Rate of Weight Loss Tied to Maintanence - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 05-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #1  
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Default Rate of Weight Loss Tied to Maintanence

Howdy,
The rate of weight loss tied to maintnanence has been bouncing around in my head for a long time and it is touted as an indicator of maintanence. There are some diet plans were the weight is lost so slow and this is taken as a positive. 1/2# per week regardless of weight, age, or gender. I am not talking about a crash diet with grapefruits but the goal of a quicker pace if possible. In my own case, I have lost 5.4# this past month. So not talking about extremes. I attributed my only diet failure in part to this slow rate mantra. Give it time, relapses occur, etc...

I think there is as much a danger if it takes too long to lose and people getting discouraged (i.e.plateauing) as there is if it is too quick. Also life interevenese both with one self and loved ones which puts up more hurdles to leap over in getting to a healthy weight.

I compare it to my understanding of those paying of debt. The longer it takes the more likely it won't happen. However, if one gets a lump sum, pays off debt without learning better spending habits, then debt will occur again. Moderation.

I will not be regaining because I know the truth of what my body can afford. This is independent of the rate of loss. Rate of loss is established by how quick do I want to lose versus eating healthfully for me.

So you maintainers, here is the question, did you find losing s---l---o---w a more likely indicator of you keeping it off? and if so, what is your definition of slow?

I feel so blessed to have found this site.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #2  
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Hmm, most people would say that I lost it fast since I averaged 2.4 pounds a week and lost 122 pounds in about 50 weeks. Of course, it was much faster in the beginning (the first 50 pounds in about 15 weeks) and slowed down to about 7 pounds a month at the end. It ended up being more than 1 - 2 pounds a week, so I guess it was fairly fast. I didn't have a goal to lose it fast, though -- I just found a plan that worked and stuck to it like my life depended on it (which it did).

So it was fast and yet here I am! Maintaining for almost 8 years now (as of next week). Huh.

In my opinion, the biggest predictor of weight loss success isn't the speed of the loss. It's grasping the fundamental principle of maintenance: that maintenance looks just like losing (with a few more calories) and thus, the diet is never over. We're never done and there is no end. Mindful and restrained eating have to be for the rest of our lives, 24/7/365. It's the only way to beat the abysmal statistics on weight loss and regain.

There is no such thing as permanent weight loss -- it's something we have to work on every day. Every day we have to get up and commit to another day of thoughtful eating and purposeful moving. For most of us, it's not going to come naturally. But the day that I stop counting calories and skipping the gym is the day that I start regaining the weight. And I refuse to become a statistic!

The longer someone works at weight loss, maybe it's more likely that they will grasp this concept. But someone else might understand and accept it from Day One (which is one of our goals here in Maintainers). Most of us have tried losing weight and going back to "normal eating", with predictable failure. Once someone realizes and accepts the key concept of creating a new normal -- a new lifestyle -- and realizing that they can never go back, then they will be a maintenance success. And I don't think that's dependent on time.

My two cents! Good question, Karen, thanks for bringing it up.

ETA: Given all that I've learned about weight loss in the past nine years, would I do it differently/slower if I had to do it all over again? Absolutely not. I wouldn't change a thing except adding in some HIIT (not well known back in 2001).
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:16 PM   #3  
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Meg always has such lovely answers!

I'll second her post, as I lost mine rather quickly as well. Though I have only maintained now for 10 months compared to Meg's 9 years!

To be honest, I have never maintained an entire weight loss for more than a month or 2 in my life until now, and trust me, I've lost fast, I've lost slow, and I've lost every way in between. The big difference this time is that my main goal...I mean the most ultimate goal I had was to NOT gain any back...no matter how much I lost, I vowed I would NOT gain it back. I hopefully have a long life ahead of me to prove to myself I can do it. I just don't think it makes any difference on how fast or slow it comes off, and it has all to do with how you decide to live your life once the weight is gone.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:19 PM   #4  
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I just don't think it makes any difference on how fast or slow it comes off, and it has all to do with how you decide to live your life once the weight is gone.
That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:38 PM   #5  
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Meg always has such lovely answers!

... it has all to do with how you decide to live your life once the weight is gone.
Exactly my point as well. This time is different, I know it in my gut, because I know the truth of my body that I didn't when I was successful in losing weight before. I learned so good things with SB & WW but I didn't learn that for my body to lose I needed to eat 1300 calories (up until now which is now 1200) and 1 tbs of butter has over 100 calories. I failed at Nos because I didn't know these basic facts.

It makes me so nervous when I hear counsel given to those with a lot of weight to lose to go slow, as if slow was the guarantor of successful maintenance. I think of how harder it has been to lose as I have aged, when DS was diagnosed with Crohn's, moving, building a house, death of loved ones, etc... We all have these challenging moments. Then when ones own health becomes compromised either from the excess weight or other cause, then weight becomes truly challenging and indeed very slow. And those in this position, you have my admiration for sticking to your plan and perservering:-)

I compare losing weight to becoming solvent in my mind. It is easier to be fiscally sound when economic times are better than when they are not. Don't put it off and don't drag it out for some perceived virtue of permanence.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:45 PM   #6  
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I just found a plan that worked and stuck to it like my life depended on it (which it did).
It really does! So why would anyone want to drag this process out longer than necessary? And to be clear, I am not talking about the Hollywood lose 30#s in 3 days type loss goals.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:52 PM   #7  
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Karen, in my case, I needed clear, fast results and momentum to go all the way. I like your economic analogy. Counting calories and budgeting have a lot of parallels.
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:00 PM   #8  
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In my opinion, the biggest predictor of weight loss success isn't the speed of the loss. It's grasping the fundamental principle of maintenance: that maintenance looks just like losing (with a few more calories) and thus, the diet is never over. We're never done and there is no end. Mindful and restrained eating have to be for the rest of our lives, 24/7/365. It's the only way to beat the abysmal statistics on weight loss and regain.

There is no such thing as permanent weight loss -- it's something we have to work on every day. Every day we have to get up and commit to another day of thoughtful eating and purposeful moving. For most of us, it's not going to come naturally. But the day that I stop counting calories and skipping the gym is the day that I start regaining the weight. And I refuse to become a statistic!

Nail, meet head!

And to re-iterate, I had a very rapid initial loss. I lost the bulk of my weight fairly rapidly. I've kept (most of) it off for almost 6 years now. The longer you are doing something, the more likely it is you will hang on to the habit of doing it. It's a learning experience and some people crunch for the exam, some people spread the studying out.

I fundamentally believe that it's not the pace, but a perfect storm of hard work meeting the right plan. The rate of loss at that point becomes secondary.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:46 PM   #9  
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I never tried to make my weight loss slow,
......although it often seemed very slow at the time (total average 1 lb a week).....
I always worked as hard as I could to lose as fast as I could.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:20 PM   #10  
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Howdy,
I think there is as much a danger if it takes too long to lose and people getting discouraged (i.e.plateauing) as there is if it is too quick. Also life interevenese both with one self and loved ones which puts up more hurdles to leap over in getting to a healthy weight.

I think this is a myth and a dangerous one. I've been on the diet rollercoaster since I was 5 (I'm 44, now), and I've never heard any true praise of slow weight loss. Oh, it gets lip service now and again, but when have you seen a magazine headline "How I lost 80 lbs in 4 years."

Nope only the fast losers get the media's attention, and as a result many people don't realize that slow weight loss is even possible. And if they're not losing as fast as the dieters they've read about, they think they're doing something wrong.

Most people don't quit weight loss because they're not losing, but because they're not losing fast enough. Sure, on the surface that makes it seem like the key is even faster weight loss, so that people won't get discouraged. But in 40 years of faster, faster, and even faster weight loss, I don't see the success rate improving.

It's the very fact that life does intervene, and obstacles occur that the speed of dieting must be taken out of the equation. It's less about finding the "perfect" pace to weight loss - and more about doing what you can reasonably fit into your life, and accepting the results no matter how slow.

We've got to stop looking at slow weight loss as failure. In my experience, people don't quit because they're failing, they quit because they feel like they're failing because they aren't satisfied with their level of success. Often they feel they're working as hard as they can, and the rewards aren't great enough (and only because speed is part of their measure of success). They can't imagine working harder, so they give up - because they couldn't see slow weight loss as successful weight loss.

The majority opinion still seems to be that only fast weight loss really counts. You're doing something wrong, if the weight isn't comming off quickly: you're lazy, you're lying, you're in denial, you're not motivated to change.

I wasn't able to lose weight permanently when speed mattered most to me. I've only been able to maintain my losses and keep moving downward by making the healthy behavior changes I set for myself, and accepting whatever consequences those were. Slow weight loss was not a reason to abandon habits I knew where healthy ones. Exercise actually slows weight loss down for me, but deciding not to exercise isn't helpful in the long run. I see many folks here talking about this same issue and deciding that because exercise (at least initially) slowed their weight loss, that they're not going to exercise so that they can lose faster (in the long run, a very poor strategy).

Often how rapidly a person loses weight is not in their control as much as they'd like - so deciding that any speed is the "right speed" can set people up for failure.

I suggest a better option - Decide what you're willing to do towards your weight loss goal - do it, and accept the results. If the results aren't what you'ld like - ask yourself if you're willing to do more. If so, then do more. But if not, don't give up (as is the norm), accept the weight loss however it comes.

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:26 PM   #11  
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I always laughed at that "slow sensible = 1-2 lbs a week" because rarely in my life have I been able to manage anywhere CLOSE to 2 lbs a week for more than a week or two.

I think in someways "faster" whatever that might be might work better for a lot of people because it takes a more radical change to your lifestyle and it is almost easier to maintain a radical change than subtle changes. Those are easier to let slip away.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:38 AM   #12  
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. . . it has all to do with how you decide to live your life once the weight is gone.
Great point and very useful discussion for me - good reminders of what I need to do to stay the course.

When I started my journey, I didn't know anything about "dieting" or using a gym, but I did figure out that whatever I did had to be something I'd be willing to do forever. So, I just chose a way of eating that fit my life, started walking every day, and decided to let my body find the weight that went with that. I thought I was being lazy and unique in this approach until I discovered the Maintainers Forum here on 3FC some two years later and found that this was one of the known ways to change one's life.

My initial secret goal was to lose 15 pounds in sixteen weeks; that would have made me happy.

I actually lost 54 pounds in six months at a remarkably consistent 2 pounds a week. The last 27 pounds took another year.

I joined a gym after the first 10 pounds slid away and I began to believe that I was on a path. And I've tweaked my eating plan as I've read more about health and nutrition - particularly adding in the three snacks to the three meals each day. After the adrenalin from the falling scale stopped working, I found the Beck Diet Solution to have a terrific set of strategies that work for me to stay on path at a constant weight.

For me, it wasn't the speed, but the steadily loosing that kept me in the game. So I needed 3FC and Beck to remain clear that, although I wasn't unique, I did have to live outside of my perception of the American Life Style going on around me.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:16 AM   #13  
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Kaplods, I am with you. We see so many people come through here who think they are failing because they "only" lost one pound in a week, or half a pound, or it took three weeks to lose a pound so they call it a plateau. IMO, for weight loss and maintenance, as long as the scale isn't going UP, you are a success. A lot of people look for very fast weight loss because they want to get back to "eating normally" as soon as possible, and we all know that "eating normally" made us fat in the first place!

Personally, I have lost weight twice (well, three times if you count re-losing a thyroid regain, but I consider that part of maintenance). The first time I used Slim Fast, didn't exercise at all, lost 30lbs in about two and a half months, and managed to give myself a stomach ulcer and then gain it all back plus more. The second time I actually changed my lifestyle, started eating healthy, started working out, and lost 55lbs in a year and three months. That works out to less than 1lb per week on average, which is pretty slow, although to be fair it was much faster in the beginning and slower in the end.

Rate of loss IMO has a lot to do with your start weight too. If you start out at 400lbs, it is perfectly reasonable to expect to lose more than 2lbs per week without that being "dangerous." But if you're trying to go from 130 to 115, it is much more difficult to cut enough calories to lose that much weight that quickly without risking malnutrition.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:04 AM   #14  
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I think this is a myth and a dangerous one.
I wish this was so. slow weight is best

As you can see this myth is alive and well.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:12 AM   #15  
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Rate of loss IMO has a lot to do with your start weight too. If you start out at 400lbs, it is perfectly reasonable to expect to lose more than 2lbs per week without that being "dangerous." But if you're trying to go from 130 to 115, it is much more difficult to cut enough calories to lose that much weight that quickly without risking malnutrition.
Agree totally and that is why I think a goal of % weight is a better metric as pointed in another post. So for me, at 154 1.5#, is the goal. Goal doesn't guarantee. It means I set my calorie deficit to somewhere around 750 calories and adjust if needed. But without goals were you I start. And when I was at 192 and if I were losing .5#, I would be underestimating my abilities.

Kaplods you are one of the ones I admire in their journey to better health. I would not want to insinuate any of those negative judgements to you
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