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What happens after I loose my weight?



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RENATARUNS
SparkPoints: (3,563)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,107
6/24/13 9:56 A

OK, I've only been at goal weight for less than a month, so I'm no expert here. That said, what I think is going to work well for most people is not to change too much (and not to expect to change too much) from what you were doing while you were "dieting". For me, for instance, I've increased portion sizes in an attempt to stop losing and start maintaining, as well as loosened up very slightly on snacks (mostly meaning if I feel like having a pear, I eat it and don't worry so much about whether or not I'm sufficiently hungry, should be eating something else, etc.) And that's it. I haven't gone back to grabbing ice cream bars when I feel like, or snacking out of cereal boxes all day, or anything like that. So far I seem to still be losing, so I still need to tweak, but I'm getting there.

I also think it's important to have some means of keeping yourself honest, as part of your daily life. For many here that is probably going to be some sort of continued tracking of food intake/calories. For me, since I don't track, it means the scale. I know by now what the typical fluctuations are like, so I'll know if I've done something that is really causing me to start regaining, and I presume I'll be able to change my eating habits again for a couple of weaks to reverse the trend if that happens.

But the most important thing I think is going to be to recognize when you first change your diet, that it's not temporary. The difference between losing and maintaining may be as little as 500 calories a day -- that's far less than what most of us were eating in excess before, and it means that when it comes right down to it, maintenance is going to look a whole lot like the diet for most people. Just a little bit more of everything. Maybe the occasional extra treat. But only occasional. So it's really important that the plan you have to lose the weight is something you're very comfortable with, because to be successful long term you're going to be eating pretty much the same as that for the rest of your life.



AC7881
Posts: 20
6/23/13 2:53 P

The solution I have found is to never diet again, but instead make a lifelong change in what and how I eat. Then I don;t lose weight just to regain it, or to have a "maintenance" phase.

I chose the McDougall plan way of eating, also known as the Starch Solution. The Engine 2 diet is a close second as well. http://www.drmcdougall.com/free_1.html has some details if you are interested.





ANARIE
Posts: 12,356
6/23/13 2:50 P

Nobody understands maintenance. As far as I know, there's only one organization in the world that researches it. Even more than with weight loss, every single individual seems to have a different experience.

The successful long-term maintainers I know generally still track their nutrition in one way or another. Some are able to do it in their heads; others do it by servings rather than calories, and some, like me, have to keep counting everything just as carefully as (or more carefully than) we did while losing.

Part of the difference in how maintenance works seems to be related to how overweight you were and how you got there. People who gained 10 or 20 or 30 pounds in adulthood due to a specific incident (accident, illness, divorce, pregnancy, busy job, etc) can often leave off the counting after a few months. My theory is that they are the true "dieters." They gained weight because something made them move away from their normal way of eating and exercising, so they go to the other extreme for a while to lose the weight, and then get back to normal for maintenance. For them, it's all about returning to normal.

Those of us who always battled weight, on the other hand, have no good "normal" to go back to. Our idea of "normal" is what got us overweight in the first place, so we have to develop a new normal. Learning to eat normally as an adult is not natural and not easy-- you probably can't do it without some sort of tool. For me, that tool is an electronic nutrition tracker of some sort.

I've accepted that I will probably have to track my food intake for the rest of my life, and it doesn't really bother me. It's really no different from having to wear glasses every day for the rest of my life, and it's a lot less stressful and difficult than having to test my blood and adjust diabetes medication for the rest of my life, which is where I was headed if I had stayed obese.



AURORA629
Posts: 2,388
6/23/13 8:08 A

This was a maintenance plan that worked for me for over a year. I would stick perfectly to my diet. I weigh myself daily. My weight would continue to drop below my goal. Once it got four or more pounds below my goal, I would then take a day off from my diet and eat whatever I want!!! This forced the weight back up and then the very next day I would return to my normal diet. These "day off" typically came up about once every 5 to 7 days when I was doing this. Please DO NOT used this as a maintenance plan if you have serious diet related health issues like diabetics.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (122,711)
Fitness Minutes: (32,500)
Posts: 21,114
6/22/13 7:03 P

I actually found weight maintenance to be just as easy as weight loss. This is because I keep a spreadsheet with my daily calories etc. Every week or two I average my calories. By doing this I found out what my cut-off point is for loss/maintenance/gain. Over 1600 on average and I gain - Under and I lose. Because I allow myself one day per week (sometimes it might be a wee bit more frequent, but then sometimes it might be one day in 2-3 weeks) I eat whatever I fancy, knowing the calories are going to be more. To accommodate this, I generally eat a bit under the average maintenance calories most days. I have been maintaining nearly 3 years, and this method has worked well.

Kris



DEB62BIE62
Posts: 2,456
6/22/13 6:37 P

Thanks for all of the great info. I am changing my lifestyle and exercising regularly. I do plan on continuing it for the rest of my life, but I don't want to continue losing once I get to my goal, so looking at the maintenance site will be very helpful I'm sure.



DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,452
6/19/13 8:09 P

Weight maintenance is harder than weight loss.
Be sure to check out our Lifestyle Center on Maintaining Your New Weight:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/lifestyle_cen
ter_detail.asp?id=1


Becky
SP Registered Dietian Nutrition



KENDILYNN
SparkPoints: (9,663)
Fitness Minutes: (12,968)
Posts: 640
6/19/13 7:47 P

I posed a similar question on the Maintenance team, because I noticed many/most of them still talking about counting calories and/or tracking their food every day. I guess everyone has to do what works for them, but my end-goal was/is to be able to learn how to eat and maintain without constantly thinking about writing it down every day for the rest of my life. I have been able to maintain this way for a while now, but everyone's food and weight issues are different, and what works for me may not be what works for someone else.



ALIUHOH86
SparkPoints: (172)
Fitness Minutes: (35)
Posts: 10
6/19/13 7:35 P

Spark is about lifestyle changes, not diets. The habits you learn here, such as engaging in regular exercise, tracking what you consume, cooking healthier meals and such is meant to teach you how to be healthier every day for the rest of your life, not just today. And as another member mentioned, once you hit your goal weight, your calorie goals will be adjusted to help you maintain your weight.



STDWYNWEN
SparkPoints: (10,949)
Fitness Minutes: (4,491)
Posts: 546
6/19/13 6:44 P

Hi DEB62BIE62

There is also a Maintenance SparkTeam

"At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance"

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individ
ual.asp?gid=1111


Edited by: STDWYNWEN at: 6/19/2013 (18:48)


NOBLEEQUESTRIAN
SparkPoints: (5,100)
Fitness Minutes: (10,066)
Posts: 233
6/19/13 6:40 P

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is simply by changing your entire lifestyle and keeping it that way. Make healthier choices, eat more fruits, have a salad a day and cut out the pop.





BUNNYKICKS
Posts: 2,268
6/19/13 5:51 P

Yes, you will just set your 'start weight' and your 'goal weight' as the same number. The system will calculate a calorie range for you that should result in a stable weight. There's no "program" to speak of, other than you get to increase your calorie range to a "maintenance" level.



DEB62BIE62
Posts: 2,456
6/19/13 5:32 P

Is there a maintenance plan once you've lost the weight? I was on a diet many times, and the one thing that tripped me up was there was no real maintenance, because I think they wanted to gain it back so you would have to come back again and again. Anyway, just curious.



 
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