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Having trouble levelling out weight loss

sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
Did anyone else have trouble levelling out weight loss when starting maintenance?

I'm consuming 2600 calories per day, and although I have the occasional hungry day, many days I have to force myself to eat more to reach this target.

It seems kind of perverse for a person with my history of weight issues to be forcing themselves to eat when my body is saying "I'm full!"

However, if my current trends continue, I'll bottom out of my maintenance range in a week or two.

I know this sounds like a good problem to have, especially when I have entertained the "will dieting wreck my metabolism" worry. And I may look back on this post with envy if and when things get more difficult.

I'm determined not to let free sugars back into my life (apart from a big piece of carrot cake when my birthday swings around :smile: ), so i can't just eat a bucket of ice cream, and although I'm exercising a lot in terms of absolute minutes, most of it is only moderate intensity, and much of it i enjoy, plus its good for me for reasons other than weight.

Did anyone else find themselves in the same boat at the start of maintenance?
edited July 27
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Replies

  • snaileatsplantssnaileatsplants Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    @sofrances I'm not quite to that stage yet, but close enough that it is a concern. Since giving up added oil and sugar, and cutting out refined grains, I find that the amount of fruits and veggies I need to eat just to reach my minimum daily calorie goal is already a struggle sometimes, so as I get closer to my weight goal, I'm starting to worry that I will need to eat past the point of being comfortably full in order to hit the maintenance range, and there's a limit to the amount of veggie stew, steamed kale, salads and apples I can handle. The current thought is that I'll just need to eat more calorie dense foods that are still within the food plan, like upping my intake of chickpeas and beans. Otherwise, it's going to be hard.

    Do you have any calorie dense things that are within your plan? I guess you must. A 2,600 goal sounds really difficult to achieve. But exercising is a good thing to continue, for health, so you'll probably want to keep that up in spite of it making it harder to nourish yourself sufficiently. I'm thinking that calorie density is the key. Good luck!
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 625 Member Member Posts: 625 Member
    Yep. I entered maintenance at the start of lockdown. At work, there's a seemingly never-ending supply of snacks available to pick at - but that was OK as I went to the gym almost daily and they roughly balanced out. No longer in the office, but then going for longer, brisker walks to get out of the house for an hour, I suddenly dropped another 2kg (4.5lbs). I then dropped a bit more a few weeks later. I'm now fluctuating at 4-5kg below what I planned my maintenance to be and definitely don't want to go any lower.

    I had a couple of weeks where I set my goal to put on weight then went back to maintenance, but now aim to eat a little (50-100 cals) above what MFP thinks my maintenance is. I'm weighing myself most days and I'll see how I'm doing in 6 weeks. Depending on what I've eaten for the day and how many cals I want to add, a snack might be a couple of babybels, a (weighed) handful of nuts or an apple or all three. If I'm happy with all my macros, I might have a glass of wine or a can of lager.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 12,960 Member Member Posts: 12,960 Member
    I've seen lots of people post about the same thing but can't say it happened to me, only wish it had LOL, nope I would ideally love to be eating more than I get in maintenance and that's even with being active...

    If you find you keep dropping weight you can add in some high cal foods, nuts/peanut butter or add more oil when cooking etc.
  • kristinlrmkristinlrm Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Same! I continue to lose and I don’t want to. I’m also unwilling to reduce the intensity of the workouts that I enjoy or add back the breads (or late night mozzarella sticks) that I’ve learned are one of the key reasons I always felt sluggish and bloated. So I’m trying to add more brown rice and nut butters to get the calories up. It’s not easy to fill that calorie budget.
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Member, Premium Posts: 1,381 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,381 Member
    it is very common. You may very well in a year look back on this post and laugh at yourself. ;) Maintenance is never a steady state unfortunately but adjustments are made usually over months vs weeks or days. Think of your body like a HUGE freight ship. Your weight loss momentum is carrying you down a little even though you have taken your foot off the gas or even put the throttle in reverse. As momentum decreases the ship will slowly come to a stop and it may even start going backwards (up again) so my advice is don't panic yet about the scale, but keep eating the calories you are allotted and don't be afraid of using things like nuts/peanut butter as mentioned above.
  • whmscllwhmscll Member Posts: 2,244 Member Member Posts: 2,244 Member
    I have been in maintenance for almost a year, and during that time I've gained 5 pounds twice and gone back to a calorie deficit each time (currently in my second one). When I'm not in a deficit, I seem to slide back to old snacking habits and not logging. COVID didn't help, at the beginning I was drinking more and stress baking. That's stopped, but I'm so bored (I work from home and all my work has dried up) I have to stop myself from snacking all the time. So my maintenance has been one big yo-yo machine.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 3,295 Member Member Posts: 3,295 Member
    I am celebrating my second anniversary in maintenance.

    You know, I kind of forgot that when I got to my goal, I did keep going down after. I started actually being concerned I was going to lose too much.

    Ha.

    There's this magic five or eight pound blob. We play hide and seek. I try to hide, but it seeks me out. Then I manage to lose it again and hope it doesn't find me.

    Take a long view. Watch your trend over time. Balance out the day to day swings. Don't stress about it too much, because it probably WILL go back up again over time. This is what mine's looked like the last couple years. Kind of a roller coaster!
    p06aems5e2co.png
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    Did anyone else have trouble levelling out weight loss when starting maintenance?

    I'm consuming 2600 calories per day, and although I have the occasional hungry day, many days I have to force myself to eat more to reach this target.

    It seems kind of perverse for a person with my history of weight issues to be forcing themselves to eat when my body is saying "I'm full!"

    However, if my current trends continue, I'll bottom out of my maintenance range in a week or two.

    I know this sounds like a good problem to have, especially when I have entertained the "will dieting wreck my metabolism" worry. And I may look back on this post with envy if and when things get more difficult.

    I'm determined not to let free sugars back into my life (apart from a big piece of carrot cake when my birthday swings around :smile: ), so i can't just eat a bucket of ice cream, and although I'm exercising a lot in terms of absolute minutes, most of it is only moderate intensity, and much of it i enjoy, plus its good for me for reasons other than weight.

    Did anyone else find themselves in the same boat at the start of maintenance?

    There is some evidence that as you start increasing calories, NEAT increases accidentally, if so CONGRATS! you are a hyper responder.You get to eat more. There is also a second option and a third. You could be slightly hyper-metabolic post weight loss and tdee will normalize or you might not be tracking accurately. Not intentionally, but errors in picking data entries. You might also might be more active than you realize. I'm just shooting in the dark here, best wishes!

    Hope its the NEAT thing. Its definitely easier to get off the couch when I'm lighter. Plus sitting down is less comfortable with less padding! :smile:

    I'll prepare myself for the possibility of my TDEE stabilising and me having to cut calories down again a bit though. Thanks for the heads up.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
    Do you have any calorie dense things that are within your plan? I guess you must. A 2,600 goal sounds really difficult to achieve. But exercising is a good thing to continue, for health, so you'll probably want to keep that up in spite of it making it harder to nourish yourself sufficiently. I'm thinking that calorie density is the key. Good luck!

    Walnuts, avocado, oats, pumpernickle bread or huel are my options usually, depending on where my macros are. Drizzling with olive oil would also be acceptable.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 2,749 Member Member Posts: 2,749 Member
    I continued to lose weight when I reached my goal because I burn a little more than average for someone my age and size. I increased my calorie allowance and figured out a balance between CI-CO. I've been stable for several years. I don't weigh or measure though I do log everything I eat. I eat back all my exercise calories. I am fairly loose in what I eat - both healthy foods and not healthy foods. I have no problem reaching my calorie goal each day but I haven't ended up with a lot of variation in my weight either.
  • PGKYPGKY Member Posts: 102 Member Member Posts: 102 Member
    I'm going through the same, I don't mind eating more (I'm not really hungry though), I just wish it was easier to figure out what my maintenance is. The guided setup gives me 1630, I manually changed that to 1750 and I'm adding 250 the days I work out (LIIFT4, 4 times a week, 27-40min long). I seem to still be losing, around 0.5lbs a week. At this point my BMI has hit 18.5 and I'm getting worried, I think I'm going to manually change my daily goal to 1900 and add 300 for the workouts. That'd give me 1250 extra calories per week.
    edited July 29
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
    Ok, so I hit the bottom of my range today, not in a week or two as I predicted. I have lost about 1kg in the last week. A bit worrying. Something wrong with my scales maybe?!
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 12,960 Member Member Posts: 12,960 Member
    sofrances wrote: »
    Ok, so I hit the bottom of my range today, not in a week or two as I predicted. I have lost about 1kg in the last week. A bit worrying. Something wrong with my scales maybe?!

    You need to up your cals, losing 1kg in a week means you've been in calorie deficit by over 1000 cals a day...
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
    There's no way I can eat more than 3600 cals of healthy food every day. I guess I will have to try reducing the exercise a bit.

    I am doing between 1 and 2.5 hours every day, most days close to 1.5, although most of that is walking, so not particularly strenuous. Its a shame, walking with a podcast or audiobook has rapidly become my favourite part of the day.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 12,960 Member Member Posts: 12,960 Member
    whats wrong with adding some calorie dense items like peanut butter, nuts, use more oil for cooking etc - its either that or cut back on your time exercising...
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Member, Premium Posts: 1,381 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,381 Member
    So what are your stats? height weight etc. Weight range. It might be way too soon to be panicking as it's been what 3 days since we started this discussion. I have to assume you are a guy and rather tall if 2600 is what MFP is giving you prior to exercise to maintain. Do you use trend weight apps to watch the trend vs the daily fluctuations? How long since you started adding calories? Is your maintenance range at the bottom of the BMI for your height? I think its hard for us to help you without a little more data at this point.

    Sorry for all the questions but we are all working to help you out! :)
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member Member, Premium Posts: 82 Member
    I'm 6 foot 1 (187cm), male and I'm not even technically a healthy weight, but I'm a long way from where I started and want to maintain for a while to prove I can and to let my body get used to the changes. I'm currently 91.3kg or 205 pounds. I have been adding calories for a while, since I started with a budget of 2000. 2600 isn't prior to exercise its just the point I have reached so far, experimentally raising my budget every week or two. The app gives me 2440 before exercise at my current weight. I have been using libra to track trends since I was on 2000.
    edited July 29
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