Don't Set Yourself Up To Fail



  • godlikepoetyes
    godlikepoetyes Posts: 442 Member
    I think a lot of us are afraid of losing steam. I know it may not seem like a lot, but even at a rate of 8 pounds a month feels like a snail's pace. I am motivated by seeing changes.

    I know that I have to slow down now, but I am terrified of losing momentum when I stop seeing any incremental changes (and I know you'll say you can but this is already torture for me).

    I think the difficulty for me is that I am 5'2, I eat way more than 1200 calories but my net is probably at 1200 because I exercise a lot and eyeball, so I am totally satisfied. The weight is coming off at 1.5 (it started at 2) pounds a week, I feel healthier and happier than I have in years.

    Do I really HAVE to go against what everything in my body is telling me is right?

    I certainly don't think you should go against what you're body is telling you! If you are happy at a low calorie allowance, then that's awesome.

    I wrote this post in response to what I read so often--"Why can't I lose weight? I'm eating 1,200 calories a day and I work out 5 hours a day why can't I lose weight?"
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    Why does everyone want to lose weight so quickly, esp. when most of us have heard how unhealthy this is? And most of us have heard that weight lost rapidly is regained even more rapidly? I consistently read posts from women who set their calories at 1,200 when they could be eating 1,800 to lose weight. Or 1,500. Or 1,600. Why?

    Why bother to join MFP just to ignore the formula that, as far as I can tell, is proven to work? Is this fear? Maybe. I know I used to think I couldn’t lose weight unless I punished myself, starved myself. I used to believe that losing weight had to be hard, that if I weren’t hungry all the time nothing would ever happen. I used to think that exercise had to be difficult and unpleasant. The diet/weight loss/feel the burn/restrictive nutrition/deprivation/bad food, good food/healthy, not healthy industry has everyone so confused. It’s disheartening.

    Please, if you are new to MFP, listen to those of us who have lost weight sensibly and learned valuable lessons along the way. Don’t listen to that little voice saying, Restrict! Starve! Punish! That’s a BAD Food. I should CHEAT! I know it’s TERRIBLE but I’m having a brownie!

    And please don’t believe all the hype about special diets that demand you to remove one of the three basic foods—carbs, fats, proteins. If you ENJOY your low-carb or low-fat diet, then by all means go for it. If you believe you need TONS of protein, then knock yourself out. But if you know deep down that you’re only following a fad diet so you can, finally get it right, don’t fool yourself. There is no “quick” fix. There is no “magic” food. There is no magic exercise or mindset or food that will make you lose weight. There is no magic. And you know what? There doesn’t have to be any magic because there’s YOU. You. All you have to do to lose weight is follow MFP. All you have to do is EAT. And move around, if you enjoy that. Then you can eat MORE if you like.

    Please stop believing that you need to starve yourself to lose. And stop thinking I MUST LOSE THIS WEIGHT NOW! I must get this off by my birthday! Or Xmas! Or my class reunion! You don’t need to starve and if you do and lose the weight super fast there's a very good chance you will fail. You will quit because you're so unhappy.

    There's also a very good chance that you will quit MFP and come back three years from now having gained the weight back and trying to start over.

    So don't starve yourself. Eat ALL your calories and see what happens.


    I like. :)

    Well said!
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    sarahthes wrote: »
    For some of us, 2 lbs/week is the appropriate choice, at least starting out. My BMI is over 40. I have lost 27 lbs since September (including holiday gains and re-losing and then maintaining for a while). I have 95 lbs left to lose just to get to a BMI of 24.9. I eat 1200-2400 calories per day depending on activity and hunger, but usually I'm between 1500-1800. I've lost 16 lbs in the past 8 weeks.

    Sara, 2 pounds week is appropriate for anyone who has a lot to lose because the risks of staying overweight usually outweigh the risk of losing weight quickly. However, there are people who balk about not losing weight quick enough when they are around a normal weight and have maybe five or ten pounds to lose. :)
  • tomteboda
    tomteboda Posts: 2,171 Member
    I am amazed daily that my maintenence calories at my current weight are nearly 2000 even if I'm entirely sedentary. I used to be 90+ pounds heavier, and I thought (without tracking) that I "only ate 1500-1600 calories a day" of course when mfp told me I could lose on 2000/day at that time I didn't believe it. It's probably just a well I didn't because it took months to get the habit of completely accurate logging down.
  • godlikepoetyes
    godlikepoetyes Posts: 442 Member
    fr33sia12 wrote: »
    I've been eating around 1200-1300 calories a day now for the last 5 weeks. I haven't once gone to bed hungry or woke up starving. I eat what I want, when I want and I'm not punishing myself or starving myself, I'm not miserable, in fact I'm happier I've been in a long time. Also if you look at my diary I'm getting plenty of nutrition too.
    While I'm definitely not disagreeing with you entirely, losing 2lb a week can be a healthy amount to lose. I had a check up with my doctor and he said everything's great, I'm not losing too quickly and I should keep doing what I'm doing.
    Obviously if you want to eat more and lose at a slower pace that's entirely up to each person, but so is eating a little less and losing a little quicker.

    Yes! If you are happy, losing weight, and feel confident you can maintain what you're doing, then good for you! But, again, I wrote this post in response to people who eat 1200 calories and fail, or are miserable, or depressed, or can't lose weight doing what they're doing.
  • R_is_for_Rachel
    R_is_for_Rachel Posts: 381 Member
    i totally agree, i've failed too many times because i've been horribly disappointed that i'm not thin now! I'm on 1lb a week and i try to only 1 x a week, and sometimes it's been 10 days to lose 1pound-but hey that's great! As long as i keep losing the weight, i don't care how long it takes because it's a lifestyle change
  • UncaToddly
    UncaToddly Posts: 146 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I blame shows like The Biggest Loser. People think, "If they can lose 10 pounds per week, I should be able to lose 2."

    I know what you mean. For me, part of my mindset of losing weight is from watching "My 600 pound Life" because I watch those people and think, if THEY can lose weight and I am HALF of what they weigh..... I got no excuses!"
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Also, I often see a mindset in women that they should suffer during dieting to atone for the 'gluttony' that led them to be overweight.

    I have heard this from some women as well. My wife said that when she was younger, and much thinner, that she used to wear extremely high heels with tight little pointed toes. She told me one time that "It is hard to forget how hungry you are when your feet hurt so bad." :)

  • mom22dogs
    mom22dogs Posts: 470 Member
    I think people are fixated on the 1200 calories because I know a lot of diets in my lifetime that I have tried, encourage the 1200 calories, so people start to think that to go on a "diet" you have to eat 1200 calories. Also, the 2 lbs a week was always a "good loss" when I was on weight watchers, and a few others. So I think people just automatically think you need to lose 2 lbs. It has taken me a while to wrap my head around eating more than 1200 calories, and losing less than 2 lbs a week. I have about 20 lbs to lose, and the trainer at the gym that I see, wants me to lose very slowly. He doesn't expect me to lose the 20 in a year even. I want to though, so 2 lbs a month is what I'm shooting for.
  • jkal1979
    jkal1979 Posts: 1,897 Member
    I really don't think that people are purposely ignoring the formulas. MFP just doesn't make the information easy to find. I think a lot of the issues that you have outlined could be resolved if MFP had a guided setup, but I don't see them ever doing that. While we are lucky enough to have members that have been nice enough to take the time to explain things and have the information stickied, there are still a lot of members that don't come into or know about the community part of MFP.
  • catsdogsh
    catsdogsh Posts: 130 Member
    I agree with this post completely. My issue is I'm only 5 foot 2 inches and have diabetes, POS and I can't lose at 1,800. I barely lose at 1,200. But I try to make the healthiest choices I can and stick to it. It's possible they say once you lose some the metabolism can turn around so I could someday be able to eat 1,800 at maintainence
  • newheavensearth
    newheavensearth Posts: 870 Member
    Very well thought out and written post. Much appreciated.

    One note about the 1200 calorie limit though, as someone stated before: not all of of choose that. I'm kinda short and 15 lbs from goal. Here's my calorie goal per day breakdown as given by MFP:

    2 lb loss: 1200
    1 lb loss: 1200
    .5 lb loss: 1340
    Maintenance: 1540

    As you can see I don't get much, and I can't play around with my exercise calories as much as I used to. I've come to accept this as just another "It is what it is and stuck it up, buttercup" situation. I average 1400. Again, not much wiggle room if I want to keep losing.

    And I do try to set goals in terms of x lbs by x day. They keep me focused. If I don't make it, it's not the end of the world. I just move the timeline.

  • highwood1968
    highwood1968 Posts: 61 Member
    I chose the .5 lb per week....I am okay with 2 lbs per month of loss..yes it might take me close to two years to lose the weight I want to lose but I can't nor have any desire to restrict myself..I know myself well enough that moment I try and do that it will backfire.