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-   Living Maintenance (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/living-maintenance-170/)
-   -   Question for ALL maintainers! (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/living-maintenance/287800-question-all-maintainers.html)

olehcat 09-21-2013 10:39 AM

Question for ALL maintainers!
So, I'm not a maintainer. Not even close. I've lost about 1 pound in my journey and that has been a struggle. Mostly I keep gaining.

So my question is how did you initially lose the weight? If you're a success story, please feel free to link to your "goal" post. Please feel free to brag all you like. I lap this stuff up.

Did you count calories or use another method? If you DID count calories, what amount did you use for weight loss?

Thank you! (And if there are already threads like this, I apologize)

belovedspirit 09-21-2013 12:10 PM

I'm not quite a maintainer, yet, but I saw this thread and wanted to offer an idea. :) Have you had a chance to visit the goal and mini-goal sub-forums? They're filled with stories by people who've successfully lost weight, oftentimes explaining their journeys and processes.

Goal sub-forum: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/goal-199/
Mini-goal sub-forum: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/mini-goals-201/

My apologies if you're looking for stories from current maintainers, specifically.

earthecho 09-21-2013 01:00 PM

100% diet. I would suggest some self experimentation. Keep a food journal and find out what foods satisfy you the longest. In the beginning, keep it simple -- cheese, chicken, yogurt, fruit, etc. ONE food item at a time. As you gain info, you can add more and more and in different combinations. Some foods have staying power while others don't and it won't be the same for everyone. Find out what yours are. Are cheat days good for you or bad? How's your appetite the day after? Etc. To be successful you need to know how your specific body reacts to different foods and behavior. Knowledge is power. Lots of info on the net. Experiment and find out what is true/works for you. Do what works and avoid what doesn't.

crispin 09-21-2013 01:10 PM

Hi, olehcat! I started out about where you are now. I weighed in the mid/high 140s but I'm a couple inches shorter than you. Here's what helped me...

Learned how to eat fewer calories
Over the course of a year and a half, I dropped down to about 107. During that time, I didn't regularly count calories but I did become calorie aware and educated myself about portion sizes. I couldn't believe how many calories I had been wasting on foods and portions that I didn't even really love! I started thinking about the law of diminishing returns in regards to food. That is, I thought, at which point of my servings am I full and no longer getting as much pleasure from my food? And I trained myself to stop eating at the point and save the rest for later. I suppose for many people that's an intuition they've never needed to teach themselves. My intuition, however, had been, this is yum and I'm going to eat as much as I can while it's here. That mind shift helped me a lot.

I also stopped wasting calories on high calorie foods that I didn't love--not worth it. I kept eating high calories foods that I really loved, but I learned less damaging ways to do that. For example, smaller sizes and pairing with low cal healthy foods to fill up on less.

And, important for me, if any food I ate had a lot of sugar or carbs, I paired it with protein or healthy fat to keep my blood sugar even. I never ever ate any sugar by itself, even fruit. If I ate an apple I'd have a serving of cheddar with it; an orange, I'd have some walnuts. Uneven blood sugar makes my appetite insane. I hadn't realized that about myself until that point in my life. That realization was like discovering a cheat. Eating less and healthier became soooo much easier without sugar crashes.

My pairing method worked out so that every time I ate, I was consuming protein and/or good fat.

I became smarter about carbs in general. I'm of Italian and French descent and love pasta and bread. I ate it far less often. I didn't cut it out entirely, but I became more discriminating, decreased the portion size, and paired it.

I found what amount of food was enough to satisfy me and keep my energy up, but not enough to stuff me. I ate again when I became slightly hungry. I never let myself get really hungry because then I'd over consume. (I still over eat if I let my hunger build too much.) I felt like I was eating all the time :lol:, definitely more often than when I was gaining. The difference was I was eating healthier foods and consequently fewer calories at a time.

In the very beginning, I retrained myself as to what a correct portion feels like by eating frozen meals. I ate them most days of the week for a couple of months and always had some fresh veg to go with them.

At nights, if I felt hungry I'd drink tea or eat a big serving of veggies or have some warm milk. If I was still slightly hungry, I'd just go to sleep like that.

Made my diet more nutritious
I researched nutrition and found it fun to work in as many super healthy foods into my diet as I could. My main goal in this regard was improvement, not perfection. Since I hadn't been regularly consuming fruit, for example, my rule became 1 or 2 servings a day (paired with s/t nonsugary). I had always consumed veggies regularly, but I made my portions bigger and ate a larger variety. I started regularly eating good fats like avocados and nuts. I ate more fiber.

I briskly walked 3 miles a day. I did that about 4 days a week. That was my only exercise.

Weight Loss, part 2
All of that was what dropped me down to 107ish. I stayed at 107 for over a year, completely content with that weight.

Then I decided to do some more intense exercise. I wanted to tone up. I was curious to see how fit I could get.

Over the course of about 2 months, I dropped another 5 pounds. That speed was rare for me. Along with the exercise, I also counted calories. My goal was not to exceed 1500 a day.

When I stopped exercising as intensely, I gradually gained back the 5 pounds I'd lost. I was ok with that, as I felt like that was too low a weight for me anyway.

Then I had some big life changes and over a six month period gained 8 pounds on top of that. I wasn't cool with that. :lol: I've since lost most of that regain weight but I still have about 3 pounds to go. Right now I'm a size 2 or 4 and 110 pounds.

I've been way too lax with my eating. I used to eat like 80% the way I described above. Now I'm probably at 60%. So I know that's primarily why I regained. I've lost most of it, but I believe the loss has been due to exercise. I need to tweak my eating habits and get them as positive as they had been.

Bright Angel 09-21-2013 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by olehcat (Post 4845174)
So my question is how did you initially lose the weight?
If you're a success story, please feel free to link to your "goal" post.

:hug:I have a personal blog that talks about that issue.
It is a dot com website named DietHobby.
Although there are no ads on my blog, I didn't type it as a link.
You can easily find it if you wish to do so.

bargoo 09-22-2013 07:07 PM

Calorie counting .

RedRose86 09-22-2013 07:24 PM

I did calorie counting the first 20 lbs. 1300 a day. Then after that I wasn't losing much anymore so I started doing circuit training, 30 mins a day 5 days a week. I upped my cals to 1500 as well. It reaaalllyyy started to fall off then and I lost 15 more lbs or so. All in all it took me a year and two months. Oh, I also eat whatever I want. I really try to fuel my body with healthy choices but if I want Taco Bell or Kraft Mac n cheese then I eat it. And I don't feel guilty and I don't apologize lol. Just as long as I didn't go over 1500 cals, to me it was fine. Now at maintenance I've upped to around 1700 but I may have to go higher- I'm still workin it out.

My starting stats were-


178-180 lbs
Size 14 pants, M/L shirt, 12 dress
35% body fat

And after-

145 lbs

Size 6 pants, S shirt, 4 dress
23.9% body fat

Hope that helps!

olehcat 09-23-2013 08:08 AM

wow, thank you for the replies!! I'm finding this very helpful.

@belovedspirit - thank you for those links...I have gone through those at various times, but it wouldn't hurt to reread and see if there's something I didn't see before!

@crispin - wow, thank you for the VERY detailed information. Yours really spoke to me because well, you're at my absolute dream weight. I'd be happy at 120, but 108 or so would be fantasy land for me...so I've read yours about a couple hundred times. ;D And I like the idea of eating frozen meals and adding fresh vegetables to them!

@earthecho - thank you! I think it's very wise indeed to know your own body. Unfortunately I keep trying to experiment and I don't seem to know my body so well since I keep gaining weight! So I think it's not so much my body but my mind that needs to be revised as far as relationship to food! Ugh! ;0

@Brightangel - thanks! I looked at the site, very interesting! I didn't really see your weight loss story, though, although it's possible I missed it. Did you just count calories to lose your original weight?

@bargoo - how many calories did you eat throughout your journey? You look like a true success story!

@redrose - wow, so you're another one that didn't have as much success iwth a lower calorie amount 1200 but started losing again with 1500. Interesting! I'm hearing such contradictions around that...Awesome that you were able to figure it out!

Megan1982 09-23-2013 08:51 AM

I started my weight loss counting WW points, although I didn't attend meetings/use their support. I had pirated info/food journals that I'd copied from my mother. This was before the fiber "cap" so I got really good at eating tons of high fiber foods and when my loss stalled and I finally tallied the calories and started looking at macronutrients, I discovered I was eating a high carb, high fiber, medium protein diet almost devoid of fat. No wornder my hair looked so bad. During that time I also did a lot of power walking and jogging. I switched to calorie counting and started including some healthy fats in my diet. At my lowest I ate about 1200 cals a day. For a long time on maintenance I still counted calories, with a few little hiccups on the way, and slowly crept up a few lbs. I also went through different exercise phases (elliptical, weight lifting, more jogging/walking, currently yoga and a lot of power walking with the dog) and exercise and staying active definitely played a crucial role in my loss and in my maintenance. I am currently not counting anything, but I am maintaining my weight at 155 eating healthy foods in proper portions and am in a much better mental place than I've been in a long time. I also found that over the years as I learned more about nutrition, I've focuses more on eating whole foods and less processed stuff, and more on my macronutrient portions.

paperclippy 09-23-2013 08:59 AM

Check out the stickies in the living maintenance forum. There's one about "how many calories do maintainers eat" and one about "is there a formula for maintenance" that you might be interested in.

I managed to dig up my very old goal story if you want to read it, here: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/succ...-did-goal.html

Bright Angel 09-23-2013 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by olehcat (Post 4846411)
@Brightangel - thanks! I looked at the site, very interesting! I didn't really see your weight loss story, though, although it's possible I missed it. Did you just count calories to lose your original weight?

My "story" is still unfolding,
but the DietHobby "ABOUT ME" section talks about my history,
including current weight-loss and maintenance.
It also has lots of links to pictures and charts of my progress.

My success has been based on the past 9 years of EVERY DAY tracking all of my food,
in a software food journal which shows me calories (also shows all other nutritional values).
My primary focus has been to watch the relationship between my average calorie intake and my average weight,
and I work to keep my average calories low enough to keep my average weight from rising.

traveling michele 09-23-2013 11:14 AM

I initially lost my weight with WW. After the first 20 pounds lost, I incorporated more regular exercise. I maintained well for several years but have been struggling with about a 10 pound gain for the past year plus. I'm working on figuring how to tackle it. I'm back to tracking my WW points but if I don't see some progress I will explore calorie counting most likely. I exercise almost every day.

bargoo 09-23-2013 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by olehcat (Post 4846411)
wow, thank you

@bargoo - how many calories did you eat throughout your journey? You look like a true success story!

About 1400 -1450 because I am so short.

Mrs Snark 09-24-2013 09:44 AM

For me it is all about managing my food (and stopping the binge cycle). For me, losing weight is 95% food management, 5% attitude management, and 5% exercise. My exercise is mostly about endorphins and fun these days, not about burning calories.

I write down what I eat every day, though I don't really count up the calories, and I try to keep the house free of tempting junk. The only foods I measure out are peanut butter, olive oil, salad dressing, and nuts. And I mostly do that out of habit now, I could probably eyeball it just fine.

Please Do Not 09-24-2013 12:30 PM

Just wanted to add that weight training is a godsend! I have been eating 1800 as my max calories daily and I lost weight (I'm 130 or a little below now) because of the extra muscle!

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