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Struggling to figure out maintainence.

Jubee13Jubee13 Posts: 122Member Member Posts: 122Member Member
I reached my goal weight about 6 weeks ago. I’ve been here before, but in the past, I reach my goal, stop tracking, and gain it all back. For the first few weeks, I stayed at a deficit because I was so afraid of gaining weight. (I didn’t, and in fact, lost a few more pounds.) The past few weeks, I’ve had days I didn’t track and eaten everything in sight or been at my deficit. Although I haven’t gained by doing this, I really want to find a balance. Does anyone have any advice how to successfully transition into maintenance? I’m really struggling! TIA

Replies

  • Jubee13Jubee13 Posts: 122Member Member Posts: 122Member Member
    I
    jan110144 wrote: »
    I have struggled too! For me, it has been a learning curve as I tried to figure out why I was having such a hard time. Losing was "eady" ... maintenance, not so much. I kept finding myself in a cycle of several really bad food days followed by several "good" days. The good days were actually not so good as it turned that I was seriously undereating (to make up for the preceding "bad days")

    Spending some time looking at my log and thinking about what was going on, there seem to be three main keys for me:

    1. I must eat enough. I really make sure that I eat within 200 calories of maintenance every day. This "banks"
    some calories for special occasions. Since I have done this I have not had any recurrence of cravings or binging.

    2. I really pay attention to sleep ... letting myself get overly tired leads to bad food choices

    3. I continue to make sure I get a minimum of 1.5 hours of exercise a day, split into 2 different times of the day (the afternoon/evening may be something as simple as a 30 minute walk at moderate pace)

    I do allow myself treats within calorie allowance but try to avoid real trigger foods and never keep "junk" food snacks in the house.

    I also allow myself to go over calories for the day if I am eating out with friends or if it is a special occasion. Only rule ... no more than 2 "special" days in a row. And, when I get back on plan. I return to within 200 calories of maintenance and not to a more extreme level to "make up" for the excess.

    I continue to weigh daily as a reminder to stay focused.

    While I don't take this foregranted (there may be more to be learned!), I am starting to feel like I have finally figured out a sustainable maintenance strategy for me.


    Something you said was very insightful. I very much restrict after overeating to make up for high calorie days. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m going to really strive to eat closer to maintenance and see if that helps with the overeating. Thank you for the great advice!
    edited May 2019
  • nowine4menowine4me Posts: 3,968Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,968Member, Premium Member
    @jan110144 I think we must be related!

    OP - whatever you do, keep getting on the scale every day (or whatever your schedule is). Stopping weighing is the easiest way I know for things to go sideways. Other than that, keep doing what you were doing to lose weight, but with a few more calories.
  • IdLikeToLoseItLoseItIdLikeToLoseItLoseIt Posts: 593Member, Premium Member Posts: 593Member, Premium Member
    GBO323 wrote: »
    Hope this helps..

    Thanks to AnnPT77 (from another site) for writing this great piece. Edited & Shortened in order to fit.

    Four Maintenance Methods:

    1. MFP calculation: Change your Profile weight loss goal from "lose X pounds per week" to "maintain current weight", eat to the new net calorie goal, handling exercise calories just as you did during weight loss. If you lost weight at the expected rate using the recommended calorie goal, this should work.

    2. TDEE calculator: Use an external TDEE calculator to get a maintenance calorie goal that includes your typical exercise, and manually set your calorie goal to that number. Eat to that level, but don't separately log exercise calories or eat them back.

    3. Estimate from history: Use your recent loss data to estimate maintenance calories and eat to that level. This is useful if your projected loss rate differed materially from your actual loss rate. Your loss history is the best guide to maintenance calories.

    -Look at your last 4 weeks of loss.
    -Average those weeks to get average weekly calories eaten and average weekly pounds lost.
    -Multiply average weekly pounds lost by 3500 to get average weekly calorie deficit.
    -Add average weekly calories eaten to average weekly calorie deficit to get average weekly calories needed to maintain.
    -Divide average weekly calories needed to maintain by 7 to get estimated daily calories needed to maintain.
    If you've been logging exercise separately and eating it back and want to continue that, use net calories eaten in the above arithmetic. Otherwise, use gross calories eaten.

    Either set your calorie goal manually to this new value or use it to inform method 4 below.

    4. Gradually increase: Experimentally determine your maintenance calories by increasing eating gradually.

    -To start, add 100-200 daily calories each week. Eat that for a week, or until you satisfy yourself that you're not gaining fat. Then add another 100 calories daily for the week. Monitor again. Repeat weekly until scale weight stabilizes.

    That’s very helpful, thanks for sharing in such detail.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 13,276Member Member Posts: 13,276Member Member
    Thanks for the nice summary, @GBO323 ! But just for clarity, that wasn't on another site, it's right here on the MFP forums, in the "Most Helpful Posts" section of the "Maintaining Weight" topic:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10638211/how-to-find-your-maintenance-calorie-level

    . . . in case anyone wants the long-winded form, or - better yet - would like to read other folks' helpful additions and comments about it. :)
  • Sharon_CSharon_C Posts: 2,143Member Member Posts: 2,143Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    @jan110144 I think we must be related!

    OP - whatever you do, keep getting on the scale every day (or whatever your schedule is). Stopping weighing is the easiest way I know for things to go sideways. Other than that, keep doing what you were doing to lose weight, but with a few more calories.

    Yes! Weigh yourself everyday. I have a weight that I absolutely, positively will not allow myself to go over. If I do (which I haven't yet), I will cut calories again.
  • garystrickland357garystrickland357 Posts: 598Member Member Posts: 598Member Member
    Another fan of weighing every day. Maintenance is for life - so there are days I have the extra cookie or the extra chips. But here's the thing - log it. Keep stepping on the scale. I like the trending apps. You know how to lose weight. If you see an upward weight trend take care of it when it's just a pound or two. Eat less some days. Maybe don't eat back the exercise calories a few times to balance a calorie rich day. Allow a little balance and flexibility in your life - just don't slip back into the habits that led to you being overweight the first time.
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    In my weight loss journey, I was inspired and learned much from the maintainers who share their wisdom here. I learned a couple important things from my reading.

    First, the challenge many share of maintenance being harder. Second, to define ideal weight as a range rather than a single point.

    I’m relatively new to “official” maintenance which took place on February 20th. Other than upping my calories to maintenance, I’ve done nothing different. Still weigh myself each morning, track eating and exercise using Garmin and MFP, and study the information such data gathering provides.

    My maintenance efforts have given me a good return on my investment. Since official maintenance, I have 75 days upper maintenance weight or less days since 2/20/2019 out of total of 83 days. I have
    23 days less than lower maintenance weight since 2/20/2019 out of a total of 83 days.

    Such an analytical dashboard works for me and I’m continuing because I’ve never fallen off task when doing this but have a proven record of getting off task when ceasing.

    Everyone is different but this is what’s working for me.

    The only thing that changed for me on arriving at maintenance was a few hundred more calories a day.

    Doing this daily drill takes but a few minutes, far less time than the effort to work off added weight.


  • MadisonMolly2017MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 4,848Member Member Posts: 4,848Member Member
    In my weight loss journey, I was inspired and learned much from the maintainers who share their wisdom here. I learned a couple important things from my reading.

    First, the challenge many share of maintenance being harder. Second, to define ideal weight as a range rather than a single point.

    I’m relatively new to “official” maintenance which took place on February 20th. Other than upping my calories to maintenance, I’ve done nothing different. Still weigh myself each morning, track eating and exercise using Garmin and MFP, and study the information such data gathering provides.

    My maintenance efforts have given me a good return on my investment. Since official maintenance, I have 75 days upper maintenance weight or less days since 2/20/2019 out of total of 83 days. I have
    23 days less than lower maintenance weight since 2/20/2019 out of a total of 83 days.

    Such an analytical dashboard works for me and I’m continuing because I’ve never fallen off task when doing this but have a proven record of getting off task when ceasing.

    Everyone is different but this is what’s working for me.

    The only thing that changed for me on arriving at maintenance was a few hundred more calories a day.

    Doing this daily drill takes but a few minutes, far less time than the effort to work off added weight.


    @pierinifitness Thank you for a very helpful post for this newbie maintainer...(me)
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