love the responses/suggestions. Maintenance is something i sometimes struggle with.
edit to add: i think in maintenance, i have less room to go over my calories. when i was losing, lets say when i was creating a 200 calorie deficit a day, but one day during the week, i went over by 600 calories. i would still have a deficit for the week. now, if i go over by 600 calories one day, there is no deficit. it puts me at a surplus. and then those surpluses will add up over time?
After I lost 100 lbs, I truly, honestly believed that I had made the lifestyle changes and that I knew what I needed to know to keep it off. Then I gained half of it back. Now that I've relost most of THAT, I'm starting to think about maintenance again. I'll be honest, maintenance terrifies me. I've failed so miserably at it in the past.
I think my maintenance downfalls have been:
- getting comfortable. When I saw the same weight on the scale every morning for 6 months, I got bored with getting on the scale and stopped doing it - and that obviously is when disaster struck (slowly but surely).
- I got lazy with weighing food and tracking it. I figured I knew what I was doing; I could eyeball a portion; I could mentally tally my daily calories. I was so kidding myself. Just typing that, I'm blushing. NO ONE can eyeball a portion. A portion is measured in grams. Can you honestly eyeball 134 grams? If your life depended on it, wouldn't you use a scale? That was a huge downfall for me.
What do I plan to do differently? If I can get myself to weigh body and food every day, I believe that's 99% of the battle for me. Exercise is the joyful part for me. Food/weighing is the chore part.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,646 3/10/13 1:30 P
A lot of the reason it's hard is because most people diet to get to their goal weight. When you make short-term changes for short-term goals, it's hard to maintain them when you get there.
Sparkpeople encourages a lifestyle change for just this reason. I managed to maintain myself last year for a solid 6 months without even trying, because of the lifestyle changes I'd made! I fell off the "wagon" and stopped tracking and exercising, but I didn't gain a pound. I held steady.
The trick isn't to diet, deprive, and short-term yourself. It's to make healthy changes in your life that just so happen to result in weight loss as a happy side effect!
I am not even close to the maintenance portion of my program, but have talked to many people who are in maintenance. the way i see it is this-- yes losing weight is easy which is based on tracking your intakes and outputs (i know this is very generalized, but everyone can lose weight). With losing weight one can make goals. The goals can be small little steps or large steps. Losing weight is more forgiving than maintaining. You can make more mistakes losing weight because you are still working on that lifestyle change. You can miss a day or two of exercise and know that you dietary changes will more easily protect you. But once in maintenance, the little goals are gone. You can still try to make some small goals, but your mistakes won't be as forgiving. In maintenance you really have to watch portion size and make decisions based on your lifestyle.
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Wow, my maintenance plan is almost identical to yours, SLIMMERKIWI, and I've had similar success. I suppose that means we're really onto something!
I knew all along when I started this journey, that maintenance was going to be the hardest part for me-- even though losing the weight wasn't exactly what I'd call "easy". I've gained and lost and gained and lost so much weight over the years-- always because I "dieted" and then after I lost the weight, I gradually slipped back into my old ways, of too-large portions or choosing high carb, high fat foods. And not exercising.
The difference for me this time-- I still track my food, and I still exercise. I keep making healthy choices, and even now I'm tweaking those choices and making them even healthier. It really does have to be a lifestyle change, and not just a diet.
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I haven't had any problem maintaining my weight from day one of reaching my goal. I think the reason for this is because I keep a daily spreadsheet which includes weight (only weigh when I am at my Medical Centre) calories consumed and exercise done - the exercise having 2 columns, one for walks and the other for other forms of exercise. Occasionally I will average the daily calorie total, and as a result I could see exactly what calories I needed to lose, to maintain or to gain. I still weigh all of my food for increased accuracy and to prevent me unintentionally gaining, and enter it into the tracker. I still eat/exercise the same as I did in weight-loss mode, but whereas before I allowed one day every two weeks to eat whatever I wanted, now I give myself permission to do this once a week, but still keep my calories at weight-loss mode the rest of the time. It has worked beautifully.
Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 3/5/2013 (15:59)
Fitness Minutes: (45,429)
4,246 3/5/13 4:38 A
As someone who's yo-yo dieted nearly all her life until recently, I think a lot of it came down to the fact that I stopped putting the effort in. I never really fully understood what the phrase "lifestyle change" meant until I reached goal last year and was as determined to keep the weight off as I had been to lose it. I've learned a lot in the past year and have received a ton of support from the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team here on SparkPeople. I recommend this team for any person who's ever lost and regained weight, even if you're not at goal yet. It's not only helped me not to regain the weight I've lost, but its also helped me keep my maintenance range pretty stable. There are lots of interesting discussions, maintenance challenges and useful articles, blogs and other resources to help keep you on track and help you to get into and stay in the maintenance mindset. Come check us out: teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining
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When I put my mind to it I could always lose weight but maintaining that weight was an issue for me. My personal reason was because I figured once I lost it I should be able to go back to eating more food and eventually I got back into the habit of eating like I did before losing the weight.
I vowed this time that I would NOT go down the route and so I've been maintaining for quite a while and doing fine. You have to get to that point where you realize this is for a lifetime and not a temporary thing (maintaining) and that is what changed for me.
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It is one of those challenging facts isn't it. In HBO series "Weight of the Nation" they showed research on two people of equal height, weight and age. One had once been overweight and the other always of normal weight, the previously overweight person could only eat a lower amount of calories to maintain healthy weight (vs, the never overweight person)..sigh. I think this is one of the reasons it seems hard. This is also a reason the changes we make need to be permanent. Congratulations on your already successful changes.
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