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PINK4YOUTOO Posts: 508
5/28/13 3:41 P

Reaching diet goal then learning how to maintain it!

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
5/28/13 3:08 P

One of the biggest downfalls that people have is the transition from weight loss to maintenance. Very rarely do people have a plan for that. That's why it's so commonplace for people to yo-yo...they know how to lose, they know how to gain, but what's lacking is the maintain.

There's some excellent resources on Sparkpeople:

So I would STRONGLY suggest you formulate a strategy for maintenance.

Here is my plan: When I hit my goal, I will gradually increase my calories by 200/day for two weeks. I will weigh myself 2-3 times a week. If I'm still gradually losing, I will increase my calories by another 100 or 200 and do the same. Although the idea of being super strict doesn't appeal to me, I feel like it's essential to know how many calories I need to maintain. Then I will set a range of +-2.5 pounds. Whenever I get to the high end of my range, I will switch back into weight-loss mode.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/28/13 2:37 P

The quickest way is to just add your deficit calories back in. So if you are set to lose a pound a week, you would add 500 cals to each end of your ranges. For half a pound of loss a week it would be 250 cals per day, 1.5 lb per week would be 750 cals a day and 2 lbs per week translates to 1000 cals a day.

KEEPGOINGEMILY SparkPoints: (20,644)
Fitness Minutes: (11,096)
Posts: 676
5/28/13 1:12 P

On the nutrition tracking page, toward the bottom, next to your weekly progress chart on the right hand side of the screen there's the link to change your nutrition goals. If you wanted to maintain, I suspect you could input that on that page and receive the target range for what you would want to eat to maintain instead of lose.

OHITSKELLY SparkPoints: (14,074)
Fitness Minutes: (9,079)
Posts: 147
5/28/13 12:25 P

A maintenance day for me, as said, would be above 1500 calories. I have one of those days every 2 weeks and I usually eat below 2000 calories anyway but I still feel like I've committed a crime. LOL I have an extra cup of yogurt or popcorn and sometimes a plain peanut butter sandwich on low carb bread and it's enough.

I'm happy I'll soon be at goal, but the whole maintenance thing seems like more work and tedious. I don't expect to just go nuts eating but I was hoping I didn't have to continue to be so diligent. If I have to, then I have to. This is a way of life for me now, not just a 6 months on 6 months off thing.

Is there a special formula for figuring out one's maintenance calories or is it just playing around with the numbers and eventually finding out what works? (sounds kinda like when the doc adjusts your medications until you get the right "cocktail")...

LJOYCE55 SparkPoints: (138,125)
Fitness Minutes: (94,137)
Posts: 9,600
5/28/13 8:30 A

I like the idea of a day or two per week of maintenance calorie levels. That way, if I wake up uber-hungry, an extra 100 calories at breakfast won't send me to the guilt corner.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
5/28/13 8:11 A

A maintenance day has to do with how many calories you consume that day, not the food you eat. You eat the amount of calories it takes to maintain your current weight. So you're neither creating a calorie deficit nor a calorie surplus. For most women this is between 1600-2400 cals depending on your age, weight and activity level. It will most certainly be above your Spark range because that is your "weight loss" range.

The theory is; when you eat at a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time, your body tries to achieve homostasis and adjusts to the low calorie intake (lowers your BMR). So weightloss becomes slow or stagnant. Eating at maintenance a few times a week helps boost your metabolism again (increases BMR).

In my own experience it has been a very effective plateau buster. I don't have a "free-for-all". I eat the same way I always eat, healthy choices with treats in moderation, just more calories. I used to have them on my strength training days but I think I'm finding I'm most hungry the day after an ST day so I'm thinking of experimenting with when I have them.

Which leads me to the next benefit of maintenance days. I attribute a lot of my success in building muscle while on a calorie deficit to calorie cycling between a deficit and maintenance

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 5/28/2013 (08:19)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,758)
Fitness Minutes: (41,464)
Posts: 26,992
5/28/13 1:59 A

No - it is NOT a free-for-all :-) Otherwise when people start to maintain they would end up back where they originally started - LOL!

What it means is that you eat so that you maintain your current weight. For me, if I eat an average of 1600 calories, I maintain - if it is less I very gradually lose, and if more, then I gain.


OHITSKELLY SparkPoints: (14,074)
Fitness Minutes: (9,079)
Posts: 147
5/28/13 1:26 A

Following another thread where the poster got advice on maintenance days...

What is it exactly?

Is it where you go over your tracking ranges? A free fall into not-so-nutritious foods? Choose not to track?

I'm still in weight loss/fitness building mode and not maintaining yet, although I hope in the next month I will be able to switch over to that "side"

Just wondering...


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