Drastic Dieting and Sustaining Weight Loss - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 08-13-2014, 08:03 PM   #1  
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Default Drastic Dieting and Sustaining Weight Loss

Hi all,

I'm new here but you'll find I'm going to dive right in because I've read through and can see you're all amazing.

So, if you've read my recent post on the intro boards you'll find details about my reasons for weight loss and my goal weight. I've lost about 26 pounds so far, but I've got like 56 to go and I'd rather it be sooner than later since I want to get to my goal weight so I can do a breast reduction. I need to get to the place I want to end up at and no higher, since weight loss post-surgery isn't recommended or "I won't be happy with the way the look after that". The do fine if you gain, but losing after isn't the most ideal... so, hitting your final target is really recommended.

My concern is a drastic diet plan, such as Optifast. First off, I don't want to be hungry. I get migraines and missing meals triggers me... and I get cranky which would be terrible for everyone around. ;-) Second, I worry that if I did the Optifast program, once I'm off it I would gain weight back because I'm no longer on an essentially liquid diet. I know that they move you into eating more and less shakes, but it looked to me like if you want to maintain you'll still need to meal supplement daily with the shakes. I don't think that's realistic for me for the rest of my life.

I don't want to work so hard at losing only to find that once I move into a maintenance regime I can't sustain it because it doesn't fit into a "normal" lifestyle that my family can work with right along with me. So, what I've been doing is modifying my intake so that I stay at 1000 calories or under each day, occasionally allowing myself to eat a cautious dinner out with my family once a week or every other week, and walking at least a mile a day. Drinking around 64 ounces of water a day is a goal, but that's super hard to do for me. I'm putting in oranges, lemons, etc. I can't drink the water flavorers because they just have too much artificial sweetener (Truvia doesn't bother me, though). The issue is that this isn't "fast" at all. In fact it seems painfully slow now... so, I'm torn!

What are your thoughts on these super-diets that I call "drastic dieting" over the long haul?

Thanks for your help!
- L

Last edited by lorienz; 08-13-2014 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #2  
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What are your thoughts on these super-diets that I call "drastic dieting" over the long haul?
Crash diets are not sustainable for the long haul. You really aren't supposed to eat below 1,200 and as soon as you start to eat "normal" some weight will more than likely come back, sometimes plus. Just depends. Probably not what you want to hear but you asked.

For now it will get the weight off for your surgery but you will need to change things up after. You might have a gain, or a stall to reset things.

Our motto around here tends to be "slow and steady wins the race."
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:23 PM   #3  
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I completely agree with slow and steady, and I'm glad that's the case. My surgery isn't mandatory, it's elective but covered based on my size. I was hoping to avoid another astronomical co-pay by being able to get to the surgery before the year is out, but safe and sustainable is far better in the long run.

As for the 1200 calories, I'm wondering how that measures up to the FitBit food log I'm working with. As I'm working toward a 2 pound per week goal, it says I need to have a 1k deficit per day. This averages me around 875-1000 calories a day after all is said and done against my measured activity. What are the thoughts on following this kind of regime?
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #4  
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As I'm working toward a 2 pound per week goal, it says I need to have a 1k deficit per day. This averages me around 875-1000 calories a day after all is said and done against my measured activity. What are the thoughts on following this kind of regime?
In your place, I would forget about losing 2 pounds per week, eat 1,200 to 1,500 cals per day, exercise moderately, and take the weight loss at whatever pace it comes.

F.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:07 AM   #5  
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Thought I would give my 2 cents from the other side.
I am currently on Optifast and am getting closer to the stage where I want to transition to food to continue the last 1/3 of my weight loss through Weight Watchers. I am already on modified but started the program full fast. (Full fast = all shake/shake products = 5 products, Modified fast = 3 shake/shake products, 1 fruit serving, and 1 meal of 5-6 oz lean protein and 3 servings of nonstarchy veggies.

As far as "when you come off such a diet, you are going to gain all the weight back when you get back on 100% food" ...I agree to a point. If I go back to the same lifestyle habits of fried food, cheese covered everything, dessert because heck, I like dessert everyday....then I am going to have the same results I had before I started Optifast.

In my area, part of the program is a weekly MANDATORY group meeting and a MANDATORY weekly or biweekly (depending on what stage of the diet you are on) one on one meeting with a doctor. Every four-five weeks we also meet with a nutritionist and every four-five weeks we meet with an exercise coach as a group and one on one. There is a huge education part to this program where you are taught what to eat, how to eat, and how to exercise. We constantly talk about what maintenance is going to be like and they are starting to give us the tools while in the fasting period. When we are beginning to transition off the shakes completely we start also one on one meetings with the nutritionist. For a full year after we go on maintenance we have full access to the doctor, nutritionist, group leaders, exercise coach and gym for free to assist us.

I plan on getting the large chunk of my weight off through Optifast and so far it has been successful for me. I have stuck to the program 100% - not so much as licked an item that is not part of the program.
As of last week, I am down 60 lbs. My total weight loss goal is 100-125 lbs. When I am in the 180lb range, I plan on being fully transitioned to food so I can work on the last 20-45 lbs through Weight Watchers at a slower pace, while continuing a program with weekly meetings. I find the accountability of a weekly weigh in a helpful motivator for me.

My main motivator is my health and how GOOD I feel even being only halfway through my journey.

I have had the opportunity to meet with, interact with several people who have been through the program (through family and friends, not just people possibly endorsed by the program to advertise it) and have seen many keep the weight off for 3+ years now. So I believe it can be done but it depends on the person going through the program, not just the program itself.

So for Optifast - yes, if you start the program with out expecting to change your lifestyle with it, it will most likely fail. But if you start the program and change your habits with it, I foresee success.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:15 PM   #6  
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In your place, I would forget about losing 2 pounds per week, eat 1,200 to 1,500 cals per day, exercise moderately, and take the weight loss at whatever pace it comes.

F.
Exactly. Also if you go this route, you have to be extremely honest with yourself and log every single thing that goes in your mouth, especially liquids.

But if you are honest, calorie counting and reduced portion sizes works. After awhile, your stomach shrinks and you can't even imagine eating the quantities of food that you could before. Strange, but true!
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:39 PM   #7  
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I'm about your height and myfitnesspal has me at about 1350 calories, before exercise, 800-1000 seems unsustainable to me. I think you would get more calories than that on Optifast as described by Nibog above.

I agree that whatever program you do if you follow it to the letter it will work, most programs have some sort of transition from losing to maintaining, most of us don't take that part seriously, we think we've got it figured out and don't really follow the transition to maintenance, hence the high numbers of regainers.

You may average two pounds a week while losing, or not, I've had weeks where I lost 0.25 lbs and weeks where I lost 3, rarely did I ever lose the same amount week to week. Have patience, you're in it for the long haul

Best of luck

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Old 08-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #8  
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I'm willing to do just about anything to get there. My weight goes up, my weight goes down, and what it really comes down to for me is that it's not about what you do to get there, but about what you do once you're there.

My weight loss efforts..... First I was a healthy dieter working with a dietician. I gained it back and then some. Then I lost weight again, working with LA Weightloss (I don't know if their still around, but besides their diet bars, most of the diet revolved around eating real foods). Lost the weight. Gained it back and then some.

I've done drastic dieting, slow/steady dieting, just calorie counting, Weight Watchers, etc. I have thrown a lot of money at my weight loss....

Seriously, losing weight for me isn't the problem. It's keeping it off that's the problem. That's where I need to do some serious work. Once I get there, that's when the work is really going to start.

So the conclusion I've come to is that you have to do what works for you, what appeals to you and what you can sustain.

I said fudge to it all. I'm doing Medifast right now, which seems to be not that different from Optifast. The only thing I hate about this diet is that I didn't start earlier. I can tell you one thing.... now that I'm doing Medifast, I'm really excited to see the turtle on my ticker moving again.

I've been in the process of losing weight (dieting) for 4 years now. Its time to be finished with it. Seriously, I'm so tired of it. I've lost 9 pound since starting, averaging 3 pounds a week, and if I can keep this up for any length of time, I will reach my goal in the next couple of months. Then the real work begins.

Just my two cents.

If Optifast is what's appealing to you right now, go for it. If you don't like it, you stop. If you love it, then keep going.

Last edited by twinieten; 08-15-2014 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #9  
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Drastic dieting worked just fine for me. I did a crash diet and sustained it. It might, it might not. Just do the research, do it the safest way possible and try it out. I don't want to assume too much about what will happen to you mentally - that's like assuming that if you restrict anything, you will binge etc. I restrict a lot and I don't binge.
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:40 PM   #10  
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Recently, I've read more and more that the rate of weight loss has little to do with whether one maintains it longterm or not. This study from the International Journal of Behavioral medicine is an example (although, unfortunately, you can only read the abstract for free).

I think one's mindset is the most important factor in maintenance, not the rate at which one lost the weight. Most people who have had long-term weight problems have tried more than one diet and read lots of information, so we know what to do on maintenance----it's just a matter of doing it. Let's face it: The dismal percentage of those who maintain long-term---even those who lost via "moderate" programs like Weight Watcher---should tell us that the rate of weight loss is not a predictor of keeping the weight off long term.

The danger I see in losing on a very restrictive program is that it might lead to destructive cycle of "rebound" eating because of not only the mental strain of eating so little, but also the physical hunger. That's for some people, though. Others might find it easier to stick with even a very restrictive diet because they know that the temporary suffering will lead to encouraging results fast.

Good luck to you!
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