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RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
10/25/13 3:40 P

"I can assure you that if your portions start to creep up, so will your weight. "

I think maybe you and the OP are talking about different things here? Increasing portion sizes is by far the simplest and probably the most reliable way to adjust to maintenance, far better IMO than trying to drastically change what you are eating. If you've been doing the "diet" part right, then maintenance should not look far different in terms of what you eat an how you eat. It's just a little bit more.

Now if you're already at maintenance and your portions start to creep up from there, then yes of course you will eventually start gaining weight.

To the OP -- I'd be surprised if anyone who's gotten that far doesn't have that exact same fear. I know I did. Just take heart in that you've been doing this for a year. You already know the what and the how. All you have to adjust is the how much. And as scary as it is, it's not really all that hard. You just take it very slowly, to the tune of 100-200 calories every 1-3 weeks, until you stop losing weight. That's it. You might want to do it by making meals larger, or by adding an extra snack, (or like someone else suggested, adding more healthy fats if you've cut those low while losing) whatever's most comfortable for you. But if you keep the overall goal in mind there's no reason you can't do it.

Don't even listen to that 5% nonsense! Remember that those who "fail" at losing weight include everyone who gave up after three days, those who undertook crash diets or who thought that caffeine pills and nothing else was just the ticket, those who decided they could never come within five feet of a strip of bacon for the rest of their lives or it was all over, and those who hit goal weight and went right back to eating how they did to begin with.

You're well on your way to being a success story. Just keep your goals in mind, take it slow, and stay honest, and you should be fine.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,121)
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Posts: 27,076
10/24/13 3:20 P

I'm a big fan of nuts. I snack on them every day. Just have to watch the portion because some days when I'm busy, I don't realize how many I eat. lol.

One thing to do is to slowly increase your calories until you are eating at maint level. If you're currently eating 1700 per day and need to eat 2200, then start your first week of maint by eating 1800 calories. Each week, add 100 calories until you're eating 2200.

The hardest part of the journey is not taking off the weight. The hardest part of the journey is stop thinking you're on a diet. Some days you will eat more than others. It's going to happen. You're not a bad person or an unhealthy one because you may eat a little too much. As long as you eat right most of the time, you really will be okay.

What you don't want to happen is to eat too much one day and starve yourself the next to compensate. If you do, you will end up regaining the weight. If you want to be one of the 5%, you've got to stop thinking diet.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,287)
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Posts: 15,820
10/24/13 1:11 P

"I guess I'm not sure how to increase my calories without increasing portion sizes."

eat more calorie dense foods.

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (115,652)
Fitness Minutes: (74,870)
Posts: 522
10/24/13 1:02 P

Thank you, ARCHIMEDESII, for your thoughtful reply. It's encouraging to hear that you've been maintaining for so long!

I guess I'm not sure how to increase my calories without increasing portion sizes. I know that adding a dessert every day is NOT the way to go. How did you do it?

One great thing about my weight loss journey is being more connected to my body. I now know that refined sugar makes my fibromyalgia flare up and potatoes make my migraines worse. Long runs of more than 5 miles make me love my body, flaws and all! My body actually craves 8 glasses of water a day now.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,121)
Fitness Minutes: (294,298)
Posts: 27,076
10/24/13 9:48 A


I've been maintaining my weight loss for several years now. YES, it is possible to be one of the 5% of all people who take the weight off and keep it off. How ? You have to realize that every single healthy habit you adopted to take off the weight, you will need to keep it of.

There is a notion that once a person takes off the weight, their metbolism changes and they can eat whatever they want now that they are thin. This is a total misconception. If you want to keep the weight off, you need to continue to eat right, watch your portions and get a little regular exercise.

I can assure you that if your portions start to creep up, so will your weight.

Now, this doesn't mean you can't eat a cupcake or have a glass of wine at dinner. But, you really do still have to be mindful of what you eat and how much. It's okay to indulge, but you don't want to over indulge too often.

One thing is this, you will regain a little of the weight once you start eating at maint level. This is okay. Your body is going to need time to SETTLE into the new weight. so, don't be surprized if you fluctuate a bit. this is normal. give yourself some leeway when it comes to your weight. Eventually, and this could take a few months, your weight will settle.

Because no one should be on a permanent diet. And getting your head out of dieting mode won't be easy. Be kind to yourself as you would to others.

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (115,652)
Fitness Minutes: (74,870)
Posts: 522
10/23/13 8:32 P

Thank you, SLIMMERKIWI and ANGELCITYGAL for your kind, helpful, and reassuring words.

ANGELCITYGAL, I joined one of the teams you suggested and will start reading so I'm armed with lots of information.

I can't believe I'm only 3 pounds overweight now. I was over 200 pounds for approx 15 years! emoticon

ANGELCITYGAL SparkPoints: (38,869)
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Posts: 1,724
10/23/13 4:26 P

Congratulations on your weight loss! Kris gave you excellent advice. The only thing I'd add is that there are SparkTeams of maintainers (I belong to two of them, if you want to click over to my SparkPage, you can find them in my SparkTeams). There you'll connect with lots of experienced maintainers who can support you through the transition.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,069)
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Posts: 26,795
10/22/13 5:41 P

I lost a fair bit of weight that took a long time to lose. I kept a daily spreadsheet of things like calories and exercise. Because of this I was able to regularly average the calories out to see where I would maintain, where I would lose, and where I start gaining. It made my transition from losing to maintaining a total non-event ..... and I have been maintaining for nearly 3 years.

I can understand your panic, but if you do this wisely, you will wonder why all the fuss :-) To do this wisely, I suggest that you just go up in calories by small increments. You may still continue to lose a wee bit of weight, but that doesn't matter. If the increments are say, 50 calories a week, you should soon find out where your maintenance range is. Don't worry if you gain a little - maintenance doesn't mean you have to stay at exactly that weight - you can healthily fluctuate a few lbs - most people do in the course of a day, anyway.

Good luck, and happy maintaining :-)


RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (115,652)
Fitness Minutes: (74,870)
Posts: 522
10/22/13 5:31 P

I'm feeling more and more panicky as I near maintenance. I've lost 70 pounds in about a year's time. I'm really close to the "normal" range on the BMI chart - my current BMI is 25.7.
I'm panicking at the thought of switching gears into maintenance. I've lost weight three times before (20-30 pounds each time) but gained it all back plus more. This time I had Sparkpeople so I did it the right way -good nutrition, regular strength training, no diet pills. But I am still scared that it will be like before.

I'm worried that increasing my calories to maintenance and allowing myself treats occasionally will become a slippery slope that destroys all my hard work. I'm scared of letting myself and my family down, not to mention how humiliating it would be to gain the weight back after all the wonderful support my friends and family have given me.
I don't think I can exercise more than the 5 days/week I do now. (I run 150 minutes each week and lift weights the other two days.) I kept my calories just above 1200 for a few months and now I am trying to eat 1300 on rest days and 1400 on workout days.

Help! I need reassurance that it is possible, that I can be in the 5-10% that keep it off.

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