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Switched to maintenance mode, but not sure how to go about it.

slytherclawprideslytherclawpride Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
Hello! It has taken me about 10 years, but through a lot of baby steps, and trial and error, I went from the mid to high 200s, to now 140 lbs. At first, my goal was to be in the 130s, since I decided that that was a good range for my height. However, once I got to 140 lbs., the scale just wouldn't go down. I would bounce around a bit, and go up some and then back down to 140 lbs, but then I noticed something. I notice that I look leaner at 140 lbs. now than I did a couple weeks ago. The scale may not be going any lower, but I believe that I have lost some fat. My stomach even looks the way I've been wanting it to look for a very long time.

After debating and going back a forth for some time, I decided that maybe I shouldn't worry about it too much, and I went ahead and decided to switch to maintenance mode.

Now that I decided to switch, I'm kind of at a loss. I don't want to just flip a switch and eat maintenance calories overnight, because I'm afraid that I'll just end up gaining instead of maintaining. I also want to continue losing fat without becoming too obsessive about it. I finally like the way I look. I want to enjoy that. Even so, I don't want to slip back into old habits or anything.

Is there a process to ease into switching, or am I just overthinking it (I tend to overthink quite a lot)?

Replies

  • briscogunbriscogun Member Posts: 980 Member Member Posts: 980 Member
    Congrats on the loss!

    So, yes, there is a process to ease into it. You literally slowly add calories back in on a regular basis, say weekly for example. It can be 100, 200, whatever you decide.

    Or, you can let MFP calculate you maintenance calories and try that right away.

    No right or wrong answer here.

    I've struggled with losing and maintenance off and over over the years, so this time around I tried something different. As I got closer to my goal weight I sort of started adding some calories back in. So instead of stopping with losing completely I sort of put the breaks on slowly before I got to maintenance, figuring I was going to still lose a bit. That way I could figure it out as I got closer. Took a good month. But it gave me time to transition from losing to maintaining. So I guess I was a first option guy but I did it early...

    It still took me another couple of months to really make the transition emotionally/mentally from losing to just trying to stay in one place. It's harder than it looks. But that's where the rubber really meets the road! You put in the work, now you have to learn how to manage that new body!
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 541 Member Member Posts: 541 Member
    @slytherclawpride, congratulations: that is an amazing achievement! I am right with you, and will be watching this thread! I am nearly down to what I consider the top of my maintenance range, with ca. 4kg / 4-5lbs to go. I've been here before but for a variety of reasons started gaining back steadily instead of maintaining, so I am thinking much harder about how to stay here this time.

    @briscogun, about how long did you reckon at each calorie increment? I ask because I recently adjusted from what mfp gave me as my calories for losing 2 kg per month to my calories for losing 1 kg each month and after a week I am not yet seeing a steady pattern at all.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,130 Member Member Posts: 17,130 Member
    Your situation is a bit different to people that lose steadily down to goal weight as it seems you are saying you have stalled at a weight that happily is a good weight for you. So suggest you makes a series of small calorie increases and monitor the effect on your weight trend. Keep in mind nothing you do is irreversible and you have the freedom to experiment rather than feel you are trapped at one calorie level, or one weight, for life.

    Don't react (or over-react) to weight fluctuations or bumps that you KNOW are out of line with calories. You need to moderate your emotional fears with cold hard logic.

    If your long term aim is to stay the same weight and get leaner then time to review your exercise choices to make sure they support that aim.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 13,135 Member Member Posts: 13,135 Member
    If you've been sitting consistently in the 140s for some time you have basically been already maintaining.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,130 Member Member Posts: 17,130 Member
    If you've been sitting consistently in the 140s for some time you have basically been already maintaining.

    True but that doesn't mean she can't maintain on a higher calorie allowance in the future, CI can influence CO and there may be some adaptive thermogenisis surpressing her current weight maintenance calorie allowance.

    Stalling to maintenance would be a good reason not to make a big jump up in calories.
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 545 Member Member Posts: 545 Member
    I agree with what others have said and did it that way myself - transitioned into maintenance. For the first two weeks, I added an extra 100 calories per day to what I'd been doing. Weighed weekly, was still losing, so the next two weeks were a second 100 calories per day. I also increased my exercise from a minimum of 30 min per day to a minimum of 60 and increased intensity, too. Now it's a matter of the scale and how my clothes fit, but I think I'm in a decent calorie range where I am. Gradual increase seems to be the way to keep your body adjusting to what you're asking of it.
  • briscogunbriscogun Member Posts: 980 Member Member Posts: 980 Member
    charmmeth wrote: »
    @briscogun, about how long did you reckon at each calorie increment? I ask because I recently adjusted from what mfp gave me as my calories for losing 2 kg per month to my calories for losing 1 kg each month and after a week I am not yet seeing a steady pattern at all.

    @charmmeth it was kind of a weekly adjustment, but not religiously.

    So what I did was start keeping a spreadsheet of my daily weigh-in figures and my daily calorie figures. I keep track of the monthly average but also the weekly average. So as I was putting the brakes on, if it wasn't slowing down enough, I'd add in more calories at any interval I deemed it was needed. If I remember right I probably added back in about 250 calories to start with and then just adjusted as needed from there.

    It's hard mentally to start eating more when you've trained yourself to eat less for such a long time, so keeping track of the data was a way to let me manage the process as I needed to. I still am doing this 5 months or so into the process, but it's a way for me to purposefully manage and be aware of my maintenance and not slip back into old habits/routines from before. So far it's working great.

    Everyone is different though, you just have to find something that works for you and do that. But do it consistently. I think that's the key. There are thousands of people that have used this tool to lose weight, and a percentage of them have been successful at keeping it off, but I'm willing to bet that no two of them are doing exactly the same things to be successful. They have found a way for them to succeed and they do it consistently. Don't overthink it, it's not brain surgery or rocket science, but it does take purposeful thought and activity to manage. At least it does for me! ;)
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 541 Member Member Posts: 541 Member
    @briscogun, that's really helpful, thank you!
  • globalc00globalc00 Member Posts: 59 Member Member Posts: 59 Member
    Assuming you were doing your share of cardio, you can also consider cutting back on that first and keeping food the same. I'm not saying stop doing cardio completely, but if you were doing 1 hour, maybe you can scale it back to 45 minutes. You may find that your not as hungry and really don't need to adjust your food.
  • slytherclawprideslytherclawpride Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
    Thank you all for the congratulations and advise. I think I'm going to adjust my calorie intake slowly and see how my body responds. Just like AnnPT77 says, I can experiment and see how things go for me.

    Also, just like briscogun mentions, it's taking some time getting used to mentally, especially after 10 years of trying to eat to lose weight and being at a calorie deficit. Now, I'm not exactly at a deficit.

    As for cardio, I only did that twice a week. I'm trying to up my strength training though. I'm also going to try and keep a record and see if I see any patterns and such.

    Again, thank you for all the responses!
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