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Maintenance at 60 is a different game

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What started me looking at the problem of age and persistent belly-fat was that I had targeted 157 as a good goal weight. The last time I was there I looked pretty good and fit into a size 12. Well I made it!!!! And I do fit into a Size 12 but there is a lot of belly fat hanging around which wasn’t there the last time.

On one Message board someone posted “Cardio, strength training, and eating well have gotten rid of most of my belly fat. AT BMI 25 I had a lot of belly fat. At BMI 20.4 I have very little.” I tried to figure out how much I would need to lose to reduce my BMI and this is what I found:
Past: 185 BMI = 30.8 Ate anything I wanted and just a little exercise (Size 16 a bit tight)

Now: 157 BMI = 23.7 Eat 1450-1550 calories, keep to 47 or less fat grams, moderate exercise 5 days, strength training 2 days (Size 12, tight around the waist)

Maybe: 150 BMI = 22.8 Eat 1350-1450 calories, keep fat grams under 45, increase cardio intensity, exercise every day, work up to heavier weights

I haven’t been at 150 for quite a while and although I believe that I can work down to it, the maintenance is going to be very difficult. Right now I am struggling with staying in my calorie range for 157 and finding a level of exercise I am going to do regularly from now on. Anything lower than 150 is just not worth it to me.

I have read through a lot of SP articles, blog and team/message posts and it is clear that the same rules for weight loss apply whether you're 30 or 60 -- reduce your calorie intake and increase your activity level. But in looking at the problem of my repeated weight gains between 50 and 60 it is clear that my body is different in my senior years than it was when I was younger. In reading about the after 50 woman, I found that as you age, your metabolism slows -- by up to 10 percent per decade after age 25. That means you may take in the same number of calories and exercise just as much as you did in your 30s, but the weight still creeps on.

Although your estrogen levels may be the same as they were in your 50s, you're still losing muscle due to aging. That further slows your metabolism, which is why belly fat continues to be an issue. As you lose bone mass, you become shorter. Because there's no place for your organs to go, your abdomen protrudes. What this means is that as you shrink your BMI numbers change. If you were 5’6” and 150 pounds your BMI is 24.2 in the normal range. If you have shrunk a little to 5” 5” and still 150 pounds, your BMI is now 25 in the overweight range. And since you have lost muscle that extra is in fat which is probably around your middle because you are a woman.

One article suggested that to avoid gaining weight, the rule of thumb is that for each decade past 40, you should consume about 100 fewer calories EACH DAY. That’s because metabolism—the rate at which your body burns calories—gradually slows down as you age. So it means that you need to fight the encroaching belly bulge by reducing your caloric intake even further and keep up your exercising. If you think walking to the mailbox is cardio, then you are in for a big surprise.

In another article it said that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is best at blasting belly fat. “Research has shown that women who did 20 minutes of HIIT 3 time a week burned more fat than women who exercised at a moderate pace for 40 minutes 3 times a week.” To do this you need to do work up to doing 25 minutes of HIIT 3 to 6 days a week. SP has a lot of articles on HIIT and it isn’t for sissies. (

Thinking about doing cardio is easier than doing cardio after 60. As I have aged, I find that I am not as flexible, it takes longer for me to recover from intense cardio, my joints ache a lot more and it is much easier to get hurt. So being active is great but there are limits.

As for reducing calories, it really means that you must give up sugar, all refined carbs, limit red meat and really watch the amount of fat you eat. And by age 60 I should be eating at the low end of my calorie range which is not a lot of food in a day and there is almost no room for fun food. Even if you plan out your calories to splurge at one meal, you still have to eat small amounts (think Thanksgiving!! ). There are 408 calories in 1 cup of Lasagna with Meat. Who eats only a serving of lasagna that fits into a cup? You can check on your favorite fun food.

One recommendation was when eating a Cobb salad (egg, blue cheese, bacon, dressing, maybe avocado) besides the lettuce and tomatoes only choose two items. It isn’t a Cobb salad at that point! But that is what it takes to reduce down the belly fat.

So where does all this information leave me? Really unhappy because it means that if I like being at my current weight I have to really watch what and how much I eat every single day and be committed to a regular (no excuses) exercise program. If I want to lose a little more belly fat, I have to eat even less and add in more minutes of cardio exercise.

I am very happy at having lost the weight and SP and the Sparklers have really made it possible. What I am now doing is exploring what I am willing to do to maintain and again SP really helps to think it through. So many other programs don’t really give you the tools you need to work out the problems of maintenance. So I am grateful for having lost the weight, feeling better, having more energy, being healthy and getting into a size I like. I just wish Mother Nature had thought this aging thing through a little better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBTEPP 11/17/2013 11:36AM

    I was successful with weight watchers years ago with very little exercise. Maintenance is much easier with a sustained fitness program. SP has really helped me to reintroduce fitness in my life. Now that I am in menopause, I need both fitness and a good nutrition plan.

Great blog!

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LOGOULD 10/30/2013 5:10PM

    Thank you so much for candidly sharing on this blog - being less than a couple of years into menopause, I too, am struggling with ANY and ALL extra weight going right to my middle. Even heavy I always had a small(ish) waist, but not it is so important for me to keep on doing what I can not just maintain my muscle mass, but to increase it as much as possible to burn more calories.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/15/2013 10:03PM

    I should have stated before that I loved this blog. It's what I've known for a long time as a nurse and it's hard to stomach, if you will excuse my inference.

Comment edited on: 10/15/2013 10:23:46 PM

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JACKIE542 10/11/2013 6:29PM


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_CYNDY55_ 10/10/2013 2:37AM

emoticon emoticon !!
You are correct .. all about the exercise and your nutrition.
Belly fat will slowly go away. emoticon
Balancing act .. Strength and Cardio !!

Comment edited on: 10/10/2013 2:39:32 AM

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LRSILVER 10/5/2013 8:29PM

    Great blog. I think the answer is what is having a flat belly worth to you. I still have a little belly. But I do more than an hour of exercise daily, including ST and I really watch what I eat. I am a size 8, but if I don't watch that will become a 10 again, and I gave all those clothes away. I think that it is important to watch what I eat and how much I exercise to make sure I feel and look good. I am 59 1/2 and find that every year it gets harder. But I work harder.
Good luck.

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OFFICECHIK 10/5/2013 5:39PM

    Great blog. This aging thing really isn't always fun is it? I'm 50 and although I haven't reached goal weight yet I know once I do I'm going to be looking at the same options here. I really do want to get to a weight that I'm happy with and that I can maintain for a long time. I guess I'll be looking at all my options but I hope I will be able to make good choices and live a healthy life and be content and satisfied with how I look, belly fat or no belly fat. I think the most important thing is how healthy I am and to continue to make healthy food choices and keep portion controls in check, and from there I'll take it one day at a time.
Good look with your continued journey.

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ISHIIGIRL 10/5/2013 11:57AM

    I am not in my 60s yet but as I creep into my 50s I am feeling all of the things you wrote here. It is really hard to maintain that first initial goal weight as we age and Mother Nature pulls her fast ones on us all. Great glob! Thanks for sharing.

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BETHGILLIGAN 10/5/2013 8:57AM

    Thank you! Thank you! I'm 62 and just wrote a blog about this very thing. The belly fat is frustrating and the decision has to be made: do I want to kill myself with exercise and my body feels awful all of the time or do I lower my expectations and deal with this belly? Do I cut out all of the foods I enjoy across the board or do I eat healthy and enjoy some of my favorites, too? At my age, I'm thinking of enjoying my life a little more but I'm not liking the numbers on the scale or on my pants. emoticon My goal needs to be healthy not thin!

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BESSHAILE 10/5/2013 7:51AM

    Oh man. I'm bookmarking this blog. It's so WHERE I AM right now.

Thank you thank you thank you.

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DSJB9999 10/5/2013 6:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRANDMABABA 10/3/2013 11:38PM

    Sounds like you have a good grip on you! Continued success.

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KIMBERLY_Y 10/3/2013 9:40PM

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments and on a great blog! Way to go! I really got a tremendous amount of information from your blog. Thank you. As I approach the big 4-0, I often think about some of your comments. Thank you for your perspective.

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DELLMEL 10/3/2013 6:20PM

  emoticon emoticon

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OOLALA53 10/3/2013 2:15PM

    wow, that's a lot of comments. I didn't read them all.

I refuse to live my life worrying about every mouthful of food. I am willing to experience real hunger for an hour or two before each meal. (I am willing to tolerate fake hunger until my next meal time.) I limit sweets to weekends. I am willing to work out vigorously for 14 minutes 5x a week and take a brisk walk most days. That's it. That is what I can live with. If I eat less or work out more sometimes, great. I've been doing this (actually, not the exercise so much) for 44 months and am nearing the middle of my normal BMI range after a year of plateauing. So what? I eat very reasonably, and feel pretty peppy.

Stick with what you know is truly fair and that you can live with for a long time. It really doesn't have to be a terrible struggle every day.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/3/2013 2:15PM


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SUSIEMT 10/3/2013 1:44PM

    Good Blog! Thanks for the info.

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HOLLYM48 10/3/2013 1:43PM

    It is true that we women have a much harder time losing fat! Very annoying. But we can keep on fighting to be the healthiest and the fittest that we can be. You are right that HIIT is not for sissies. Nor is intense cardio. But I think in the end it is about doing the best that we can do to stay healthy without killing ourselves or injuring ourselves to lose the fat. SP is awesome as far as the tools and the people that help to keep us motivated.
Keep up the great work and contine to make great choices. It is not always easy that is for sure. You have done an aweome job of losing and best of luck on your journey into maintenance! emoticon emoticon

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BOOERDEM 10/3/2013 10:35AM

    Thanks for your blog post & all the information you shared! You mentioned the soreness & lack of flexibility, & I was wondering if you have considered (or do) any yoga. I have found that it not only has helped me with flexibility, but also strengthens my core, helps maintain good balance & makes me more mindful of what I eat. I feel like it helps reduce soreness with other types of exercise that I do, too. Best wishes as you continue to maintain & I celebrate your great accomplishment!!!

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FELINA 10/3/2013 9:54AM

I'm in that same club, I'm 62, have kept off more than 30 pounds, but the belly fat is still there. It took me a while, but I've accepted that it's not going anywhere, due to age and slower metabolism.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/3/2013 9:24AM

    Sadly, Mother Nature (Evolution) is mostly geared toward us being able to produce and raise offspring. Once we're past bearing years and the next generation are old enough to create their own offspring, many of our biological systems function less well and it takes more effort to maintain fitness.

Fortunately as humans we've got free will and intelligence and grit, and we get to decide if something is worth the effort. There's a lady in my tae kardio class who is in her 80s. She's not in the best shape in the world and freely admits to having donuts at Tim Horton's when she wants them, but she's still quite active and enjoys her life. She seems to have found a way of life she's comfortable with.

I hope if/when I make it into my 80s that I'll be as active as she is.


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WATERMELLEN 10/3/2013 8:29AM

    Great blog!! I agree that slowing metabolism for over 60s (I'm one too) create particular problems for maintaining weight loss. This is an issue specifically addressed in the new book, State of Slim, written by one of the founders of the National Weight Loss Registry (there's a recent blog on my page and a link to consider purchase if you think it might help . . . I'm going to try some of it!)

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LESLIE871948 10/3/2013 6:52AM

    OK 65 here, formerly giant 365 pound girl :) I am barely at the top of my normal BMI. I lift a lot of weight. I think that may be one of the main reasons I can maintain at a decent number of calories. The thing is, I have to really work at staying this weight and the record keeping is the key. Years ago one of my good friends at WW told me about the Wendy plan. Eat lower in the range a couple of days, middle of range a couple, and high a couple. As long as I am keeping the journal this works for me. I have excel spreadsheets that prove it. This gives my metabolism a boost too, because the higher days assure my body that there is no famine going on or something. :)

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CELIAMINER 10/3/2013 6:06AM

    I'm pushing 60, and I'm resigned to a little bit of fat, but like Nell, there is loose skin. In my case, a lot of loose skin because I let myself balloon to 224 before I started to lose weight after menopause, and the skin doesn't just return to normal. Anyway, I applaud your efforts to educate yourself and your success in losing the weight!

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KSGAMMA 10/3/2013 6:00AM

    Congrats. I've always had a big belly and with the weight loss was looking forward to not having one. But, at age 60 my weight loss has been everywhere but my belly. The tape measurer shows a loss of 7" around my waist but things I wore before are still snug around the waist when I sit down. I've had to take about 6-8" off the legs but very little off the upper part. Being short-waisted is part of my problem - when I sit and my ribs and hips are almost touching, there is nowhere for everything to go but out but even when I stand - there it is leading the way. I'm sure I've got abs of steel beneath that flab! We'll have to keep on trying.

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_LINDA 10/3/2013 2:07AM

    I think Rosewand is the rare exeception here. It is very difficult to lose the belly fat, and I join the legion of older women struggling with it. I was right down to the lower limit of healthy BMI and still the bulge hung on. I could not safely go any lower. As I love to exercise I get away with higher calories, but as my health problems keep escalating and working against me, I will have to learn to reign in the calories. This is why Sparkpeople's dynamic trackers work so well for me -on the days I am unable to exercise I can see what calorie range I need to stay in. Its perfect.
Happy maintaining -what ever way works for YOU!
Keep up the great work!!

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LYNCHD05 10/3/2013 12:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEZMOM1 10/2/2013 10:51PM


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PROUD-GRANDMA 10/2/2013 10:42PM


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MOMMY445 10/2/2013 9:35PM


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SLENDERELLA61 10/2/2013 9:27PM

    Great blog! Best wishes for continued success!!

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TORTISE110 10/2/2013 9:24PM

    and it is clear that the same rules for weight loss apply whether you're 30 or 60 -- reduce your calorie intake and increase your activity level.


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DAISYBELL6 10/2/2013 9:23PM

    I can certainly identify with your blog! Thanks for sharing. It helps me to keep what's happening to me in perspective!

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MNNICE 9/29/2013 1:54PM

    I've always carried my weight in my belly, but after losing and maintaining for several years and at a BMI right around 25 (went up due to getting a little shorter, like you said), the belly fat and loose, lumpy skin seems to have gotten worse as I get older. Yesterday I was shopping and decided to just accept reality and get one of those "shaper" garments (like a panty that pulls all the way up to under the breasts). At least it will all be smoothed out under my clothes and confined to ONE roll instead of several! Mother nature can be such a meanie, but I will accept a healthy body and organs and let the shapers and camouflaging clothing handle the appearances! Congratulations on your maintenance - we will not give up, even though time is definitely not on our side!

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SUZYMOBILE 9/29/2013 11:12AM

    To get rid of the belly fat, I have to get down to a BMI of 18 or 19, which is wicked hard to maintain. And like Nell, I've got the oozy roll of skin over the top of my waistband, no matter how low my weight gets. I'm accepting of this and try to go around with clothes on as much as possible.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/23/2013 10:25PM

    I can totally relate to what you say. It's the same for me. Losing weight means exercising my butt off - literally- and starving myself to death - literally. LOL. I have scaled back my expectations.

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RACEWELLWON 9/21/2013 5:01PM

    First , Congratulations on your success ! emoticon I do agree that age plays a huge part in the belly area, I am over 50 , little closer to mid fifties and although my scale reads 136 after reducing I too see the rolls. How to combat ? Well , for me , I do feel that hormones do effect all of us differently at certain ages. I just keep moving and strength training at a moderate rate. I have stopped focusing on the scale number and rely on how I look and feel in my clothes. Since I have started to train for this Triathlon ( mind you I am not striving to be in first place but to complete ) I have noticed the scale going up to 140 to 145 - no doubt due to muscle weight however I am still comfortable in a size 14 depending on the manufacture. I wanted to also Thank-you for visiting my blog. I noticed in that Triathlon most of the participants were woman in their late 50's thru 70 !! I was so impressed and the comrade was exhilarating. I am not sure if you knew I took some time off of Spark for the last month and a half due to a heat stroke - all better !! Thanks Karen emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/22/2013 9:40:42 AM

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KANOE10 9/20/2013 7:54AM

    I am in my 60s also. I think developing muscles by doing strength training is helpful. Good luck on figuring out maintenance. We can do this!


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NICKYCRANE 9/19/2013 5:13PM

    I'm 70, and have shed about 7 kilos this year and reached my goal, even adjusted my goal down. My problem seems to be that at our age our skin is no longer elastic, so doesn't keep the belly in shape! There's not much we can do about that! My spare tyre is outside my abs, so nothing to do with my organs. A more elastic skin would contain it more efficiently, but that's unlikely to happen. BUt people notice and comment on the fact that I have lost weight, and I've always been fortunate in looking slimmer than I am, even when I was really overweight! I'm not going to torment myself either by going hungry or by obsessing about the spare tyre. I enjoy and appreciate my new body, my new muscles. I'm not going to lose sleep over what I have not achieved so far!

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ROSEWAND 9/19/2013 1:36PM

    I lost the belly fat in my mid-sixties after trying for
years. You might want to read the blog on my
SparkPage about weight loss after menopause.
The shift in our shape is largely about hormones.
When we recondition our hormone responses,
everything really does change. It really is that
easy. Once I figured this out, the weight dropped
slowly and steadily.

When I started my waist was 35." For the last three
years, it has remained a trim 25." I eat more calories
than I did in my forties and now maintain the weight
I was in eight grade. I still eat some sugar, white flour,
pasta, etc. I really enjoy my diet and have found
maintenance to be relatively easy.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2013 1:39:05 PM

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NELLJONES 9/19/2013 8:33AM

    I am 64 and don't have "belly fat" but I do have really soft loose skin that oozes over the top of my jeans a little, and crinkles into rolls when I sit down. The only thing for that is surgery, and I'll pass. I have learned to enjoy my cup of lasagna, and just a tablespoon of each component in a Cobb Salad. The one upside, I guess, is that time seems to pass faster at my age, so "a couple times a year" doesn't feel so onerous.

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TORTISE110 9/19/2013 6:29AM

    Like you I am over 60 and know it's a challenge! I hope you find your path.

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GENRE009 9/19/2013 12:57AM

    I do weight Watchers with spark, because it teaches you how to change your lifestyle! If you eat properly, you will loose 2 pounds almost with out exercising. You can eat lot, and still loose weight. It's what you eat. I am 5'3", 157 is fat for me, at a size 12.
In order to get down, my daily intake is1200 pounds a day. Go on the diabetic diet by spark. If you don't understand it, just remember you can change what is listed by clicking on the item, or look for diabetic recipes. They are the healthiest. If you are a vegetarian, then you need to know the vitamin content of the foods you are combining, and take certain vitamins.

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ZRIE014 9/19/2013 12:51AM


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Staying on a different course

Thursday, September 05, 2013

I just couldn't believe it when the scale number hit my designated goal weight. It was really anticlimactic, the number on the scale just came up and no fireworks or balloons appeared. But I am now struggling with how to keep the number on the scale within a 2 pound range. I am still tracking, and I get myself going out for the long walks but I wasn't sure where I was going Then I read GETFIT2LIVE

The description of her commitment to keeping the weight off made me realize that there are still goals to be set and reached in the Maintenance stage. In some ways it was easier to be in the losing weight stage because it seemed like there was an end. But Maintenance does not have an end, something I never fully grasped the last 3 times I got to this point. So now I need SP more than ever to help keep me heading towards goals I never really set before. I do like being in my clothes size, my stamina is much better, I am stronger and I sleep better. So the actions it took to get here were definitely worth it. Now it is a different course, different goals to set and there is more to learn about myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 9/18/2013 5:22PM

    I can totally relate to everything you said. When I saw my goal weight I wanted to shout "HEY EVERYBODY COME HERE, LOOK AT THIS" but it was 5am and I was home alone. My kids are grown and moved out, DH and I had only been married six years, he didn't understand my weight struggles in the past and doesn't care how much I weigh. So yes, anticlimactic!

I have lost weight quite a few times over the years but never kept it off long. I posted on spark that I hit my goal weight and maybe this time I'd keep on reading blogs on to remind me to keep off the weight.

Someone suggested the At Goal and Maintaining Team and it has been such a HUGE HELP. Depending on the day, I am 2 - 3 pounds below my goal weight and I'm stronger than I've ever been so YAHOO!

Welcome to the club! Glad to have ya!


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CLAIREINPARIS 9/11/2013 8:45AM

    Wow, congratulations, this is a wonderful stage, and many of us dream about the day when we will reach it! But I like your attitude (and GETFIT2LIVE): indeed, there are still other goals to reach!

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    I have close friends who are in maintenance and hope to join them some day.

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Oh those cravings

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have gotten to a weight that I plan to stay at for a little while and have increased my exercise minutes. These cravings come over me like wanting a big fat cinnamon roll. Or the need to go out and find some lasagna to have as a snack. I have increased the amount of carbs I am eating because that seems to be what I am craving. So now I have planned more potatoes, pasta, rice and bread into my day. That seems to help, along with a little more protein. Trying to redirect those cravings to healthy foods.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEWELLNESS 10/8/2013 7:55PM

    I'm a firm believer that the on;y way to get rid of the carb/sugar cravings is to stay away from those foods as much as possible. It's like being a heroine addict and saying, well, maybe just a couple times a year! Unfortunately, that one time will trigger those addictive centers in the brain and you will be craving it more.

I am having some success with telling myself and others, "I just don't eat that stuff". Once those words come out of my mouth, there is no turning back! A clean, healthy diet feels good when you don't let the other stuff in... That's what I tell myself!!

Good luck!

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    I'm the opposite. High glycemic index carbs actually cause me to have worse cravings. If I'm hungry I eat some protein and it usually stops the cravings for me.

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KPETSCHE 8/17/2013 11:50PM

    It sounds like a good plan. Mashed potatoes and lasagna are ALWAYS a yummy comfort food. I know that I need to eat more protein but I have a hard time doing so. I may have to look at adding protein powder to some of my cooking/baking. I use it in smoothies but I don't always want the extra calories with all the frozen fruit that I put in to make it taste better.

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And the journey continues

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five years ago was the last time I saw any number below 160 on the scale. It has been reading 156.5 – 157 during the past week. 157 has been my goal weight and here it is. I should be ecstatic, bursting with pride, or at least doing a happy dance. Instead I went out to lunch and ate a fattening entrée, the whole thing, disregarding the high calorie count. Then a coffee get together at my house with a few of my friends in the neighborhood was an excuse to buy a large package of mini-scones, and proceed to eat quite a few of them. At least I recognized that I would eat all of the left overs and threw them in the trash.

I can see that maintaining a particular weight is all about VIGILANCE EVERY DAY. I have been reading some of the articles on maintenance and there is a lot of helpful advice but it really comes down to getting up each and every morning with the thought that VIGILANCE is the only way to keep the weight off. Losing weight and keeping it off is a time consuming life- long project.

Several things I read outside of Spark People really made me see that without VIGILANCE the weight will come back.

First important fact is …“And it gets harder to keep the pounds off as the years roll by…” Life gets busier, you add more activities, the stresses get harder to manage, many social occasions include eating, hard to find time to make healthy meals, and fat, sweet, salty foods taste really good. Broccoli is not as interesting. The life issues and aging process are not going to go away and the weight maintenance issue needs VIGILANCE.

Second idea I recognized was that the maintenance articles are all about the choices and plans that you need to make and do to keep the weight off. But I found that there are reasons why it may be difficult to keep off weight I’ve already lost and I really need to be VIGILANT in watching my choices. There are weight gaining traps. In just a few days of seeing that 157 number on my scale I am already taking action to nudge the scale number back up.

Trap 1: Eating Larger Portions
For the last year I have been being careful when I go out to eat in restaurants. Then I get to a target weight and I pig out on a large, heavily sauced plate of spaghetti. It wasn’t even a great choice at that restaurant, something inside snapped when I was looking at the menu. Then instead of buying the right amount of food for the number of people at the coffee get together, I bought way too much for all of us to eat. That gave me the excuse to eat 8 little scones.

Trap 2: Consuming Too Many Calories
“Your weight loss management includes watching your calorie intake. Eat only lean protein, fish, vegetables and fruits for meals. Avoid sugary cakes, cookies and high-calorie sodas. Also resist the urge to add butter and other condiments to your food.” You can see where I totally fell into this trap by using a coffee get together to justify buying scones. I never have anything like that in the house or even eat it outside of the house anymore. The day before I made a vegetable stew for dinner and used full-fat mascarpone cheese instead of low fat sour cream. At least there is no butter in the house to add to sauces I like to make.

Trap 3: Exercising Less Often
I HATE to exercise and can find any excuse to avoid it. You can see where this is going. Yesterday I canceled the morning walk because of the coffee get together. Later in the afternoon, I was cleaning out cupboards, moving boxes and clearing out some items from the garage. I justified not doing a video or taking a walk because I was being active. Although I was very active it wasn’t the same as doing a fitness video and it is easy to find excuses to avoid doing the exercise.

Trap 4: Not Drinking Enough Water
This is not a problem, although sometimes when I get busy I don’t drink as much as I should.

Trap 5: Too Busy
This is always an excuse I use to avoid exercising. It takes time to eat healthy and exercise every day. Sometimes it is hard to incorporate them when the demands pile up. It is easy to get off track one day and then find that it is weeks later and you haven’t been making great food choices and your walking shoes haven’t been outside in quite a while. Somehow I have to motivate myself to work in the exercise. This will be a big struggle but I find that if I don’t exercise my eating choices deteriorate rapidly.

Trap 6: Buying Unhealthy Food
Oh this is so easy to do. Walking in the grocery store is an exercise in will power especially if you don't have a plan before you go in. Obviously choosing sugary, fat foods is one of my problems since I succumbed to the mini-scones. I generally make my list but this time I did not have a thoughtful plan before I went to the store. This is something I can avoid by not being Hungary when I shop and writing down what I am going to buy before I go in. I am beginning to worry about the holidays that begin in October and all of the social gatherings involving food. Bringing hummus and celery gets old.

Trap 7: Not Getting Enough Sleep
This is not usually a problem, although I am more aware of nibbling if I wake up in the middle of the night. I have a few go to small low calorie choices which help me resist the urge to eat half of a peanut butter jar (something I have done in the past).

VIGILANCE is going to be my mantra. Also, over the next few months I am going to watch my motivations and feelings as I continue on the journey. Breaking bad habits and making new ones that will stick is going to take a lot of time.

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CARRIE1948 9/5/2013 4:05PM

    This is brilliant! Wonderful advice.

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    It seems like we all suffer from these problems at one time or another and need to be vigilant against them. It's too easy to put it back on.

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Calories sneaking up

Friday, August 09, 2013

There are foods that I do not eat because they cause me physical pain, such as thick steaks and cheesecakes. It is easy not to choose them under any circumstances because I suffer the next day. I believe that they are too high in saturated fats for me. Then there are foods I love and have a hard time doing any portion control such as pasta, brownies, chocolate or cookies.

In any form --cold, hot, red sauce, white sauce, no sauce, with vegetables, with meat—pasta is my favorite food to eat and portion control goes out the window. So I don’t make it and don’t order it very often at restaurants. I have eaten a whole pan of brownies by myself out of the freezer. So I avoid brownies by never making them. Most brownies you buy in bakeries or stores don’t taste really good to me, often too sweet so I can resist them.

The Spark program advocates moderation and figuring out how to bring in “problem foods” into your life. They say the studies show if you ban foods from your life the foods will cause problems and that you will not avoid them indefinitely. If there are no new strategies, then it may result in bingeing on all the foods you’ve been denying yourself, undoing all your hard work in a single day. then those foods could cause you to over indulge and then gain weight back.

The Spark People also say “you won't have to give up your favorite treats if you find ways to work them into your meal plans so they don’t interfere with your health goals. Without the guilt and deprivation, you’ll be able to break the pattern of cravings, emotional swings, and binges that defeats so many diets.” The idea is that you develop new habits, make different choices, and trust your instinct to make better food decisions.

My cholesterol numbers have been rising over the past year so I have been attempting to follow the cholesterol food plan. I have lost weight but it stalled so I did a two week Focus and brought my weight down. This week I have been following the plan but I notice that I am slipping again. I realized that I eat too many foods with high fat calorie counts. Peanut butter, feta cheese, low fat cheese, olive oil, low fat sour cream and skim milk are good but not all of them all in one day. I had been holding the fat calories to around 40-45 the low end of my range. This week I have been eating about 60-70, the high end of my range.

For the next 4 days, I am going to go back to 40 calories of fat each day and meanwhile try to think how to make better decisions. Because I can see that I will need to do this for all my problem foods, the ones that I have a hard time saying no and have difficulty with portion control.

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SADIEMAE32 8/13/2013 11:18AM

    I agree with STARTINGOVER37. I cut out all of my problem foods daily, but once a week I have a cheat day. I eat those foods then, but also use that time to work on portion control. But since it's my cheat day, if I go over then I don't get down on myself. Like you, I hope one day to have control over them.

Good luck!! emoticon

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    I hope it works well for you.

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KEYTOSLIM 8/9/2013 12:59AM

    I too had to find ways to manage my "problem foods". I try to use the 80/20 rule. 80% of my calories must be quality food. 20% are the things like creamer in my coffee, crackers with my salad, etc. It helped me!

Good Luck!

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STARTINGOVER37 8/9/2013 12:24AM

    You do need to have a day each week that is a cheat day, but you want to be sure to still not over indulge. Just knowing that if you can make it to Wednesday you can have a special treat for all of your hard work. Maybe to keep yourself from eating all the brownies, you could make a pan of brownies take one out for your treat day and then take the remaining on a plate to a neighbor. My cheat day is generally on Fridays, because I weigh in that morning and then I have a week to work off whatever I may have decided to eat. I like all kinds of food and don't want to have to cut them out permanently. You will notice the less you eat something that you enjoyed it doesn't taste as good when you eat it again. I used to drink several cans of pop a day, but now I can barely stand the taste of any kind of pop. You can do this, it just takes time. Hang in there and you will get it all figured out.

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