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Why is so little attention given to maintenance?

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  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Posts: 2,574Member Member Posts: 2,574Member Member
    Maintenance is where the rubber really meets the road. It takes true grit. @dashagrr Maintenance stats are slim-pickins when it comes down to the 2 year mark. The 5 year mark is an even greater prognostication for long term weight stability.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 11,875Member Member Posts: 11,875Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    dashagrr wrote: »
    Over the years, I have found it easy to lose weight when I set out to do so, but I eventually regain it. I don't want to do this cycle anymore. I know if I could keep the motivation going, I can do this. I think I (and the other maintainers) could use more social support for long term success. This community is great, but even here, the "Goal: Maintaining Weight" is one of the least active boards. I am in several support groups on FB, I tried finding a support group for people that have reached their weight and maintaining, but no avail (maybe I am not using the right keywords? Is anyone aware of one?) There are tons of weight loss groups. Anyway, why there is so little social attention given to the maintenance stage, given how hard it is? Isn't the long term success rate only 5 to 20 %?

    I've been maintaining more or less for about 6.5 years. There are a few things going on here...for one, there are a number of maintainers here, but far less than individuals trying to lose weight. I don't really follow any particular board...I'm pretty much on "recent posts" and post on those.

    Beyond that, the vast majority of people who go into maintenance leave the app/site in pretty short order...because weight loss was their purpose, and that is over. Maintaining weight isn't nearly as "exciting" or "sexy" as losing weight. Most people fail at maintenance because they don't really view it as a "thing"...everything is about losing weight...people eat to lose weight...people exercise to lose weight...people fail to realize the only difference between maintenance and losing weight is a handful of calories.

    To maintain weight, you have to maintain healthy habits. Exercise has to be about more than just losing weight; people need to realize that exercise is really about overall health and wellness...eating well has to be more about just losing weight, etc. The reality is the the vast majority of people who lose weight see that as the finish line rather than the starting line of the actual race...everything up to maintenance has really just been preparation for the real race.

    You're not likely to find a lot of maintenance support because most people who lose weight don't maintain. For myself, it's not about motivation...I developed healthy habits during my weight loss process and realized early on that those things had to stick to maintain. A lot of this is about my health and maintaining my health and that is something that is important to me...it's important to me, so I do the things I need to do to maintain my health...it's far more important to me that some number on the scale and maintaining some certain number. I think focusing on maintenance of a number detracts from what is actually important.

    ^^^ This is really excellent: Applause!
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Posts: 847Member, Premium Member Posts: 847Member, Premium Member
    Oh my. Was my post really spam!? 🤷‍♂️🙄
  • Lillymoo01Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,421Member Member Posts: 2,421Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    The reality is the the vast majority of people who lose weight see that as the finish line rather than the starting line of the actual race...everything up to maintenance has really just been preparation for the real race.


    I love this analogy! So true in so many ways.
    edited September 5
  • jennifer_417jennifer_417 Posts: 12,279Member Member Posts: 12,279Member Member
    I'm not sure it's a matter of motivation. It may be more about building lifelong habits that will cause you to stay in that same weight range.
  • dashagrrdashagrr Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    That's easier said than done. I've lost weight several times in the past. Every single time, after a while, I would start slipping. Life would get busy so I'd exercise less. Or I'd eat out more. Or because I was exercising less, I'd get more depressed so I'd eat more garbage. Bit by bit the weight would creep up, 5-10 lbs a year. It doesn't take a lot of extra calories each day before it shows on the scale. I eat a lot of healthy food, by habit. I also still eat unhealthy food, also by habit. From decades of yoyo dieting, I know that if I stop logging, which for me means really paying attention to what I'm eating, I'll go back to eating too much. I don't weigh and measure because I don't really need to right now. I am consistent in my exercise and don't eat out much thanks to limited finances. So for the past 8 years my weight has been mostly stable. (It goes up a bit when we travel and I eat out more but quickly returns to normal when we're home again.)

    I think a lot of people who lose weight think that they have developed the good habits that will see them through. They don't realize how easy it is to slip a little here and a little there and to ignore the results. I know when I was regaining the weight I had lost, I didn't weigh myself because I didn't want to see the number on the scale. I was in denial, but not really. I knew but refused to face what I knew. It usually wasn't until I was forced to buy a larger size or saw photos of myself that I had to face the truth.

    This is exactly how it is for me. "lifelong healthful habits" need to be maintained by certain level of motivation and a constant, borderline OCD effort otherwise it's a slip just like you have described. People that have been overweight at some point have a broken "Eat watch", in other words, self regulation is not that great and requires ongoing conscious effort. That's why vast majority of dieters regain.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,690Member Member Posts: 36,690Member Member
    dashagrr wrote: »
    That's easier said than done. I've lost weight several times in the past. Every single time, after a while, I would start slipping. Life would get busy so I'd exercise less. Or I'd eat out more. Or because I was exercising less, I'd get more depressed so I'd eat more garbage. Bit by bit the weight would creep up, 5-10 lbs a year. It doesn't take a lot of extra calories each day before it shows on the scale. I eat a lot of healthy food, by habit. I also still eat unhealthy food, also by habit. From decades of yoyo dieting, I know that if I stop logging, which for me means really paying attention to what I'm eating, I'll go back to eating too much. I don't weigh and measure because I don't really need to right now. I am consistent in my exercise and don't eat out much thanks to limited finances. So for the past 8 years my weight has been mostly stable. (It goes up a bit when we travel and I eat out more but quickly returns to normal when we're home again.)

    I think a lot of people who lose weight think that they have developed the good habits that will see them through. They don't realize how easy it is to slip a little here and a little there and to ignore the results. I know when I was regaining the weight I had lost, I didn't weigh myself because I didn't want to see the number on the scale. I was in denial, but not really. I knew but refused to face what I knew. It usually wasn't until I was forced to buy a larger size or saw photos of myself that I had to face the truth.

    This is exactly how it is for me. "lifelong healthful habits" need to be maintained by certain level of motivation and a constant, borderline OCD effort otherwise it's a slip just like you have described. People that have been overweight at some point have a broken "Eat watch", in other words, self regulation is not that great and requires ongoing conscious effort. That's why vast majority of dieters regain.

    I think it's a lot about maintaining awareness. If you ask any maintainer here, I would bet that every single one would say that they still weigh in regularly and monitor trends on the scale and have some kind of intervention point. For me, that's about 8 real pounds up from my usual maintenance weight. At that point I make some dietary changes...usually cutting out some snacking.

    Personally, I don't put any kind of great effort in maintaining. I enjoy eating well for the most part and having my indulgences here and there. I enjoy regular exercise, which for me is mostly road cycling...beyond that, I'm just recreationally active...hiking with my kids, walking the dog, etc. I think it's important to find something you enjoy...it makes it much easier to stick with and "motivation" is not nearly the kind of factor that it is with something you don't enjoy so much.
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,295Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,295Member, Premium Member
    Jubee13 wrote: »
    I don't find it as hard as losing. I can eat a lot more.

    I still log food and I still step on the body weight scale. For me those two things are non-negotiable. I've been at my maintenance weight for over ten years after losing 70+ pounds. When I stop logging food, I start putting on the weight, so it's just something I'm going to have to continue to do.

    I've been on this site for all that time too, except for a few months here and there when I didn't log and/or got burned out on the forums. If I stay plugged in here I tend to keep it a priority. Seeing all these people trying and succeeding is a big factor.

    Can you post in other peoples' threads and give help to those who struggle? It's a good way to stay plugged into the process.


    I got rid of all my larger sized clothing, too. That is an important thing.

    I have a question for you. When you say you log, do you weigh and measure everything? I’ve been maintaining for 5 months, and I still weigh everything to the gram. I’d really like to start estimating some things, but I’m not sure it’s a smart idea. I’m just so tired of dragging out that food scale!

    I do use my food scale...I just leave it on the counter.

    I don't use it for every single item, like I don't weigh eggs or bread or individual sausages, bacon or things like lettuce, cucumber, celery or other low cal vegetables. For them I estimate. But I do use it for calorie dense things like portioning most raw meat, sauces, butter, peanut butter, cheese, avocado, corn, potatoes, fruit.

    I have my favorite meals entered as saved Meals so I can just quickly adjust individual ingredients, like (for instance) I often make a homemade McMuffin and have roasted potato wedges for breakfast but I adjust the meats like bacon, sausage, ham, or the size of the potato or how much cheese I slice off the brick so I just adjust that part after it's added to the FOOD page. Takes just a few seconds. I also use the Recipe function if it's something I make a lot and don't change too much.

    I just write stuff down on a piece of paper while I'm preparing it and work it into the FOOD page later.

    Fruit and potatoes are calorie dense? 🤔
  • cuteangelkittencuteangelkitten Posts: 96Member Member Posts: 96Member Member
    Well most people on here are to lose weight, so that's probably why it's not as popular of a topic, but it is an important one. I've come to the point where I am not looking at the scale anymore and just eating what makes me feel healthy, wholesome, and good :)
  • psychod787psychod787 Posts: 2,295Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,295Member, Premium Member
    I think @nowine4me recommended the Half Size Me podcasts. I have found them
    Immensely Helpful. :)

    The latest (sept 2) made a really good point. People always ask how did you do it and how long did it take? Heather, who created HSM, pointed out that those are actually the wrong questions to ask.

    Rather, “how long have you maintained your weight?”

    As I continued my walk, I reflecting upon this question, and I realized that my goal is not to simply get back under 155. My goal is to have maintained my weight for the next seven years. This shifted my mindset to thinking about what I can do to make that long-term goal more effortless and sustainable.

    A very helpful podcast.

    (Another one I listened to had maintainers break their eating plans/habits into 2-3 parts.

    Weekdays
    Weekends (if they are different for you)
    Vacations

    I would some others:
    When you are sick
    When you have daily/visitors staying with you

    She has her clients tackle each of these one after another.

    I find this to be a helpful framing as it’s not the “routine days” that seem to threaten folks’ maintenance but the pesky exceptions!

    @MadisonMolly2017
    Strange, I was listening to the same pod cast this morning a work. Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime, thats why I learn on company time. LOL. I was impressed that she said, if you gain some weight maintain it instead of trying to re lose it. I am right there with you about finding a more maintainable weight long term. I look at it like this. I lost roughly 220, if I regain up to 60lbs, hopefully not, but that would be close to someone losing 20 and regaining 5. I think we have to look t things in proportions. What kind of issues are you having?

    **Edit** well rant.... I have been watching and talking to a guy at my work. He was a 450lb guy. Had band surgery. Ate around it. Then was given a sleeve and lost weight following his diet plan and adding in activity. Well, now 3 years later back up to 300's Went down to 220 or so. He ask me several times how to lose weight. I told him to just go back to the diet his DOCTOR gave him and Limit the junk food. Oh lord, you should see his lunch box. Cookies, cake, sandwiches, candy bars, real soda. Not saying anything wrong with these, but not really the stuff they advice after a sleeve. He eats around his sleeve. He accidentally overheard me speaking to one of my friends here at work about BF settling range hypothesis. Now he is convinced that's why he regained. Tried telling him his range was most likely slightly above the low weight he had. Its not the dozen chicken wings being washed down by multiple beers in one of his Facebook photos! Great example of someone reverting to old habits. Not saying surgery is the easy way, its not, but dude has a great tool many of us don't. I have also watched my friends sister who had VSG. She lost 100lbs. Put back on 60. Can't understand why. Watched her eat a bag of reeces cups in a sitting. HMMM.. No judgement. Just N=1 observations.
    edited September 8
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