Maintaining Weight Transition Plan

Hello,

This is my first post on the MFP Forum. Using MFP i have lost 56.3 lbs in 307 Days and i have hit the goal weight of 180 lbs. I'm happy at this weight and I've grown tired of the negative side effects of a calorie deficit (low sex drive, depression) I think so the time has come to focus on maintaining. I'm determined to keep this weight off forever, so I want to make sure I have all my bases covered before I go too far. I'm here seeking advice on the following topics.....

1. Increasing calories to go from losing a pound a week to simply maintaining my weight.

My biggest concern is adding the calories back into my diet at a pace that does not result in massive weight gain. I have posted my plan below please let me know what you think. Am i adding too fast?

According to MFP my daily maintaining budget would be 2280, so I need to add 500 calories a day to my goal. This week i added 125 calories per day to my budget, which bumps it from 1780 to 1905. My plan is to add another 125 in 2 weeks (total of 250 added per day) which would get me on track to lose .5lbs per week at the budget of 2030. I'm thinking of staying at 2030 for about a month and then adding 50 calories to my daily budget 5 weeks or until I find my proper budget. It would look something like this:

Weeks 1& 2 - 1905 per day
Weeks 3,4,5,6 - 2030 per day
Week 7 2080
Week 8 2130
Week 9 2180
Week 10 2230 - MFP Budget

So 10 weeks to increase 500 calories, averages to 50 calories per day per week. Sound good?


2. How do I know I've found my maintainence budget?

I know that eatting more is going to cause me to gain water weight here and there (I'm sure i'll have a heart attack) but how do i know what is water weight and what isn't?

3. Some advice on what to eat with my new "extra" calories.

An issue I've began to be concerned with is what to eat with all these "extra" calories? I workout every day and on days when I run i can burn between 500-900 calories per day. I do eventually plan to scale back cardio, but in the mean time I'll have days where i can eat damn near 3000 calories. So basically, how often is it ok to have a calorie budget friendly cheat meal, cheat day or cheat food while transitioning to maintaining? Should I stick with just eatting more healthy food or is it ok to indulge more often?

Any advice would be great, feel free to add me as well!

Replies

  • pds06
    pds06 Posts: 297 Member
    Try it and if you find yourself gaining, back off. Go slow
  • AJ_G
    AJ_G Posts: 4,158 Member
    Reverse diet by adding 5-10g of carbs (20-40 calories) to your daily goal every week until you are maintaining your weight. Pretty simple. Keep water intake constant, weigh yourself at the same time of day, ideally when you just wake up, after you go to the bathroom for consistency, etc.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    edited May 2015
    Personally I would add calories quicker, say four weeks to get to estimated maintenance level and then a few weeks doing the inevitable fine tuning.
    BTW - if you are feeling the negative effects of long term deficit it's entirely possible your "calories out" is affected by simply feeling better and being more energetic from more "calories in". That can be where some of the fine tuning comes from.
    How do I know I've found my maintenance budget?
    Your weight generally fluctuates within a reasonable weight range, say +/- 3lbs.
    Some advice on what to eat with my new "extra" calories.
    It's easier to meet your nutritional needs (macro, micro, vitamin, fibre....) with a higher calorie allowance so you should be able to be more relaxed about food choices. This is also a long term thing so your diet (noun) has to be flexible enough to cope with things like meals out, vacations, special events etc. without stress.
    I prefer to think of protein and fat as minimum goals and keep half an eye on fibre. I also take more of a weekly view for more flexibility.
    I don't view individual foods or meals as cheating or bad - they are just food. It's the overall diet that's important for health.
    how do i know what is water weight and what isn't?
    Fast weight gain (or loss) that's out of proportion to your calorie intake. It simply can't be fat.
  • lavrn03
    lavrn03 Posts: 235 Member
    I think do what's mentally easier for you. Yes is it slow...sure but you may have less anxiety about it.
    Adding extra calories is easy
  • lavrn03
    lavrn03 Posts: 235 Member
    pick healthy choices. Or Maybe allow 1 fun snack a day and 1 cheat meal a week that could account for the extra calories.
    Yes you allows need to keep in mind how much you are exercising. So you may have to adjust again later when u scale back on your workouts.
    Weight fluctuations is true but if u do it slow it should adjust.
    Try it over a month or 2 and see what happens. If you gain it will only be a 1-2.
    You are not going crazy with major calorie increase and exercise decrease.
    This is an awesome problem to have!!! You reached goal!! Great job!
  • Bizurke51
    Bizurke51 Posts: 190 Member
    Why faster?
    sijomial wrote: »
    Personally I would add calories quicker, say four weeks to get to estimated maintenance level and then a few weeks doing the inevitable fine tuning.
    BTW - if you are feeling the negative effects of long term deficit it's entirely possible your "calories out" is affected by simply feeling better and being more energetic from more "calories in". That can be where some of the fine tuning comes from.
    How do I know I've found my maintenance budget?
    Your weight generally fluctuates within a reasonable weight range, say +/- 3lbs.
    Some advice on what to eat with my new "extra" calories.
    It's easier to meet your nutritional needs (macro, micro, vitamin, fibre....) with a higher calorie allowance so you should be able to be more relaxed about food choices. This is also a long term thing so your diet (noun) has to be flexible enough to cope with things like meals out, vacations, special events etc. without stress.
    I prefer to think of protein and fat as minimum goals and keep half an eye on fibre. I also take more of a weekly view for more flexibility.
    I don't view individual foods or meals as cheating or bad - they are just food. It's the overall diet that's important for health.
    how do i know what is water weight and what isn't?
    Fast weight gain (or loss) that's out of proportion to your calorie intake. It simply can't be fat.

  • bioklutz
    bioklutz Posts: 1,365 Member
    More than likely MFP's maintenance number will not be your number. The 2230 - MFP budget is just an estimation. You may have to raise or lower this number to stay in the weight range you desire. Do you want to spend 10 weeks getting to the estimation number than another 2-4 months figuring out what your personal number is?

    Also you mention that you are suffering negative effects of a calorie deficit? Wouldn't it be nice to feel better faster? :)
  • Bizurke51
    Bizurke51 Posts: 190 Member
    Well I'd rather just be on the safe side. 10 weeks compared to the 307 days I've already dieted isn't that big a deal. I just don't think adding 500 calories a day all at once is beneficial to my long term goal.
    bioklutz wrote: »
    More than likely MFP's maintenance number will not be your number. The 2230 - MFP budget is just an estimation. You may have to raise or lower this number to stay in the weight range you desire. Do you want to spend 10 weeks getting to the estimation number than another 2-4 months figuring out what your personal number is?

    Also you mention that you are suffering negative effects of a calorie deficit? Wouldn't it be nice to feel better faster? :)

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    Why faster?
    You are at goal so maintain - you will still be at a considerable deficit for weeks with your slow transition.
    You say you are tired of dieting - so stop dieting.
    Don't see the point of taking so long unless you are scared of a water/glycogen bounce - which is irrelevant anyway long term.
    Seems a waste of ten weeks to me just to get to what is only an estimate.

    Hope you don't mind me saying but there seems to be a lot of anxiety going on.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
    edited May 2015
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why faster?
    You are at goal so maintain - you will still be at a considerable deficit for weeks with your slow transition.
    You say you are tired of dieting - so stop dieting.
    Don't see the point of taking so long unless you are scared of a water/glycogen bounce - which is irrelevant anyway long term.
    Seems a waste of ten weeks to me just to get to what is only an estimate.

    Hope you don't mind me saying but there seems to be a lot of anxiety going on.

    +1

    ... but in this case, this would warrant me to want to feel better quicker.. and get even more out my time in the gym...not to mention getting out of a depressive funk..
  • Laura3BB
    Laura3BB Posts: 250 Member
    Well it's difficult to answer your questions...We can just share experiences.
    When i reached maintenance a year and a half ago I bumped straight up from 1300 to 1800 and felt real good - and didn't put on weight.

    Regarding foods my own adive would be, try to stick to healthy stuff. It is just sooo easy to go way beyond allowed calories with very high cal foods...my difficulties are eg with chocolate, cakes etc...yours might be in pizza or whatever...

    You can do this!
  • Bizurke51
    Bizurke51 Posts: 190 Member
    Yes anxiety is present lol Did you go right back after you went off your diet? What happened?

    @Laura3BB

    I want to stick with health food, but I can only eat so much lol altho I struggle with that idea as well. For example I ate 3 bowls of Cheerios instead of 2 bowls and felt guilty for the carbs :/

    sijomial wrote: »
    Why faster?
    You are at goal so maintain - you will still be at a considerable deficit for weeks with your slow transition.
    You say you are tired of dieting - so stop dieting.
    Don't see the point of taking so long unless you are scared of a water/glycogen bounce - which is irrelevant anyway long term.
    Seems a waste of ten weeks to me just to get to what is only an estimate.

    Hope you don't mind me saying but there seems to be a lot of anxiety going on.

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    I lost my last 10lbs in a series of alternate steps of deficit and maintenance and probably did most variants of slow increase, fast increase, taper off deficit to goal....
    In the end the results were the same - I found maintenance calories and when I need to make an adjustment I either trim off calories over the week or add in a very low calorie day into my week.

    I never get a glycogen bounce BTW as I'm careful not to get glycogen depleted in the first place, I'm a cyclist.

    Confidence in the mathematics of it comes over time, just set a reasonable weight range and ignore sudden spikes.
    And try to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving something remarkable. Pick up 56lbs from time to time and remember you used to carry that around all day, every day.
  • Bizurke51
    Bizurke51 Posts: 190 Member
    Nice, how much total did u lose? How long have u kept it off?

    It is very tempting to add all 500 back. Even with just the extra 125 per day I feel much more up beat. I think I'm still
    Leaning toward going slow just so I can relearn to eat a large amount of food and not just add a pint of ice cream a day haha
    sijomial wrote: »
    I lost my last 10lbs in a series of alternate steps of deficit and maintenance and probably did most variants of slow increase, fast increase, taper off deficit to goal....
    In the end the results were the same - I found maintenance calories and when I need to make an adjustment I either trim off calories over the week or add in a very low calorie day into my week.

    I never get a glycogen bounce BTW as I'm careful not to get glycogen depleted in the first place, I'm a cyclist.

    Confidence in the mathematics of it comes over time, just set a reasonable weight range and ignore sudden spikes.
    And try to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving something remarkable. Pick up 56lbs from time to time and remember you used to carry that around all day, every day.

  • Bizurke51
    Bizurke51 Posts: 190 Member
    First weigh on, up 1.1 lbs, water weight?
  • bioklutz
    bioklutz Posts: 1,365 Member
    Water weight, full bladder, full bowels, glycogen storage. Rapid weight gain or loss is not fat.