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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
12/24/11 12:23 P

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Glad you are enjoying the thread! Feel free to ask any question and contribute your own thoughts and experiences. None of us have figured this all out, we are all trying to keep learning. emoticon
Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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VADAVICTORIA's Photo VADAVICTORIA Posts: 842
12/24/11 3:05 A

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I've been on maintenance for 37 days now and so far I've been maintaining below goal. Getting over the fact that I completed my eating program was a little tough at first. I was paranoid about every bite. I turned down dinner invitations because I didn't want to eat restaurant food - who knows what they put into their dishes? I've relaxed a lot since hitting goal though I still prepare my own meals as much as possible.

Maybe the body of a formerly overweight or obese, being used to having higher caloric intake, naturally produces those hormones signaling the brain to eat more. Maybe a year isn't enough? Hopefully these naughty hormones mellow down in a year and a half. Meanwhile, I'm taking it one day at a time, getting to know my body and rebuilding my relationship with food.

Thank you for posting such an interesting topic and for the insightful responses!

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
11/12/11 9:26 P

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I agree with Nell on the eating out and buying prepared foods. I do eat snacks but they are all natural foods that need no prep: some carrots, some grapes, a handful of nuts, an apple, some plain yoghurt.
If we only feasted on special holidays (for one meal, not 3 days) then even a big Thanksgiving dinner is truly no big deal. If we ate slowly, enjoying every bite until we are comfortably full, even if it's not the healthiest then on these special occasions we can celebrate with food. I'm certainly planning on it. emoticon

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (205,330)
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11/12/11 7:32 P

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Kevin, have you read Michael Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma", or "In Defense of Food"? Those books explore the food supply historically and currently and its effect on our collective weight. He suggests that the easy availability of prepared food is the problem. Right now if you want, say, fried chicken, you just hop in the car and go get it. If you only eat what you cook, the effort of frying is enough to make sure you only do it once in awhile. When I was young we ate out maybe once a year, and there weren't very many "snack" foods available. (I hate the idea that snack food has become it's own category.) It was enough work for Mom to feed us three times a day; she didn't have the time to do more. I eat now the way we did back then: no snacks, and three wonderful, measured, homemade meals every day. I eat out once every couple of months. It's a lot easier to maintain that way.

I recommend those books if you have any interest in food as a social concept.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


 current weight: -1.2  under
 
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MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (146,752)
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11/12/11 5:08 P

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I've considered myself to be in maintenance for five weeks. During those five weeks, I've lost five and a fraction pounds. That's not immediately troubling, because I don't know where my true healthiest weight should be; but not losing to an unhealthy level is one of my low-grade, longer-term concerns.

It's theoretically possible that I could learn to eat naturally and not eat too much or too little. At this point, I think it unlikely. Without tracking to keep me honest, I'm likely to eat far too many carbs and fats when hungry instead of getting enough protein to satisfy the hunger. Without tracking to keep me honest, I could undereat on days when I get protein and exercise.

Intellectually, I know that for most of history humans ate variable amounts of food as well as variable types of food. There were hard times and times of plenty. There were feast days and fast days. A couple generations ago, there were three meals a day, with a large meal on Sunday. So I'm okay with the concept of an occasional, or even a regular, day that goes over the stated calories. But I don't know how to manage that yet, and I don't think I'd have a chance of managing it without tracking. Reality is that I live in a time of perpetual plenty, with respect to food.

I know how to manage what I eat by tracking. I hope I can learn how to change the target ranges appropriately, because that seems more likely than my learning how to manage food based on hunger and appetite.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 162


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,327
11/12/11 12:54 P

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If you are legitimately not worrying over every bite you eat, don't get anxious when you think of having some "fattening" food, don't fear social situations that may make you want to overeat, aren't purposely forcing yourself to endure long bouts of hunger, etc. maybe you are one of the percentage of people who are meant to be at the low end of her BMI.



*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (205,330)
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11/12/11 11:05 A

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I wouldn't worry about "anorexia". A BMI of under 18.5 is considered "thin", and below that level you have to consider other mental criteria like self hatred, unnatural need to control, unnatural body images. Because of that, some women can get down to 17 without being "anorexic". My BMI is 17.6 and I am most definitely NOT anorexic, doctor's opinion and everything. I most assuredly eat a good meal three times a day. I even eat dessert sometimes. The only people who comment on my size are the ones who tell me my hair is too light: they just haven't seen me in awhile and are expecting to see me as I was. I think for many of us who were overweight we may tend to exaggerate the concept of thin, even though we worked so hard for it.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


 current weight: -1.2  under
 
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
11/12/11 10:41 A

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Denise, you say you are eating things you shouldn't. Do you mean foods that are bad for anyone, like sugar or white flour or do you refer to quantity or maybe higher fat items? The reason I'm asking is that I think it makes a huge difference to distinguish. It is only highly processed foods or foods that have high levels of toxins that should be avoided in maintenance. How much you eat depends on how much you exercise and your metabolism. Some people only eat about 1500 calories (if you're very petite and small boned) others eat over 3000 calories. It sounds like your body is telling you it needs a lot more of something. emoticon

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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DENISEFULLER's Photo DENISEFULLER SparkPoints: (22,640)
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11/12/11 1:20 A

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I admit that some days lately I eat things I know I shouldn't because people keep asking me if I'm OK because I'm so skinny. I'm near the bottom of my BMI and if I don't bulk up a little I'll look anorexic. Other than continually losing weight, I've been in maintenance for nearly a year. I'd just like to maintain at a higher weight!

I started SP at 138 lbs in October 2010. My goal weight was supposed to be 125, which I reached in January 2011. I have stayed at 125 (give or take a few pounds) ever since.


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CECE0330's Photo CECE0330 Posts: 3,442
10/31/11 3:48 P

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I've only been maintaining for a month now, but here is my experience so far:

I've overhauled my eating to wipe out processed foods. I eat limited carbs, and very little added sugar or man-made sweeteners (I'm a huge fan of Stevia). I eat lean protein, full-fat dairy, nuts, pretty much all fruits & veggies. I find I am EXTREMELY satisfied, rarely feel hungry, and in fact have had to force myself to eat MORE because my initial goal weight was 144, and I'm now sitting at 139. For me, it's the carbs that are the key. Empty carbs make me CRAVE MORE MORE MORE!!!!! It's amazing to me the difference, I felt so deprived all the time limiting myself to 1200-1500 calories, and now I find myself naturally coming in at that same amount and forcing myself to eat more.

There are so many factors that go into maintenance, it's really almost impossible to have a true picture of the statistics. I mean, WHY a person became overweight in the first place; genetic makeup, HOW they lost weight, WHY they lost weight (for their wedding? to make someone else happy?), their overall knowledge of fitness & nutrition....ALL these play into the likelihood of maintaining for the duration. Bottom line, I don't put a lot of stock in articles like this.


"Strong is the new Skinny"

SW: 212
GW: 142
CW: 150.4 :( Oops


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Photo 4A-HEALTHY-BMI Posts: 5,930
10/31/11 12:42 A

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The comments and discussion on this thread were really helpful reading for me.

I only have a couple of things to mention, since so many great things were already said, better than I could have written them!

1) There are also studies out there that show no metabolic changes in people who have lost weight. The reason this study disagrees with others could be due to lots of factors, some of which have been mentioned on this thread (very low calorie diet, no exercise, small sample size, etc.)

2) You need to figure out what is going to work for YOU. If parts of your current routine seem onerous, try to come up with creative ways to make them less of a burden. You can try reframing the onerous things in a more positive light, or you can try doing things differently. What worked for you last year might not work this year. I think as we grow and change we need to continue to adapt to manage the things in our lives that are priorities.

Regarding my own personal feelings on the matter, all I really care about in life right now is kayaking, and getting better at it. I don't begrudge the food and exercise tracking I do because I'm trying to see how far I can push myself physically in an extreme sport. I consider what I do to be part of my training, and compared with all the work that elite athletes have to do to maintain their desired level of fitness, I feel pretty lucky that I can manage what I've got with so little effort.

And if I take into account that 2 years ago I was twice this size and super morbidly obese and now I'm holding my own with college kids in their 20s (and me about to turn 46 in a few weeks), well, I'm pretty dang content with the level of effort I'm currently putting in! LOL

I might feel different about things next year or 10 years from now. But at the moment I'm pretty happy working toward the highest level of fitness I can achieve.

Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 10/31/2011 (15:57)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

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Goal 155 +/- 3%


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (205,330)
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10/30/11 6:11 P

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Oolala, it IS a second language! My mind just automatically slots food components into their proper exchanges, and jotting them down is just something I do when I sit down at my table with a cup of coffee. Weighing food components is actually EASIER than using volumetric measurement. I don't have to remind myself to do it every day any more than I have to remind myself to brush my hair or put on my shoes. The part that still requires care is the "stinkin thinkin": one won't hurt. Or just this once. Or I deserve it. Or I can keep it in the house....for guests. Or I can't throw it out it would be such a waste. We all know that familiar litany. Whenever I hear just a shadow of one of those thoughts I back up. If I let it get to far it would be like trying to stop throwing up: once you start it's too late. I have a million tools now to keep that thought process at bay, and live the life I have learned to love.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,340
10/30/11 6:00 P

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Well put OOLALA and I like your pumpkin patch picture!

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,327
10/30/11 5:51 P

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I wasn't saying people couldn't keep it off, though if you have you are in the minority, but just that it does sound like you have to keep thinking about watching your food and exercise all the time. Of course, if you've had to get used to doing that anyway, it probably just feels normal, like living in another country and having to get used to leaving the house in time to take the subway rather than driving your car... Different, but not necessarily a burden and fear. emoticon

*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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DONNAEDA's Photo DONNAEDA SparkPoints: (98,525)
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10/30/11 4:37 P

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After losing 75 pounds 3 years ago, I regained 27 pounds which I am in the process of losing once again. I find that if I stop being vigilent about tracking and exercise I will gain my weight back. thats what happened to me 27 pounds ago. There was a news article that those who lose a great deal of weight, their body hormones encourage the person to regain the weight because that is what the body is used to. Thus many people regaining the entire weightloss. So I guess the odds of us keeping it off, lies in whether we want to fight the battle of the bulge or not. I guess I am going to continue my fight.

Donna
Brown Deer, WI
leader of Weight Watchers Support team - leader
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ONEKIDSMOM's Photo ONEKIDSMOM Posts: 6,945
10/30/11 3:42 P
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Susie, you and I are on about the same schedule: did it in my late 30's, kept it off for nearly 5 years; again in my late 40's, early 50's, and then after only about a year and a half lapse, again now in my late 50's. This has to be the last time!

I walk 6 or 7 days a week, sometimes swap out a jog/run for one of them. Weights twice a week "on average". Just coming off a "slow" month for the weights, and just starting to swim again. Plan to start biking again. Activity is a huge key to controlling my eating, too. They work hand in hand.

- Barb

Defeat is temporary: giving up makes it permanent! Never give up!

Max lifetime weight 224.5

Maintaining with 122 marked as "goal" since October 2010


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BESTSUSIEYET's Photo BESTSUSIEYET Posts: 3,502
10/30/11 2:54 P

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I have been at goal for over 2 years now. (And this weight is about 10 lbs less than I originally thought was my goal.) I have not been more than 3# above goal. I started out with this plan - build healthy habits that I can continue for a lifetime. It took about 8 months to lose 55#. I never really bounced up & down. It was a slow, steady loss. I take a walk 4-5x/week (30-45 min). I use the weights and machines at the gym 2x/week. Some weeks I get far more fitness minutes than others, but this is my average. I tracked everything for the lose-it period, and probably 9-12 months after. I have changed the way I cook, but still go out to lunch 2x/ week with co-workers. Have learned a lot about portion control. I bake lower fat goodies using splenda and enjoy them regularly. I guess I'm in the minority, because this hasn't been a really hard thing. I love how I look and feel, and that is enough to keep me faithful to my plan. Wish I could say, "do what I do, and it'll work the same for you." I know, though, how unique each of us is. I am just thankful that right now, it is working for me.

Note:I have "succeeded" 2x before ... Kept it off the first time for 7 years, then dropped exercise and went back to eating sweets like crazy during the stress of caring for my Mom during her battle with cancer. Gained it all back. Took several years to convince myself to try again. The second time I lost less and didn't make exercise a priority. Gradually put the pounds back on, again going crazy with sweets while caring for my Dad in his end-of-life challenges. So I know the sweetness of success, and that I CAN do it ... I also know that if I let myself, I will fall back into very unhealthy patterns. I lost in my early 30's, my mid-40's, and now my late 50's. I Cannot(!!!) set myself up to have to do it again in my 70's!!

Edited by: BESTSUSIEYET at: 10/30/2011 (14:59)
"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress." I Timothy 4:15

1 Cor. 10:23 "Everything is permissable, but not everything is beneficial."
(NIV)



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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,340
10/30/11 1:31 P

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I could see how you would find the article discouraging...but the subject were not slowly changing their eating and activity habits. They were on a 550 calorie a day low fat diet. That "abuse" would spark anyone's body to do all it could to get more food in to protect itself. I have maintained for over 5 years. I believe it is because of several factors. First I took 8 1/2 months to lose 60 lbs. averaging about 1 3/4 lb./week. I added physical activity to my routine and amped it up as I went along. I did not think about what I was doing as dieting, but as returning to a healthy life style I would continue to follow. I also discovered yoga just after I reached my goal and I was in the midst of therapy for clinical depression. The combination of the physical work in yoga and the emotional work in therapy helped me, not to discover an even keel, but to be able to deal with the vagaries of life.
I found Spark about 2 years ago and believe it helps as well. By using the nutrition and fitness trackers I stay aware of my eating and physical health. I am 66 and am the healthiest I have ever been.
Yes, you can maintain.... Do I bounce around.... yes... I have been 8 lbs. less than I am right now and once I was about 8 lbs above the high of my goal range. Right now I am at the high end of my 7 lb. goal range.

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (205,330)
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10/30/11 12:44 P

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I lost my weight on WW in 1970. I gained 10 pounds while plowing through menopause 10 years ago, and have lost that, but other than that I've been at goal.

It isn't a struggle as long as I stay on top of it. I have been through countless kitchen scales, and I use them!! Without scales, my eyes will enlarge, and the pasta or the meat that I'd swear was 2 oz is really 3. The potato that I was sure would be 4 oz was really 6. That 6 oz orange? It was 8oz. I have to keep my eyes in check.

I still make notes of what I eat. I count exchanges and jot them in my notebook. I do all my own cooking, seldom eat out (serving sizes have ballooned in my lifetime), and I don't trust the cooks with regard to the amount of oil they might splash in a pan before cooking.

Is it onerous? No. I don't count individual nutrients or calories; too much fine detail would send me over the edge. Do I feel deprived? No, I eat very well. As the cook, I make sure that I eat what I like, just made the right way. My tasted buds have adjusted to less butter and sugar, and I don't really remember what a Cheeto tastes like.

I don't do formal exercise, yet my weight stays remarkably stable. It isn't hard, just careful. A lot is in the attitude: I get to eat THREE times a day!! And since I now love foods that are legal (to my program) I can enjoy eating every bite. Will I ever be as intuitive as my sister, who has never been overweight in all of her 61 years? No, but that's OK. She has problems I don't have, and I have problems she doesn't have. In terms of "fairness" it all evens out.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,963
10/30/11 12:37 P

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I copied the first short paragraph to the article:
"As if Americans needed any reminder that weight loss is hard and maintaining weight loss even harder, a study has found that for at least a year, subjects who shed weight on a low-calorie diet were hungrier than when they started and had higher levels of hormones that tell the body to eat more, conserve energy and store away fuel as fat."
Don't know how to highlight but I want to draw attention to the "low-fat" part. This is my experience with low-fat diets that I'm constantly hungry and will even gain lots of weight on a maintenance diet calorie level. But low-fat is not a natural diet. Eggs, milk, nuts, oils and some fruits like avocado naturally have fat. Our brain is made mostly of fat I believe. Our body needs fat-soluble vitamins that are not absorbed well on a low-fat diet.
Our body can also be trained through lower-intensity cardio to burn mostly fat for energy. (See my blog about the Maffetone method for more info on this.)
Since I stopped eating low-fat several years ago I have had no trouble maintaining (within 10 lbs., so not perfectly) without counting calories, feeling hungry, depriving myself of any natural foods. I will choose relatively low-fat cuts of meat, but mostly to avoid pollutants that accumulate in fat. I will also eat organic whenever I can to avoid pollutants that mess with our bodies hormones and keep us fat.
Two books that will give lots of answers on thes topics:

Jillian Michael's "Master your metabolism", this book is basically an introduction to endocrinology for everyone.

Rex Russell's "What the Bible says about Healthy Living", this book explains how natural foods are the perfect replacement parts for the machine that is our body (with a few exceptions)
I'm just restarting the group that discusses this book. If anyone is interested take a look here:
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
nd
ividual.asp?gid=44781


The other part about the study is that it leaves exercise out of the equation. Since our bodies were designed to move, and move a lot more than what is considered normal in our society, it's no surprise that people will regain weight if they don't move quite a bit regularly. It does not have to be high-intensity exercise but it has to be for an extended period of time.

The last 10-15 lbs. are harder to get rid off for sure. It takes getting to know your body and fine tuning the system. For me it was working on reducing my stress (physically, emotionally, mentally) that got me there because stress affects hormones tremendously.

Don't give up, you'll get there eventually.
Birgit emoticon

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 10/30/2011 (12:42)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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FISHPOND7's Photo FISHPOND7 Posts: 1,191
10/30/11 12:25 P

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Interesting article. I wonder if one of the producers of HCG, the hormone popularly used in the latest diet fad, commissioned the study. In the HCG "diet" the calorie level is in the 500 calorie per day range for about a month (40 days, I think). I agree; it's discouraging.
Another good read with a different slant is the book "The End of Overeating" by David Kessler, MD. It approaches the problem from the food side, especially "manufactured" food that is designed to make us crave more.
For me, keeping to a 1200 basis diet, rotating up or down depending on calories burned that day, and eliminating almost all grains has taken away the cravings to eat more. When I go over to friends, or spend a weekend out of town and eat at restaurants that serve yummy bread which I eat, then it takes me several weeks to get off the craving and overeating merry-go-round. When I'm "on plan" then, like you, eating is not a struggle.

~ Beth~

You can exercise until the cows come home, but unless you also eat right you'll still be a cow coming home.

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. William Penn, circa 1686


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ONEKIDSMOM's Photo ONEKIDSMOM Posts: 6,945
10/30/11 12:24 P
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The statistics are certainly discouraging, aren't they? I can't say I'm over 2 years, I'm 1 year and three months into what I consider my maintenance phase (this time). I can say that I kept "the bulk of" my weight off for over 4, nearly 5 years, fifteen years ago... and that was the beginning of "I know what it feels like to be fit and I really want to get back there"... except of course, for the times when I didn't care.

I'm hoping you get some "real" bites on whether anyone feels they are on solid ground, but I rather suspect that those who truly are on solid ground don't feel the need to keep sparking! Sigh.



- Barb

Defeat is temporary: giving up makes it permanent! Never give up!

Max lifetime weight 224.5

Maintaining with 122 marked as "goal" since October 2010


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,327
10/30/11 12:09 P

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This article about how many body chemicals fight to have a person keep her fat and get it back if she loses it sounds very discouraging to me, though I wasn't officially obese for very long and I've kept most of the weight I have lost (not to goal) in the past few years. I just can't seem to get geared up for these last 14 pounds (and they won't even put me in the thin range.) Isn't there anyone out there after two years of maintenance (that's the minimum time it's been shown that the likelihood of relapse greatly decreases) who thinks it's relatively routine and she is not feeling she has to watch every bite? Where it's relatively natural to eat to maintain and not something she has to remind herself all the time is worth the effort?

By the way, most days of the week are not a struggle for me, so I'd like to think that pleasure and contentment can spread to the rest of the week...

Here is the link, though it's been posted in the team stream during this week of October 25.
articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/27/hea
lt
h/la-he-diet-hormones-20111027


*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
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1,670 Days since:  I began the NO S lifestyle
 
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