I was not super obsessive about how many calories I ate to lose--I had been over-eating at such a high rate that when I started to pay any attention at all I cut out 300-500 calories per day. I lost weight at that range--probably 1500 to 1800--until I had lost 25 pounds and hit 142, which is my lowest weight in 18 years and feels like a sheer miracle. So I have stuck at 142 for 8 months without worrying--I could lose another 10 pounds but the fact that I can stay here is easy with my new lifestyle changes that have really stuck. If you add 100 or so a week but keep the good habits of lots of fruit and veggies, treats once or twice a week, not every day, and drink mostly water not sugar drinks, you should be able to stabilize. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (44,432) Posts: 21,742 7/19/13 5:05 P
How I went from loss to maintenance was to start eating at the upper end of my calorie range. I still lost weight because of my exercise, so I added 200 calories every two weeks until I found a range that worked to keep me in my weight range.
I was exercising a lot this spring and Spark automatically raised my calorie range by 300 calories. I tried eating within the new range and I'm happy to say I'm still maintaining. My current range is 1500 - 1850.
Good luck! You have some great advice here, I'm sure it will help.
As others have suggested, calorie range for maintenance is a very personal thing and depends on your overall size, activity, and % lean mass (muscle).
Maintaining is like a moving target. MOBYCARP once suggested the very apt analogy of trying to keep a boat still on a lake in a shifting breeze. When the wind blows harder or changes direction you need to adjust in order to stay in the same place.
For now you can add back in 100 or 200 calories per week and see what the scale does. And make those calories nutritious, not junk food. You want to fuel your nice new body with real food. :-)
I agree with others. Even with identical height, weight, age and activity level, everyone is different, so a formula won't help. For example, fidgeters burn more calories than calm people. it is a process of adjustment, keeping an eye on the scale to check your work. I don't count calories but eat by exchanges, adjusting each day by what I am doing. It takes the same amount of vigilance as losing took, but the adjustments are smaller.
Nell Reston, Virginia
No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.
I second Birgit's comments. It can be hard to take your focus off the scale when it's been so important to us during the weight loss phase, but once you're in a healthy range, it's a great idea to focus on other measures of success and, more importantly, good health. I still use the scale as a tool, but now it's one of many that I use to gauge my progress instead of the only one. As for maintenance calories, I don't think any two of us are alike here in the number of calories we need to maintain--and some here don't even keep track of calories--so I don't think any formula can give you a firm idea of what the best range is for you in maintenance. Like Birgit suggested, I think that gradually increasing the amount of food you eat and focusing on eating the best quality food possible is the best way to go to ensure successful maintenance.
My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.
In my opinion this is the wrong question to ask. I would rather ask what the right amount of body fat % is for your health and fitness goals. BMI only take height and weight into account, not how it's distributed. Weight is a result of muscle mass and body fat as well as hydration level. The closer you are to goal weight the more important this is. I would look in the mirror to find out if you like what you see, not too much body fat, just a thin layer, and some muscling. This will depend on age. Then experiment either by using your appetite as a gauge or gradually increasing the amount of food you eat. Regardless of calorie level, which could vary all the way between 1200 and 4000 calories, depending on many factors, make sure you skip processed foods and buy the highest quality natural food you can afford. Birgit
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