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-   Living Maintenance (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/living-maintenance-170/)
-   -   Some Answers About Genes, Environment, Obesity and Maintenance (https://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/living-maintenance/51478-some-answers-about-genes-environment-obesity-maintenance.html)

Ilene 01-10-2005 08:38 PM

OMG Meg ... This is very interesting stuff but so much to think of :dizzy: , and you know me with numbers ;) , I will certainly come back and reread again...and again....


Originally Posted by SeeCat
It is unfortunate that most people trying to lose weight will never hear about this stuff.

That is so true, I keep recommending this site to people who have a difficult time understand about maintenantce or weightloss but I never hear any feedback that they come to visit .... They look at me like I've got 3 Fat Chicks sitting on my head when I say the name of the site... Oh well, their loss fer sure... *sigh* I will keep trying ...

jansan 01-10-2005 08:41 PM


Originally Posted by Meg
[*]The worst possible way to maintain a weight loss would be to try to eat intuitively because our bodies will be cueing us to eat more with lowered leptin levels we need to eat non-intuitively to outwit our bodies' desire to return to obesity.

Hi all, I was not going to comment on the above, but its been raining non-stop here in the Act's of God Themepark of Southern California causing local flooding, trains not running, streets and highways closed, landslides, mudslides, etc, and the dishes and kitchen are already tidied up, so here goes.....

I respectfully disagree with your comment about intuitive eating being the worst way to maintain a wl. Perhaps we understand intuitive eating in different ways. Intuitive or attuned or non-dieting eating is not a static process. If it were the worst way to maintain, and our underlying genetics is for us to keep our survival fat (evolutionarily speaking), how could one possibly ever lose weight eating intuitively? Yet that is done fairly frequently.

What is intuitive eating? Its basically learning to identify the difference between head hunger and true physical hunger, and learning to eat only when physically hungry. And to stop when satisfied, not full. Physical hunger only occurs every 3 hours or so, which fits quite nicely with 5 to 6 mini meals/day, or 3 meals plus snacks.

Another basic tenet of IE is to eat what you want. And especially learning from it. You may start with eating chocolate cake, but does eating chocolate cake 3 meals/day really make you feel good? Is that what you really want to feel like? Over time the goal is to move from 'bad' (OK,OK) to 'good foods' because you simply feel better physically. And that is indeed what happens, but it does not happen fast. It can take afew years to fully develop your skills. Including making mistakes, lots of mistakes (yum), and learning from them. Its all about being patient over time, watching results from your actions, and making adjustments. And it does desensitize one to many trigger foods, but certainly not all. You do learn what to just not have in the house, and eating becomes actually even more pleasurable because guilt from eating and fear disappear. Not to mention those 24/7 obsessive food thoughts - gone now.

Intuitive eaters still must follow the same Food Laws everyone else must in order to lose weight and keep it off. Calories still matter, and most of us still know all the numbers, though we dont keep count. Many intuitive eaters keep food journals. Intuitive eaters must also eat less and exercise more, they just get to eat what they want, but must observe moderation. Weight loss is usually slower with intuitive eaters, but as we know, weight lost slower is generally kept off longer. My fastest pace is about one pound/week. Weight is lost slower because many of us still eat things such as real cheese instead of congealed Franken-dairy. Just less than formerly, because we feel better eating less, and because many of us are conscious of our weight.

Is intuitive eating for everyone? Of course not, there is no one strategy that works for everyone. Some people, esp those who have yet to identify and address their non-physical hunger, can indeed gain alot of weight in their intial attempts to eat intuitively. One woman once gained about 100 pounds, but come on, at some point ya gotta know something isnt working and back away. Self responsibility.

Is IE good for maintaining? For me I think it will be. Time will tell, and although I am not at my final goal, my weight has slowly been decreasing (not straight-line) over an 8 or so year period since beginning Intuitive eating seriously.

The only two people I personally know who have lost large quantities of weight and kept it off also have been intuitive eaters. One 'intuitively' lost just over 100 pounds about 20 years ago and now locally teaches others how to do it. Another, formerly a size acceptance person, lost about 200 pounds intuitively and is also a member of the national wl registry. Years ago she had lost over 100 pounds via regular dieting and was featured in Prevention as a wl success story, then gained it all back plus more. She eventually started eating intuitively, faced her underlying truths, and slowly, over several years, re-lost it again.

The other thing that makes me think eating intuitively would not be a maintaining disaster is tangential evidence. In the back of the revised Thin for Life, there is a list of books that the maintainers interviewed by Fletcher recommended. There are just over 20 non-cook books. Of these, 5 are mainstream non-dieting, intuitive eating books, and I suspect by their titles, one or two more are as well. And Thin for Life says a number of their maintainers are non-dieters. With a 95% failure rate with maintaining a wl after standard wl diets, how could that percent be worse for Intuitive eaters?

You can be both an intuitive eater and a chronic restrained eater, they are not mutually exclusive. You just get to eat what you want in a controlled, self-responsible manner. Intuitive eating is not a 'get out of jail free' card but rather an invitation to learn more about yourself, and making mindful adjustments from what you learn.


SFCynthia 01-16-2005 01:47 PM

Hi Meg,

With your permission I would like to provide a link to this post for my very small...Duodental Switch Yahoo weight loss surgery group. Statistically we have the lowest weight re-gain post surgery...but it still happens. I, myself, have re-gained 25 pounds and I am now 3 years out. I am also a member of Spotlight Health and we have continued the disussion in that site also. As it relates to being post-of of RNY, DS and other surgical weight loss choices.

I feel that even with malabsoption and restriction we have those darn "thrifty Genes" that want us to hold onto the weight. And we must still work on changing our eating habits and exercise habits to maintain the weight loss post surgery.

Your post is very well written and very interesting to read, and the study is great information.


Mel 01-16-2005 02:26 PM

Hi SFCynthia :wave: Welcome to Maintainers! We'd be delighted if you'd stick around here and share your experiences and wisdom :) It is against general 3FC rules to post links to other weightloss support forums. I'm sure our WLS members know about Spotlight and can google for the Yahoo site if they wish. Sorry to have to be the bad cop moderator, but any actual links are removed from posts ;)

That being said, please do stick around. As you mentioned in your post, whether we lost our weight through surgery or conventional dieting approaches,


we must still work on changing our eating habits and exercise habits to maintain the weight loss....

Meg 01-16-2005 02:59 PM

Hi Cynthia! I'd like to join Mel in welcoming you to Maintainers. :) I was delighted to see my post copied over to Spotlight and hope that you and other Spotlighters come here to share your experiences with us. I completely agree that it doesn't make any different how we Maintainers lost the weight - we're all fighting the same fight now. It's all about figuring out how to make this work for life and we'd certainly value your thoughts and experiences. :)

Sashenka 01-17-2005 08:54 PM

As always, Meg, great post. Thanks for taking time and sharing this knowledge with us!

Somewhere inside me I knew all the way along that we can not live and eat like " normal" people. So the results did not surprise me at all, but it still nice to see it all laid out in front of me.


Jennifer 3FC 03-14-2005 01:00 AM

Meg, this post has been SO helpful to me. Thank you !!!

:encore: :encore:

cyndy 03-14-2005 06:13 AM

I just read this post and it is very interesting! However, I am a little confused if this applies to losing weight in general, or specifically obese people?

See, I am at the highest weight I've ever been, which is just under 140 lbs. I would like to drop a good 20 lbs or a little more. Does this mean I follow the same guidelines with the reduced metabolic weight after I lose it, even though currently I am considered "borderline" healthy/overweight?

Thanks for any input ladies :)

Meg 03-15-2005 06:05 AM

Cyndy - I don't know the answer to your question for sure, but my guess is that this is more of a problem for those of us who have lost a lot of weight and are maintaining. Dr. Leibel's talk was about the metabolic effects of weight loss on the 'reduced obese' and there isn't any way that you can be considered obese at 140 pounds! :D

The bottom line on maintenance is that it's an individual, trial-and-error process. All the numbers and statistics and metabolic calculators are based on group averages. So your mileage may vary, as they say! When you reach your goal weight and are ready to maintain, my suggestion is to gradually add in small amounts of calories (while maintaining your exercise routine), monitor your weight regularly, and see how that affects your weight. That's really the only way to discover what's going to work for YOU, Cyndy. :)

Kery 03-15-2005 07:00 AM

Answering late to this thread because I'm fairly new here and only slowly "catching up" on what's to read, but no matter what, I need to say: wow, pretty interesting read!

I'm not sure of what category I'd place in - my highest weight ever was 75 kgs, so was it borderline obesity or simply still in the "overweight" category, but whatever - given that anyway it's not sure whether this applies to obese/reduced obese people only or "simply overweight" as well, it was a good eye-opener. I think that having this kind of facts put under the nose, even if still in the process of losing weight and not maintaining (yet), helps in "preparing" to what's at the end of the weight-loss journey.

The acceptance of always having to be careful (and being careful, evidently) is, in my mind, what can make a big difference between maintaining and gaining weight again. We just can't blind ourselves and day-dream about how "once it is over, I can eat chips and fast-food and cookies at will, whee". Once it is understood and accepted, backed with something more than just a vague "because it it this way" (does anyone else accept these things better when they understand WHY said things are the way they are?), we have the "mental keys", sort of, to do what's needed. :)

Lyria 03-15-2005 07:24 AM

My highest weight was about 78kgs or so, and I dropped down to about 54kgs. Apart from the brief few months where my weight exploded to its highest i'd always been about 68kgs.

I've been maintaining at 54 for about 10 months now and I actually eat a lot more than I used too. Just different things. I know my calorie intake is usually anywhere from 1400 a day to 2100 a day, evening out over a week to about 1800-1900. I walk most every day for about an hour at about 6kms/hr and was doing weight training but due to no access to a gym over summer havent done that in 4 months. (Just recently re-joined a gym now I'm back at Uni)

I know my weight was never classified as "obese" I was in the overweight category though. However I've found that estimate maintainance calorie counts for myself are always actually UNDER what I need. I'm also an "intuitive" eater, I eat when hungry to when satisfied and I'll eat anything and everything...in moderation.

It's an interesting study, but every individual is different and every case is different. How we all deal with losing and with maintainance is different and it has just as many variations as there are people.


SueJo74 04-21-2005 03:20 PM

Wow. I really, really needed to read this thread. I hope no one minds me replying to an old topic, I'm pretty new at this forum thing.

I have maintained about a 70 pound loss for around 2 years. I've never *allowed* myself to call myself a maintainer, because I weigh more than the charts tell me I should.

I wish I had read this a year ago. After losing 50+ plus on WW, my weight loss just stopped. Was I eating more? No. Was I exercising? Yes. What was I doing wrong? I beat myself up over it for more than a year (in fact, I am still paying WW to weigh in weekly, although a now have a higher weight goal thanks to my doc that I am just two pounds away from). I would burst into tears after my weigh ins.

If I had known about this research, I could have stopped blaming myself. Instead, I get fed up, and slowly put on about 10 pounds from the occasionally ice cream or french fries that I felt I *deserved*, since nothing was working anyway. After literally getting too big for my britches, I am strictly following the WW point regime and exercising 6 days a week, and it has taken me almost three months to lose around 7 pounds.

None of the formulas made sense to me. They say you have to eat 3,500 calories extra to gain a pound. I would put on two pounds if I had a meal off plan, and it wasn't water. None of the "calories in/ calories out" calculators make any sense for me - they always show me as way under my calorie needs, but I am maintaining, not losing.

When I first read this, I felt discouraged. Now I feel like a weight (no pun intended) has been lifted off of me. It's not my fault it's hard to maintain. I wasn't doing anything wrong. You have no idea what a failure I felt like because I was struggling to keep the weight off when the charts tell me I am still overweight. Hey, I used to be at least a size 22, now I am a 12 - I think it's time I celebrate that.

I can handle chronic restrained eating and lots of exercise. I just couldn't handle always wondering what was I doing wrong.

Thank you so much for posting this, and thanks for letting me vent. I hope no one minds if I post in the Maintainers Forum once in a while.


Mel 04-21-2005 03:38 PM

Hi Sue :wave: Welcome to Maintainers :) I think we all had a similar reaction to this research: depressed at first, but then accepting and relief and finding out why none of the standard formulas made sense for us.

Please join us on our weekly thread ;)


Meg 04-23-2005 02:15 PM

Sue - not only don't we mind if you post here in Maintainers - we insist on it!! :D Please do join right in - we'd value your input.

SueJo74 04-23-2005 03:09 PM

Thank you both for being so welcoming! It means a lot. I will be reading lots and posting soon.


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