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How to not feel like it's one long endless diet.

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  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Member Posts: 3,905 Member Member Posts: 3,905 Member
    MomLarisa wrote: »
    I'm absolutely exercising. I've always been very active. I ride my horse 5 days a week and also run 3 days a week in addition to all the work in running my mini-farm; mowing, weeding, gardening. I also bike and hike a lot with my kids. I've never actually been "overweight" except when I was pregnant. My BMI was more like 24 and steady there for decades and now it's around 20. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted to maintain at a 24 BMI. I like that I look trimmer now, but the calorie constraints suck. I'm at around 1500 calories right now. I tried not tracking on the weekends after I hit maintenance, but I put on a couple pounds so I definitely am not to the point of being able to add calories back in. I hear your suggestions and I appreciate them, but I'll also admit they're a little disheartening. Tracking and being so careful with what I eat FOREVER has me a bit bummed. And it's not like I dropped from the 24 to 20 in a month or two, I've been slow losing since November. I think I need to change my perspective somehow, but not quite sure how to get there.

    After my initial loss of 50 lbs and maintenance for several years at a BMI around 25, I similarly dropped to a BMI of ~21 to get down to "race weight" for marathon performance. Even though I was eating nearly the same number of calories, I found my hunger cues were much higher at that weight. It took a long while, many months, for my hormones to reset and not feel depraved regularly, even though I had the leeway from being very active to eat plenty of food (close to 3000 calories/day) that allowed me to fit in meals out and treats.

    Given your long term established habits and lifestyle that naturally put you at a healthy weight, and the drop in weight to a point where your body thinks you are in a time of scarcity and getting pretty lean, I can understand why this may create some difficulty.

    And I will reiterate what some other have said and track your weight trend and not chase little ups and downs over the week. I can EASILY fluctuate up and down 5 lbs in the course of a week due to training, hydration, or days where I splurge a bit.
  • jungkooksdonut17jungkooksdonut17 Member Posts: 158 Member Member Posts: 158 Member
    I would suggest changing up your diet a little bit. For me, what works is I eat practically the same thing every day until I get sick of it, then I switch to a different food (that's still low on calories), and so on. But I really only do that with breakfast, and I don't really get hungry in the morning, so I just have a few grapes or something, that way I can have a larger lunch and dinner without going over my calorie deficit.
  • MomLarisaMomLarisa Member Posts: 210 Member Member Posts: 210 Member
    After my initial loss of 50 lbs and maintenance for several years at a BMI around 25, I similarly dropped to a BMI of ~21 to get down to "race weight" for marathon performance. Even though I was eating nearly the same number of calories, I found my hunger cues were much higher at that weight. It took a long while, many months, for my hormones to reset and not feel depraved regularly, even though I had the leeway from being very active to eat plenty of food (close to 3000 calories/day) that allowed me to fit in meals out and treats.

    Given your long term established habits and lifestyle that naturally put you at a healthy weight, and the drop in weight to a point where your body thinks you are in a time of scarcity and getting pretty lean, I can understand why this may create some difficulty.

    This is totally how it feels to me. Thank you. I will try to be patient, and give my body time to adjust, but I think I may also have to realize my hunger cues will always be higher at this weight. It makes sense. It will just force me to be more conscious of portions.

    Others have asked if I'm struggling in other aspects of my life and actually things are going better than they ever have.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,247 Member Member Posts: 2,247 Member
    I have around a 8 to 9 pound fluctuation I allow. I recently got to the higher end of my maintenance weight and actually a pound or so over my "red line". Now, I'm back under and buckling down again. I do this over a month or so, maybe two.

    While I'm going up on weight and eating crap, it's wonderful -- like a party. Woohoo!! Yeah, cake. Burgers, Pizza!! Alcohol!!!

    Going back down sucks. Sounds like you're doing this weekly -- what I do monthly or every other month. Why pig out on the weekend to have to really buckle down all week long? I'm working on this too. Even things out. For me, not eating half the pan of brownies in two days. Maybe one friggin brownie once a week. How about if you eat fast food on the weekend, have the burger but not the fries and shake?

    Sounds a lot like you're in mourning. I get that. I realized, during my fitness journey, that I'm celiac. I can't eat any gluten at all or I get terribly sick. Trust me, I'm very sad about it. There are replacements but they aren't the same and if I want really good bread, I have to make it myself. My wife can't do cow dairy (she's allergic). She feels sorry for herself every now and then. Sounds a lot like what you're going through and it can be hard.
  • VeryKatieVeryKatie Member Posts: 5,793 Member Member Posts: 5,793 Member
    So... what I do when I'm not losing baby weight... is i lower my maintenance calorie goal by 100-150... and then i track but barely weight anything other than meat and nut butters. It takes the edge off the effort. And the I adjust the overall calorie goal until I mostly maintain my weight.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,915 Member Member Posts: 5,915 Member
    The things that help me are long runs so I can afford more food, putting on muscle so I can afford more food and still look okay, and not eating food I don’t love. For example I really craved specific fried chicken yesterday, wasn’t able to get it so I was going to settle for similar fast food, or chain fried chicken - which would have left me still craving the good fried chicken. Instead I ate something healthy and light and will have the chicken tomorrow, when I will be in town near the chicken place.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 804 Member Member Posts: 804 Member
    Gallicinvasion’s post also resonated with me.
    I lost 45 pounds about a decade ago. Took me to a bmi of about 24. About 2 years ago I lost a further 10 pounds; current bmi is 20. I have maintained the lower weight. First few months were hard and I felt more hungry more often and more intensely. To the point where I was considering gaining a few pounds back. But I then noticed hunger levels had gone back down to previous higher weight level so are now more manageable. I dunno whether there is a physiological reason for this? Maybe grehlin and leptin levels settling? Anyway I’m not saying I don’t ever get hungry now, I do. It’s just more manageable.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 468 Member Member Posts: 468 Member
    It IS one long endless diet. Calories are like money (but reverse) and like it or not, that doesn't change until we die. You have to stay within budget or you'll run into problems. Now there's two things you can do to increase that "budget"; be more active and build muscle. Muscle requires calories to be sustained so the more of it you have, the more calorie "budget" you have. If you had two women that both weighed 135 lbs but one was 20% bf and the other 40%, the one that was 20% would have a higher calorie allowance (BMR, Basal Metabolic Rate) even if they were identically active. Unfortunately, too many people skip strength training to their own detriment.
  • HeidiCooksSupperHeidiCooksSupper Member, Premium Posts: 3,836 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,836 Member
    Every animal has a diet. You have a diet. A diet is what you eat. The struggle is not to go on or off "a diet" but to choose how and what to eat. One seeks a diet that comprises foods in amounts that maintain a healthy body condition and weight. My habitual diet has enough calories to keep my weight very high. I am trying to develop new dietary habits that maintain a lower weight. Don't go on or off "a diet." Adapt your dietary habits to meet your goals.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 468 Member Member Posts: 468 Member
    Gallicinvasion’s post also resonated with me.
    I lost 45 pounds about a decade ago. Took me to a bmi of about 24. About 2 years ago I lost a further 10 pounds; current bmi is 20. I have maintained the lower weight. First few months were hard and I felt more hungry more often and more intensely. To the point where I was considering gaining a few pounds back. But I then noticed hunger levels had gone back down to previous higher weight level so are now more manageable. I dunno whether there is a physiological reason for this? Maybe grehlin and leptin levels settling? Anyway I’m not saying I don’t ever get hungry now, I do. It’s just more manageable.

    That's interesting. I just listened to The Joe Rogan Experiance Episode #1176 with Dom D'Agostino and Layne Norton and it was a high level nutritional discussion. Dom is Keto, Layne is flexible dieting but they're friends so it was a very civil discussion with neither one being a zealot. I learned a ton, but Layne mentioned grehlin and leptin levels settling if that lower weight is maintained for a significant time. Good job!
  • B_Plus_EffortB_Plus_Effort Member, Premium Posts: 303 Member Member, Premium Posts: 303 Member
    this is such an incredibly good point/question that I think is really about making that choice and changing your lifestyle and I think you are tip toeing on the razors edge, I can relate in the sense that I like pizza yet I can gain weight just by walking by it, ha ha

    I think that the OP needs to make some tough choices, they may not be able to have their cake and eat it too, fast foot is simply horrible, I think some hamburger meals can absolutely be enough calories for an entire day on their own, so yeah you really can't eat anything else, that's just that

    so if you really like fast food you may have to allow for extra 10 pounds on your person I recon and live with it

    now if you want to stay fit, then there may be hope in discovering new healthy foods which you haven't discovered yet, prior to my knee and elbow problems when I was maintaining I enjoyed looking for new foods that were delicious, you spoke of salads well there are bazilion different salads, so make it fun, try a salad in each of your favorite restaurants instead of the pasta for example, also buying into quality vs quantity may work for you, go out for a high end Lobster Tail dinner instead of an all you can eat shrimp buffet or order the filet mignon instead of New York steak, etc. get the low sugar Adams peanut butter instead of Skippy

    the other option is to up your exercise, and work it in to your day, take the stairs at work instead of the elevator, hewk walk to work if you can instead of driving, or park further away on purpose, you are creative come up with something
  • globalc00globalc00 Member Posts: 103 Member Member Posts: 103 Member
    My take on this and I know it will be an unpopular one is, there isn't much flexibility with your diet choices until you get above a certain amount of calories. For example, for 2000 calorie diet, if you are trying to follow a "healthy" diet of say 2 portion of fruits a day. A banana and apple will easily run you from 150-200 calories. That's 10% of 2000 If your on a 1500 calorie diet, that's even more. Then you get into your healthy fat, which everyone references salmon, avocado and nuts. Getting the minimum 40G is another 450 calories gone. And with salmon, avocado, and nuts, that is not a big portion. Now you want to get your minimum protein in... and so forth. Before you know it, all your calories are used up. So really the only option is to exercise so you have more calories so you don't have to keep eating those calorie dense food. Finding the right amount of exercise to where it doesn't take up more time than your willing to dedicate and make you want to eat more than you burn but raising your calories enough to where you have some choices is the key.
    So if all that doesn't seem worth it, then you have to ask, is it worth it to stay at this current level or should I adjust upward.
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,845 Member Member Posts: 5,845 Member
    globalc00 wrote: »
    My take on this and I know it will be an unpopular one is, there isn't much flexibility with your diet choices until you get above a certain amount of calories. For example, for 2000 calorie diet, if you are trying to follow a "healthy" diet of say 2 portion of fruits a day. A banana and apple will easily run you from 150-200 calories. That's 10% of 2000 If your on a 1500 calorie diet, that's even more. Then you get into your healthy fat, which everyone references salmon, avocado and nuts. Getting the minimum 40G is another 450 calories gone. And with salmon, avocado, and nuts, that is not a big portion. Now you want to get your minimum protein in... and so forth. Before you know it, all your calories are used up. So really the only option is to exercise so you have more calories so you don't have to keep eating those calorie dense food. Finding the right amount of exercise to where it doesn't take up more time than your willing to dedicate and make you want to eat more than you burn but raising your calories enough to where you have some choices is the key.
    So if all that doesn't seem worth it, then you have to ask, is it worth it to stay at this current level or should I adjust upward.

    I agree with you. If you want to hit your macros, this is what happens. It doesn't allow wiggle room. After a long time doing this, it isn't easy. That's why I'm packing an extra 25 lbs. I exercise almost everyday, but those (extra) 450 cals don't go far. It is, what it is. However after being here 7 plus years, I don't have a lot of excess fat. When I started, if I grabbed the back of my neck, there was fat, now it's hard, as are my sides, so my body has changed. I'll just keep goin' as long as I can--I'm 65.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,705 Member Member Posts: 5,705 Member
    globalc00 wrote: »
    So really the only option is to exercise

    Agree!

    We need to exercise to replace all the activity that used to be "baked" into our lives in general. Our caveman ancestors had expend energy (calories) in order to get energy (calories). Our super convenient lives have taken the energy expense out of the equation...
  • KarmelaLKarmelaL Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    MomLarisa wrote: »
    I'm absolutely exercising. I've always been very active. I ride my horse 5 days a week and also run 3 days a week in addition to all the work in running my mini-farm; mowing, weeding, gardening. I also bike and hike a lot with my kids.

    I just hit maintenance myself and am deathly scared to add any calories back in (I'm at 1200/day). Looks like your exercise is mostly cardio, yes? My trainer advised me to start lifting HEAVY. We measured my 1-rep max weight for various exercises (squats, etc) , then she designed a routine for me that has me lifting 80% of that, but only 5 reps tops, 2 days a week. The various days of the week, I'm running and doing yoga. I throw in a zumba class now and again. My trainer promises me the lifting routine is to increase my metabolism to the point where I can increase my caloric consumption back to "normal" (whatever that means) and not inch up on the scale. I do advise getting the services of a professional trainer who specializes in the female physiology. Mine is that, plus she also specializes in women 40+ yo (she is one too).

    Good luck! Sounds like you and I are on the same boat.

  • DeterminedFee201426DeterminedFee201426 Member, Premium Posts: 834 Member Member, Premium Posts: 834 Member
    I'm maintaining at 154lbs. For me, I find when I eat nutritous foods. I have an easy day. When i eat stuff like candy,cereal, and cookies.That take up my cals and don't fill me up. I have a difficult time that day. The foods eaten play a huge role. Maybe the same for you...
    I had a rough day today maintaining. Took a two hour walk for more calories. It made it much easier. Maintaining will be easier with exercise. Now I have 272 extra calories for today. At first I only had like 120. Instead of burning 1780 today. Its more like 2,052 calories. Do walking some times. It's easy and not stressful for more calories.
  • elisa123galelisa123gal Member Posts: 3,948 Member Member Posts: 3,948 Member
    I don't count calories or log.. I make rules for eating and it doesn't drain me like calorie counting. I also walk an hour about five days a week. It works for me... and I feel what you mean about dieting forever.

    Also.. it could be your food choices.. start paying attention to what you're eating that leaves you hungry soon after.. and change it for something that doesn't do that.
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