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Still Maintaining - Must Focus on Quantity and Quality

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Friday, July 19, 2013

I finally stopped yo-yoing last August and have really become a "maintainer". Maintainers are not merely folks who have reached their goal weight. Maintainers are focused. Maintainers are conscious of their food and beverage choices. They exercise regularly. Maintainers know that just because they have reached their goal weight does not mean they can return to an unhealthy lifestyle.

I've been doing really awesome here the last year. I don't mind admitting that I haven't been tracking my calories in maintenance,. I have really been focusing on eating healthy foods 80% of the time and not so healthy 20%. It has been working great until this summer. I gained 5 lbs! We have been out of town a lot and it has been more difficult to make healthy food choices and get all my workouts in.

The past few weeks I have been focused on making healthy food choices and getting plenty of exercise. However, the weight just wasn't coming off. I was listening to sparkpeople radio, and one of the gals (I don't remember which), was talking about eating to a 5. If you think about your hunger scale as 0 being starved and 10 being stuffed, stop eating when you get to a 5. It hit me like a ton of bricks! I had let my portions get out of control!! Even though I was making healthy meals, I was overeating.

This week I have really been thinking about eating to a 5. Surprise, surprise, the scale is moving. I feel like the lesson here is that we must always evaluate what we are doing and whether it is working. Even though I had been maintaining for almost a year, I let a bad habit sneak back in. If I hadn't been tracking my weight, being aware of my food, and using my resources (sparkpeople radio), 5 pounds could've easily turned into 15 or more!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I weigh in everyday. Don't think I'll ever want to stop either. It's just too easy to get complacent and let those bad habits back in. A day or two is one thing, more than that, I would have to be tracking my food and fitness diligently.
    1648 days ago
  • MY1FAN
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    1654 days ago
  • RENATA144
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    1654 days ago
  • BABARR67
    emoticon That's the sign I keep seeing as my weight slowly creeps up. I started back on my couch to 5k program, but I have been eating more like 50/50, not 80/20. I am at about 175 (I have a digital scale that gives a slightly different weight every time I step on it, so I usually go 3 times and take an avg. LOL) and want to be under 165. Under 160 if I really want to admit it. I am glad that you figured out your problem. I know mine is eating the delicious pb oatmeal choc chip cookies my stepdaughter just made!
    1656 days ago
    Great point! Thanks for sharing!
    1657 days ago
    Great blog! I will give this a try.
    1658 days ago
    This is great news! Being a maintainer is about maintaining a weight number and also maintaining your healthy lifestyle, as you have described here.

    I find that something that relates to the eating to a 5, is to eat at the low end of the calorie allowance for the day. I started doing this and stopped feeling sluggish after lunch to the point of having to take naps.

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    1659 days ago
  • _JODI404
    emoticon for sharing what you learned! Eating to a level '5' is really great advice. I don't track in maintenance, but sometimes I do get the food scale out once in a while and make sure I am still eyeballing my portions correctly by validating with the scale occasionally. A little bit over here and there regularly can and will add up!

    I like your 80/20 balance. Very healthy, and "maintainable"!

    emoticon on your success to date and best wishes for continued health, fitness, and wellness!

    1659 days ago
    1659 days ago
    I'm like Linda - I need to track! But its not just for calories, its to be sure I'm keeping my nutrients in balance. Because you are do right - those pounds can creep back on if we aren't vigilant!! I'm DONE with yoyoing - thanks to SparkPeople! emoticon emoticon
    1660 days ago
    Great Amanda! I am trying to lose weight for a challenge. I lost 4 pound and now find it coming back to me. I want to lose five and be done. You know we are never done watching and keep ourselves on track. Wow! I am so glad you figure out that it was the portion control. I have been going to the gym and exercising more. I felt hungrier and eat a little more so I did not lose. I must exercise and not eat any more than 1200 calories per day. Linda from bean town
    1660 days ago
    You're so right ! Just because we reach that goal does not mean we can stop being vigilant. Thank you for the reminder !
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    1660 days ago
    So glad you're here to share your wisdom, and congrats on getting that scale to move!
    1660 days ago
    Love to hear from maintainers! Thanks for sharing. I need to hear of struggles and setbacks as well as how they are overcome to remind me that this is a lifelong process that is possible to with real people like you and me and fellow Sparkers. Sparker Nancyanne55 vlogged on maintainance and said, "the only real difference in losing and maintaining is basically 300 calories." Pretty simple. We cannot just go back to the old ways and expect new results. emoticon
    1660 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great blog. You are so right..you easily could have let it slide to 15. You paid attention and stayed focused. That was an inspiring story.

    1660 days ago
  • MOMMY445
    you are doing so well,Amanda! keep it up! have a wonderful day!
    1660 days ago
    So true. Trying to eat on auto pilot just doesn't work. We really have to be here and know what we're eating if we want to stay at maintenance.
    1660 days ago
    Great blog!! Thanks for sharing!!
    1660 days ago
    That's great! I agree, I have more trouble with portion control than with healthy eating. Another thing that I figured out is that it is ok to be hungry. The afternoon hunger pang is real, but can be distracted with water, tea, a brisk walk, or something other than a chocolate chip cookie from the coffee bar. Same in the evenings - if I had a good dinner, I probably don't need ice cream, pretzels, or other junk. I can go to bed hungry and still be fine. If you can make the portion sizes habit and get comfortable with not being sated (stuffed), then you can make some real progress!
    1660 days ago
    It's so true, we need to be vigilant and keep learning!
    1660 days ago
  • DSJB9999
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    1660 days ago
    Congratulations! Yes, it certainly is a journey...and just when we think there's nothing else to learn...the universe sends us something new!

    1660 days ago
    Great blog! That's so true about watching portion sizes - it's so easy to want to get to that full feeling (a 6-8), instead of just satisfied (a 5). Thanks for sharing!
    H :)
    1660 days ago
    Great blog! Great accomplishment. You got it back!! Way to go. You are a maintainer for sure!!!
    1660 days ago
    1660 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I haven't officially tracked for over three years, remaining relative steady for over a year after two years of losing, but I am aware of whether I'm getting hungry and overeating. My habts can get a little loose in the summer but that's because of fruit! I do tend to eat more to a 6 because I don't snack. I've found it MUCH easier just to limit myself to meals. This is part of the reason I haven't needed to track. Most of my meals have about the same ratio of foods, keeping the dense foods less than half of the volume on one plate per meal. I get enough of the delicious foods I like and don't have to worry about every mouthful.

    I'm glad this is working for you AND that the maintenance team drew attention to you. It's so hard for me to accept that people can't learn after years about how much food they really need, if they're honest. I want to be able to travel to the Third World again, and there aren't any calorie charts for the food there! But I know when I'm eating too often and too much.
    1660 days ago
    I'm encouraged to read that there actually are people who can maintain without detailed tracking! Right now, I am not such a person. I may never be one. But I see a couple things I have in common with your observations:

    1. I weigh every day. I want the feedback of how I'm doing before a change is big enough to affect how my belt fits.

    2. When I see a little change, I want to correct it before it becomes a big change.

    I applaud your focus, and thank you for the idea of eating to a 5. Maybe some day I'll be able to stop tracking my food . . . but I'm not there yet.
    1660 days ago
    Terrific: I'm going to remember that eating to a 5 is enough! And: hate that stuffed 10 feeling actually . . .
    1660 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon Quite the aha moment! I am glad this is working for you!
    While a number of people can go on the feel of things and guesstimating their portions, that is not my style. Accurate tracking and calorie counting works for me. I never left Sparkpeople when I reached goal weight because too many of my friends would have been left behind still trying to keep on their healthy journey and I stand by my friends. They also stand by me which helps keep ME accountable. But nothing beats really seeing the calories adding up and how they relate to the exercise you put out. I really like the new method of tracking where the calorie range changes as your exercise gets tracked, makes it even easier to see where you should be with the nutrition on a daily basis.
    Keep up the great work!
    1660 days ago
  • CINDYKC2000
    Thanks for the reminder. emoticon emoticon
    1660 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this information! I reached goal in June so this is very helpful.

    1660 days ago
    Great insight! We all need to follow this advice. :D
    1660 days ago
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    1667 days ago
  • OJ_2_OK
    great job Amanda! keep up the great focus! I hope to get to that stage, I don't feel like IM quite there yet.
    1669 days ago
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