back? I realized, I gained the weight back because I always stopped dieting and started to eat "normally." This seems very clear and easy now, but it was a lightbulb moment when I really sat down and thought about it. I had to change normal.

What was key for me, was coming up with something that wasn't a "punitive diet." If I didn't like it, if I couldn't wait for it to be OVER, I wouldn't stick to it. I knew I had to stick to it. So, I came up with a plan that works for ME.
  • I love vegetables, so eating carrot sticks/sugar snap peas/grape tomatoes and pepper strips nearly every day for an afternoon snack works for me.
  • I love bread, pasta, tortillas, so switching to whole wheat versions and eating smaller portions worked for me.
  • I don't miss soda, creamy foods or fast food, so cutting that out of my life forever worked for me.
  • I can't stand to do Fitday everyday, but I don't mind estimating my calories (+/- 100) every day - I just add them up in my head.
  • I love going to restaurants with friends, so a weekly treat meal with a glass of wine and splitting a dessert works for me
  • I like cooking and going to the grocery store, so making dinner almost every night works for me
  • I like salads and the little cafe in my work building has a decent salad bar, I eat salad for lunch almost everyday and that works for me
  • I don't have to have the largest size anymore. For example, instead of the Venti full fat latte with whip, I am happy with a tall non fat sugar free latte. I love coffee and I didn't have to give it up!

It isn't a bad set of cards at all. I am healthy and happy and feel good about my food choices everyday.

What do you like, what works for you?
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Old 07-02-2007, 01:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
What was key for me, was coming up with something that wasn't a "punitive diet." If I didn't like it, if I couldn't wait for it to be OVER, I wouldn't stick to it. I knew I had to stick to it. So, I came up with a plan that works for ME.
  • I love vegetables, so eating carrot sticks/sugar snap peas/grape tomatoes and pepper strips nearly every day for an afternoon snack works for me.
  • I love bread, pasta, tortillas, so switching to whole wheat versions and eating smaller portions worked for me.
  • I don't miss soda, creamy foods or fast food, so cutting that out of my life forever worked for me.
  • I can't stand to do Fitday everyday, but I don't mind estimating my calories (+/- 100) every day - I just add them up in my head.
  • I love going to restaurants with friends, so a weekly treat meal with a glass of wine and splitting a dessert works for me
  • I like cooking and going to the grocery store, so making dinner almost every night works for me
  • I like salads and the little cafe in my work building has a decent salad bar, I eat salad for lunch almost everyday and that works for me
  • I don't have to have the largest size anymore. For example, instead of the Venti full fat latte with whip, I am happy with a tall non fat sugar free latte. I love coffee and I didn't have to give it up!
I seriously could have written this post. I'm lucky. Saying goodbye to drive-thrus and "white stuff" and regular soda wasn't any sweat off my back. I love vegetables and am ok with once a week splurges.

But, it took a lot of work for me to get to the point of "downsizing" my meals. I take a lot of flack from the people around me because it must be SO HARD to immediately order the healthiest thing on the menu or to eat salad all the time. They don't realize that A) I LOVE salad more than life itself B) I have formed these habits so it isn't really that much work anymore and C) This is important to me and I will not compromise what I have worked hard in changing just because you feel guilty about ordering a cheeseburger in front of me. End of story.

My life is incredibly different now. It's just a different routine and my pay-off is much bigger. I know the odds aren't great, but I love being a normal weight so much that I will try whatever to adjust. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but as others have said, knowledge is power.
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:13 PM   #20
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Now I can't even stomach the idea of a fast food burger and fries. The last time I had one - in January after more than a year of abstaining - I felt sick for a day. It made a strong food adversion memory.

Give me a salad and I'm happy. Now I feel like I'm indulging when I eat plain yogurt and fresh fruit. (I'll admit, I use Danon's regular plain yogurt instead of their non fat version, I feel the 70 extra calories are worth the taste.)
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #21
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Hmmm, lots of food for thought here. I don't have any answers, just personal observations.

I was a skinny little kid who never ever had a weight problem. I didn't reach my full height until I was a sophomore in college - all the way to 5'4" I didn't have a weight problem til I was in my 40's, though I did cycle through about 15 pounds from college to 40ish.

Then there was a period where it seems my metabolism slowed, and I gained much more easily. Was it because I was less active? (I was) pre-menopausal? (I had a hysterectomy at 35) or just aging? Whatever, at that point I started gaining. I went up to 180 and stayed there for a few years, then moved on to 200 and topped out at about 240 when I was 52-53.

In 1999/2000 I lost 70 lbs, and maintained between 165/170 for the next several years. (And to whoever it was that talked about WW not supporting her mother into maintenance because her goal was too high - I'm there! WW did great for me til I got to a point I was happy, but it wasn't where they thought I should be.)

So I really got no maintenance help, but during the time I lost and maintained I was much more active than I had been - lived in Seattle for 8 months and walked everywhere, plus since I didn't have a regular job, I did lots more intentional exercise. Then when I came back to Alaska, I had a job that required me to be more active. When I changed jobs and did less intentional exercise (since I was working at least 40 hrs/week and had a still-ill DH) I slowly began to gain again. But I maintained in a 7-10 lb range for about 2.5 years. But eventually I gained a lot of the 70lbs back. Sigh. I did keep many of my better eating habits, and even improved some

I've been working to get those pounds gone again. (I have a ton of smaller sized clothes that I'd love to wear!) But my metabolism is slower. Because I've been obese - I'm not sure. I had a pretty normal one til I was over 40. Whatever, it's been much much harder to lose this time around. I'm back to doing much more exercise, but while I've gotten smaller from that, I'm not losing any faster.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:25 PM   #22
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Wow. I am so glad I hopped into this discussion. Hopefully the 'brary will have the book for me tomorrow.

I graduated high school around 106. In two years, I was up to 119. Then I went on Norplant and gained 30 pounds in three months without any other changes to lifestyle. It was horrible. I not only gained weight, but it was in really weird places....

And around 154 has been my resting weight since then. After I read Meg's post, I went back through my old WW booklets (one for each baby), and 154-156 always was a long, painful plateau. That is where I am now. I have not lost in almost 6 weeks. Looking at my cal-count, I should be down 7 pounds if you take a cals in-cals out equation.

I believe that the Norplant did something to my metabolism that I have not been able to reverse. I think that I don't process things in a 3500 calorie/pound kind of way. I build in 150 cals to my day off the bat to accommodate for a missed portion size, eating a few of the kids' goldfish, having more milk in my coffee than exactly 2 T...those little things that I might in the course of a day.

However, I was ready to just quit, accept 154 and move on. Now I think I can accept that I might need to have a 4000 cal deficit per pound, and I can live with that just being part of what makes me who I am, like eye color or skin tone.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterRat
But my metabolism is slower. Because I've been obese - I'm not sure. I had a pretty normal one til I was over 40. Whatever, it's been much much harder to lose this time around. I'm back to doing much more exercise, but while I've gotten smaller from that, I'm not losing any faster.
I'm wondering what menopause will do for my metabolism... nothing good, I assume!
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:27 AM   #24
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I've always blamed my height, or should I say my lack thereof, not my metabolisim for having to consume so few calories in order to lose and then maintain.

It really is hard to believe that I will have to be this strict - forever. There's just no way that I'm maintaining at 2100 calories like Heather or even 1800 like Glory. No way on earth. I tried it out last week. I did maintain, had an almost 3 lb scare in the middle of the week. Back down to 138 by Sunday. But it was more like on 1400 calories - with about 2 hours of exercise. Sheesh. I am enjoying this new me though so very much, I am willing to stick it out for the long haul on so few calories. I really, really hope that I don't have to actually decrease that as I get older. The thing I think I will have a harder time sustaining at this point is the 2 hours of exercise.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:40 AM   #25
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Just like everything else with weight loss, maintenance calories aren't fair. But they are what they are. It's all a matter of trial and error to figure out where you fall on the spectrum. Unfortunately, some of us are at the low end, like Robin, Mel, and me, while others are at the high end, like Glory and Heather. But, as with everything else in life, you play the hand of cards that you're dealt. I'm post-menopausal, hypothyroid, and have lost and gained hundreds of pounds in my lifetime, so I think I'm lucky where I am.

You learn to really maximize the bang for your buck with calories. And exercise just becomes part of your day. Luckily for me, exercise not only keeps the weight off but makes me feel good, so it's not hard to stay motivated.

Menopause is a huge problem for many women. We see lots of women joining my gym and despairing about their body changes (the "menopot" or "menopausal donut") when their hormones change. If you can lose the weight before you hit the menopausal quicksand, do it! It sure doesn't get any easier afterwards!
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:19 AM   #26
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I wish I had understood this the FIRST time I lost over a 100 pounds!!!

I am a ways from maintenance yet, but I have been wondering just how do I figure what calorie diet I need at the "maintenance" wt I chose to be??

I have been on an extremely low calorie diet....last month "I blew" beyond hope, I thought. I was shocked to see that even though I ate everything not nailed down for about 2 weeks of the month, I had lost 6 pounds for the month. I wondered if my metabolism had "temporarily" changed to accomadate the increased load. (I feel this is a DANGEROUS enigma and hope to avoid "binging", but still on some level, I wonder if the occasional increase in calories for a short period of time during entense dieting would help to keep the body motivated to increase metabolism???)

This time...losing weight is a necessity for my well being, and I feel that I will try everything I need to in order to maintain at a lower level, even if it means reducing the calorie intake per day.

If I were younger....yes I would do leptin injections daily (or even more often) in order to burn more calories. Right now, I am happy consuming fewer calories. The ABC news had a segment on weight, and it's take was that it was STRESS that was causing this problem, and scientist are very excited about the possibility of creating an antidote to block the stress hormones released....but that is supposed to be a few years off....so maybe metabolism and stress go hand in hand????? Yes we need more studies on weight management on maintenance. I feel really apprehensive about getting to maintenance, because I don't know how much change that I will need to accomodate the interval between stop loosing and begin gaining. I am so glad that the maintainers out there are here with us to "keep the light on" for us.
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:12 AM   #27
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Robin -- I know it might not explain all of it, but I'm maintaining a much higher weight than you are (40 pounds!), so that's some of why I can eat more calories.

But, just as you're willing to do what you need to maintain that lower weight, I'm not willing (at least right now) to do what it would take to go lower.

Oh, and I'm glad those 3 pounds were whisked away!!!
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:18 PM   #28
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Robin - I'm short like you and eat less than most people to maintain. I average under 1,200 per day. I eat lots of fruits & vegetable and go very light on the protein and grains. The only fat I eat is the extra virgin olive oil in my daily salads. That's what I have to do to maintain, so I accept it.
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:38 PM   #29
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Wow Carolyn - 1200 calories, that's rough. Really, REALLY rough. I'm glad that you have accepted that and are okay with it. It must be hard though. I suppose you're happy with the weight that you are right now and increasing your calories would add to that. You don't think you'd be happy at 115 lbs or 110? Well of course only you know the answer to that, and obviously you ARE happy with where your weight is or you WOULD up your calories. I give you lots of credit.

I eat mostly vegetables, lean proteins and a little fruit - no bread, pasta, rice or any of that kind of stuff. It was really my first week trying to maintain. This week I'm trying to go a little lower then the 1400, so far so good, but the week is still early. We shall see what happens. This is all new to me.

Heather, I'm glad those 3 lbs were whisked away also. It's funny, I haven't had a swing like that in a loooong time. It did scare me a bit. But that's okay. I NEED to be scared. It made me tighten my belt a bit so to speak.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:35 PM   #30
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Robin - I generally only eat two meals a day with a small snack of a piece of bread late at night so I can sleep. My med keeps my appetite low.

But we digress from the topic of metabolism...
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