I did the same thing while I was on vacation. I didn't track fastidiously but I kept portion sizes in mind and also watched the types and preparations of the foods I was eating. It worked well for 8 days, I maintained. I also worked out everyday and kept super active the rest of the day while on vacation.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 6/7/13 11:29 A
Last summer we had a crazy couple of weeks....outdoor music festival where we were camping and I had no way to cook and my food options were either food at the festival or when we would go into town to eat at restaurants (that other people picked), and a weekend up in the mountains for a wedding where again I had no control over the food I could eat. I couldn't fathom how I could stay within the weight loss ranges during those couple of weeks, so I did like BUNNYKICKS did, and decided to just try to eat reasonably, watch portions and alcohol intake. While I didn't have any nutritional info to go by, I would guess I was near my maintenance range, which is around 1900-2000. It worked, I didn't gain anything, but didn't lose anything either. I did the same thing at Christmas.
You might find that eating a bit more might help you lose those last 10lbs... so maybe try just eating at 1700 a day for about a month and see what that does for you. I was eating in that range (1600-1700) when I (very slowly) lost my last 10lbs. I'm 5'3".
Also, like Becky mentioned, maintaining is way harder than losing weight. First, there's no good way to figure out where you should eat, other than trial and error. SP gave me a range of 1440-1790. I eat in the 1600-1800 range on weekdays, then don't really track on weekends or when guests are in town, so I would guess my average intake is around 1900-2000. This seems to be working, but it took me a few months of trial and error to figure this out. Other site calculators puts my "maintenance" intake in the 1900s.
I took a 7-day maintenance "holiday" - when I went to Maui I decided ahead of time that I would put the 1200-1550 range aside for a week, but also didn't want to just go "vacation crazy at the buffet" so I pre-planned to aim for "maintenance" (give or take 2000 calories/day). Since it was very short-term, specific-purpose, it lasted only as long as my trip.
I also figure I will take a "rest, recuperate and reassess" break once I leave "BMI=obese" (about 15 pounds away). I've been going at this pretty hard and I think my body might appreciate a brief moment of homeostasis! My only concern is, if I break the momentum, how difficult will it be to "get back on the horse"? But I figure if I keep up with my exact same healthy diet (just in slightly larger/maintenance portion sizes) it will work out. What I do NOT want to do is "take a break from the healthy food choices and indulge in the junky excess of my former habits" - that would surely be my undoing.
When I was waffling around a weight (one/two pounds either side) for quite some time, during a time of a whole lot of extra stress related to work and home; I treated it as maintenance - just being consistent with my food and exercise (which I could control), while the other stuff sorted itself out.
Eventually, things evened out, and I lost a little more.
I just used it as a learning experience for when maintenance finally is a reality
A "maintenance break" might work, but then again it might backfire on you. I would suggest instead that you take a hard look at 2 things....your diet and exercise level.
Diet - I assume you're tracking? If not, that's probably your issue right there. If you are, re-focus on making sure you're tracking accurately and honestly, every day. Go back to measuring everything if you need to. Look at your totals each day--are you getting enough protein, fiber, etc? Where can you make changes? Are your goals and information in Spark still accurate? If not, make the changes and see if your ranges change. Try eating at the lower end of your range for a few days, then up to the higher end.
You said it "all goes wrong in the evening".....I'm going to see if your tracker is public and take a peek, but it's quite possible you're light on either calories, protein, or fiber earlier in the day and that's setting you up to be ravenous in the evening.
Exercise - have you been doing the same workout(s) for a while? Do you find yourself on auto-pilot while you're working out? How long has it been since you've been truly worn out or sore after a workout? Maybe it's time to try something brand new, or up the intensity of what you're doing. If you're not strength training, now's the time to start. A good strength training program will help you become fit and healthy every bit as much as cardio does.
For maintenance, I would suggest slowly adding in calories about 50 per day the first week or two, then 100 more per day, then 150....etc....Until you "learn" your calorie amount for maintenance. You will still have to weigh, measure, count calories, exercise, weigh weekly....
As others report....weight maintenance can actually be more difficult and needs just as much dedication.
I have been losing weight steadily for a year, and recently it's just ground to a halt. I am still 10 pounds over a healthy BMI range. The top end of my sparkpeople range is 1600 calories, and I am 5'8" tall. I manage to eat well during the day, but it all goes wrong in the evening. I read somewhere on the site about having a "maintenance break" (rather than constanlty trying to lose weight, and getting fed up.) Has anyone tried this? How did you work out what calorie range to set yourself, so that you didn't start putting weight back on? How long did you let yourself have a maintenance break for?
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