Living Maintenance general maintenance topics and discussions

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Old 10-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #16  
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
A lot of people feel defeated if their weight stalls for various reasons. I think it is best to tell them to maintain their weight loss and work on tweaking until they lose again.
I think it would be best to tell them that yes, they should definitely keep on tweaking until they find something that gets them losing again (even if it's just time), but not to tell them to intentionally maintain.

I think it's vital to keep that focus strong and to keep to the main objective.

It's a personal thing, no doubt.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:30 PM   #17  
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I had the same epiphany about 2 years ago. It changed everything.

I had lost 60+ lbs but was yo-yoing between 150-180 over and over again....felt frustrated and lost and sometimes hopeless...but Id always keep trying. I could adhere to any plan, and usually see the results but somehow in times things would happen in life and my diet would unravel.

Then the epiphany came, and it morphed into a solution! In short - my solution was constant adaptation.

My problem was that I had expected there to be ONE answer. One plan, one set calorie range, or way to maintain, whatever. Just eat right and workout, duh? Ummmmm - no!

My focus and commitment are to my health - weight, strength, agility, appropriately fueled/diverse/local/antioxidant rich food, emotional stability and a good quality of life. And to realize the goal of achieving those things will take..........*adaptability*.

Just saying - workout more and eat well did NOT work. I needed to become more in focus with what really worked for me (exact foods that were key, exact types of workouts I liked and would stick with, always trying a new exercise so I have something that works queued up for when the current one starts working less), find tools to recognize when I started going off track early, plans for how to get back on track, and resources to seek out when I get lost. It goes on and on....and while this might seem like more work. Its not - its my life. Focused on heath, and not on the struggle.

It actually, oddly feels easier than the yo-yoing.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:25 PM   #18  
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Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
I think it would be best to tell them that yes, they should definitely keep on tweaking until they find something that gets them losing again (even if it's just time), but not to tell them to intentionally maintain.

I think it's vital to keep that focus strong and to keep to the main objective.

It's a personal thing, no doubt.
The main objective is to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, not just to lose weight. I don't mind telling someone to maintain if it is the right thing for them. For me, when I stalled for months, it was helpful mentally for me to think maintenance for a while. I don't think I'd ever tell someone 'in order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to stop losing weight and maintain' but a maintenance period has worked for many people, whether the maintenance period was unintentional or not.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:26 AM   #19  
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Xty, I love your philosphy!!

What's so great about 3FC is that we see how many different paths work for different people.

I have seen people intentionally maintain, and I think there are different reasons why it might be helpful, and the reasons can be as individual as the individuals themselves.

Weight loss can actually be a stressful situation for the body---not all stress is bad, of course, but our bodies seek balance and weight loss is a change. Sometimes bodies' need to get used to a new weight for a little while before being willing to release some more fat.

*Scale weight* maintenance can also be extremely useful for people who are seeking athletic goals of different types. Distance running does not necessarily encourage fat loss. I've seen this in other people too, but with my own distance training efforts, my body fat % went up during that time. Shorter interval runs reduces body fat for some people, steady state distance types activities might not always work as well for certain individuals. But if one is training for a marathon or half marathon or a century or some such, there may be a conflict between that training and fat loss.

Again, looking at goals, consider building muscle. Building muscle takes calories. I'm not sure that one can build significant muscle while in a calorie deficit. The reason weight training is so awesome is that more muscle = smaller, denser bodies and more calories burned at rest.

So I think there is definitely something to be said for folks who find success cutting more and more calories and plowing straight ahead with no detours. But I also think there is something to be said for folks whose strategies include specific athletic pursuits, calorie cycling, episodes of maintenance, etc.

For me, personally, I could try to go for 1200 calories a day, but I would bonk on my runs (and I'd be trying to chew my arm off). It's happened and it's not fun. There's a balance between eating for the scale to drop and eating to preserve physical function and mental health (I think the 2 are fairly well meshed---not saying to eat for stress relief, but if I am in a calorie deficit for too long, I do get cranky).

If calorie cycling works in the short term, why not over longer periods of time if that is what an individual needs to meet their own successes?

I am no longer of the mindset that the scale must go down whatever the cost (and I'm not saying that anyone else feels that way, but I used to feel that way a little bit). Now I am of the mindset of balancing healthy foods to meet my energy needs for the physical challenges I put forth for myself.

We all have our own goals and our own needs to meet along the way. Which is another reason I love 3FC so much!! I love these "aha!" moments and I think Jessica is right on the money for me personally.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:49 PM   #20  
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To me, it seems geared to a mentality of being On A Diet/Not On A Diet. If someone is on a diet that they can only stick to for weeks at a time, I'd say that either there's something wrong with the diet (e.g., too restrictive) or it's not right for the person.
You make a good point about being on a diet/not on a diet. That sort of mentality may not work so well for people who are just learning to eat right and exercise, since they would go back to their old eating habits during the "maintenance" phase.

I guess I was thinking of this technique working for people whose food plan is like my own -- everything in moderation, plus try to eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein. So the food I eat when I'm losing and the food I eat when I'm maintaining is exactly the same, the only difference is that when I'm losing I eat slightly less of it. My exercise is also exactly the same. I think of "going on a diet" as meaning "changing what I eat and do," which for me is not the case when it comes to loss vs. maintenance.

What seems like the key realization for me -- and depending on your mentality and plan, it may not apply to you -- is that it's okay for me to get sick of losing weight and give up. It's okay to say, "I'm sick of weighing and measuring every bite just to lose half a pound in a month." That does NOT mean that it's okay to eat junk and *gain* weight, but it's okay to take a break and maintain. Then after a while of being a bit less strict, I feel like I'm ready to take it on and lose again. It's a lot easier and less stressful for me to work for a small loss, then say "I'm done." Six months later, when I'm ready, do it again.

When I lost the weight, I did lose it all at once. However, I didn't need to be so strict to lose weight then as I do now. I was able to lose weight then eating what I eat for maintenance now, and exercising less. Now that I'm smaller, and since I have had thyroid problems, I need to be much more strict even to lose 1-2lbs than I had to be then, and I find that it's very easy for me to do for a few weeks, but I can't handle it any longer than that.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:57 PM   #21  
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I'm nowhere near maintaining, but this thread was so helpful for me! As a nursing mom my weight loss is going slooowly, and when the baby has a growth spurt I have an appetite spurt and maintain my weight until she's through it. The idea that it's OK to take a break for a little while is liberating.
Thanks again.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #22  
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My problem was that I had expected there to be ONE answer. One plan, one set calorie range, or way to maintain, whatever. Just eat right and workout, duh? Ummmmm - no!
Quote:
Just saying - workout more and eat well did NOT work. I needed to become more in focus with what really worked for me (exact foods that were key, exact types of workouts I liked and would stick with, always trying a new exercise so I have something that works queued up for when the current one starts working less), find tools to recognize when I started going off track early, plans for how to get back on track, and resources to seek out when I get lost. It goes on and on....and while this might seem like more work. Its not - its my life. Focused on heath, and not on the struggle.
^^THIS. xty FTW.

I realize, looking back at my rather long weight loss journey (~4 years), that I have had pretty long periods of maintenance after each 40-50lb loss. When I stalled out and maintained, it really bothered me that I couldn't seem to push straight through to goal weight, but after reading a post (somewhere on 3FC) about weight maintenance as victory in its own right, I started to see these periods in a much more positive light.

At any other time in my life, I would have given up and just gained everything back. I think these periods taught me a lot about perseverance and my own perfectionism in an accentuate-the-positive/latch-on-to-the-affirmative kind of way; even if things were not going exactly the way I wanted them to be, I could still see a reason to at least not go backwards by regaining, and to keep trying new things and adapting to reach my goals. I think these periods also kept me from getting crazy with the regimentation, too; I can splurge sometimes and maybe even gain some weight, and it is not the END OF THE WORLD (whereas before, in my mind, it would have been). Maintenance periods helped a lot to temper my self-defeating all-or-nothing attitude.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:24 AM   #23  
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I think I see what you're saying, paperclippy. I guess I'm still of the opinion that, for most people who are significantly overweight and have some bad habits, it would generally be best to try to tweak the diet until a plan is found that can be adhered to for long periods of time.

In my case, I never had a significant period of weight maintenance--I was always either "on a diet" and losing weight, or gaining weight because I had terrible eating habits. When I decided to make a permanent lifestyle change, I had to discard what used to be the conventional low-fat "wisdom". When I try to eat low-fat, I'm hungry 24/7 (probably related to PCOS). With a modified low-carb approach, I find 1400 calories a day not to be terribly restrictive, and I find calorie counting to be *so* comforting.

I think that's the biggest reason why our approaches are so different. You find the counting and measuring to be tiring--for me, I feel like it sets me free. When I get to maintenance, I plan to add back a few calories, but (like you) maintenance won't look much difference from "dieting" for me. The key difference is that I don't think I'll ever be an intuitive eater--I think I'm broken that way. For me, eating 1400 calories a day isn't any more work than eating 1750 would be, and I'm generally satisfied at 1400, so I don't see the point of taking a break before I get to goal. You say you can maintain by eating healthy foods without worrying so much about weighing and measuring--if so, I can see the sense in that.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:19 AM   #24  
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When I first read this, I thought 'that wouldn't work for me because I lose so slowly'

Then I realized, I've done something like that before. Christmas last year to April of this year I stopped focussing on weight loss after losing 16 lbs. There was too much going on, not enough money to always get fresh healthy groceries, and I was trying to quit smoking, and my weight wasn't really budging anyways. I learnt a lot of good habits during my weight loss stint to the point where I only gained 6 lbs back (I wasn't weighing anymore either)

When I started being accountable again, the first month I started actually calorie counting instead of eyeballing, the second I incorporated exercise.

My weight stalled again in September within 20 lbs of goal, I considered going on maintenance again and just taking a break. This time I'm glad I didn't, because I stuck with it I found a better way of eating that works for me. Now I'm only 12 lbs from goal, I am confident I can maintain when I get there because I've had so much 'practice' at it. I've maintained twice now and feel like I've learnt a lot from my mistakes and how to keep it up in the long run.

Would this work for everyone? Probably not, some people would probably start maintenance and just not start again and lose momentum.

For me, I'm glad I had those experiences because I feel prepared on what to expect when it's time to 'stop' losing weight.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #25  
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If I had considered this when I had more to lose, I don't think I would have been interested at all. But now that I'm closer to my goal, I'm a lot more concerned about being successful at maintaining, so a temporary maintenance to gain confidence and adjust my body image sounds like a great idea to me. I've been on a plateau for the last month (due to excessive stress) and it's taught me that I can go through **** and not gain back every single pound I've lost. I'm far less worried about maintenance than I was a month ago because I've proven to myself that I have made permanent changes that will serve me well in maintenance as they did while losing. Now I'm ready to lose again, and it's so much easier than it was a month ago. So I think there is a place for this type of practice, but everyone kind of has to figure out when and how temporary maintenance might work for them.
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