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You lost weight & have maintained it. Did you focus on healthier foods or just restrict calories????

NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 182 Member Member Posts: 182 Member
I know exercise is a huge part of maintaining weight loss, but how have you had to change your diet? Do you eat less the same foods or did you focus on eating healthier, more nutritious foods?
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  • helen_goldthorpehelen_goldthorpe Member Posts: 320 Member Member Posts: 320 Member
    I was already eating fairly healthy foods, I just had an issue with portion control. For context I lost over 100lb in about 2004 by just improving my diet and exercising with no calorie counting, then put maybe 40lb back on again very slowly over the next 15 years which averages out at a couple of hundred calories a week over maintenance. Not stupidly out of balance but it built up over time.

    Actually logging properly and controlling portions has made it all drop off again (and a bit more too - I'm lower than my original goal weight) without really needing the change what I eat that much.
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 18,248 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,248 Member
    I was maintaining long term with a healthy diet before weight loss, just at too high a weight.
    To lose weight I just had to find a way to eat less for a period of time, maintenance at goal weight was a return to normal for me - just slimmer.

    As both my activity level and exercise volume have gone up compared to my life before weight loss, primarilly due to retiring from full-time work giving me more time, I eat significantly more now.
  • rosiekinrosiekin Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
    When I was losing weight, I definitely had a very healthy diet but it also included some treats. Initially my only exercise was an occasional walk, but as the weight came off, I felt more comfortable going back to the pool. Near the end of my weight loss journey, I swopped occasional walks for swimming 3-4 times a week.
    During weight loss and during the first few years of maintenance, I tried to meet my nutritional macros but I was definitely not obsessed about it. As I did during weight loss, I continued to eat a mainly healthy diet and carried on the good habits I had developed in order to lose weight.
    In lockdown (UK), I definitely don't feel my eating has been as good/healthy as it was although I still meet my weekly calorie goal. I eat a lot of fruit, but equally I eat a lot of crisps! During lockdlown, I am walking10,000 steps plus a day which has definitely resulted in me shedding a few pounds that I didn't necessarily need to lose. I probably should be eating more to compensate for the extra exercise but I do struggle with that.
    I think exercise helps keep you in the right frame of mind when you reach maintenance so I will continue exercising in one form or other, even though I am quite lazy and would rather not!
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 799 Member Member Posts: 799 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I think the patterns are going to be pretty individualistic, between people. It matters where the issues were.

    Weight loss seems likely to be more successful, if somewhat personalized. I'm 100% convinced that for maintenance to be successful, it *has* to be personalized: It needs to be tailored to our own preferences, strengths, challenges, limitations.

    This!

    Weight gain for me is mostly about portion control (though last Easter milk chocolate Easter eggs proved the final straw as I gained back 7kg to end pretty much exactly where I had started in 2014, which is right on the borderline between overweight and obese for me in bmi terms). Generally -apart from those Easter eggs - I eat a healthy, balanced diet, but if I don't think about portions I eat more than I need to maintain. It's not by a lot but my weight just creeps up month by month. Last time I was in "maintenance" it never felt like any monthly gain was enough to do anything about, and then came the lockdown after Easter period and it was all back again.

    My aim this time is to set my trigger at the top of my maintenance range instead of the top of my overweight bmi range. This means daily weighing and, a colour coded spreadsheet (lighter green towards the top of my maintenance range, orange above...), and coming back to mfp when my weight creeps back up to the top of that range. I am hoping that long term I'll develop a much better sense of what I should be eating to maintain this weight.

    Part of my own challenge is that until my mid 30s I found that I could eat pretty much what I liked and stay roughly the same weight, which was about 7kg less than my present goal/maintenance weight. I never had to watch portions and so I never learned to do it. (At that time in my life I didn't even own a set of bathroom scales.) That changed radically in my mid 30s and my mind took a long time to catch up and to admit that I had gained weight and needed to understand why. That's when i began to think about portion sizes.
    edited March 27
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 590 Member Member Posts: 590 Member
    Logging the calories has been the key for me i.e. not losing track of how much I am consuming if I decide to have a treat. My diet content has not changed hugely. I follow the 16:8 fasting protocol (have done this since before it became a "thing") as it helps me regulate my calories. I do eat more "healthy" foods now, simply because they fill me up and keep me feeling full, plus I want to fuel my exercise. The biggest change is drastically cutting down on alcohol calories.
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 182 Member Member Posts: 182 Member
    I agree! I think there are a lot of things that will help everyone like exercise and stress management, but as far as diet goes I think we just have to figure out what works for us, personally. I'm sort of surprised about how many people on this thread AND people I know personally already had a pretty healthy diet, as far as food choices, even before losing weight!
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NVintage wrote: »
    I know exercise is a huge part of maintaining weight loss, but how have you had to change your diet? Do you eat less the same foods or did you focus on eating healthier, more nutritious foods?

    When I was obese, I was quite active (training, even competing, as an athlete, for around a dozen years while still obese). I'd been getting decent nutrition, eating a range of healthy foods (had been vegetarian for 40+ years at that point, reasonably attentive to nutrition), but also eating too much, and eating a bunch of less nutrient-dense, calorie-dense stuff. I didn't eat lots of so called junk food, hardly any fast food, close to never drank soda/pop.

    To lose weight, I didn't appreciably change my exercise activity. (To do so would cause poor life balance, for me.) I also didn't change the foods I ate, but did change portion size, proportions of the different foods, frequency of the more calorie-dense things . . . and probably dropped a few foods because not all that yummy to me, but very calorie dense (although it's hard to tell, maybe I just changed the frequency to "once every 10 years"? 😆).

    I'm now in year 5+ of maintenance, after having been obese for around 30 years before weight loss. I'm still doing about the same amount/types of exercise I've done for nearly 18 years, obese or thin. I'm still eating about the same foods (and drinking the same drinks) I've eaten (or drunk) for . . . jeez, a long time, decades, but still in different portions, proportions, frequencies than when I was obese.

    I think the patterns are going to be pretty individualistic, between people. It matters where the issues were.

    Weight loss seems likely to be more successful, if somewhat personalized. I'm 100% convinced that for maintenance to be successful, it *has* to be personalized: It needs to be tailored to our own preferences, strengths, challenges, limitations.

  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 182 Member Member Posts: 182 Member
    That's me...I could eat whatever I wanted until I was 34 and stay slim. For me, it's not so much quantity control for everything, as it is just the rich gravies, butter, and cheeses that I used to eat all the time. So I have had to change my diet a little since I've gotten older. If I do eat rich foods like that, especially over pasta, I'll portion it out in little 1/2 cup ramekins and save some for later.


    charmmeth wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I think the patterns are going to be pretty individualistic, between people. It matters where the issues were.

    Weight loss seems likely to be more successful, if somewhat personalized. I'm 100% convinced that for maintenance to be successful, it *has* to be personalized: It needs to be tailored to our own preferences, strengths, challenges, limitations.

    This!

    Weight gain for me is mostly about portion control (though last Easter milk chocolate Easter eggs proved the final straw as I gained back 7kg to end pretty much exactly where I had started in 2014, which is right on the borderline between overweight and obese for me in bmi terms). Generally -apart from those Easter eggs - I eat a healthy, balanced diet, but if I don't think about portions I eat more than I need to maintain. It's not by a lot but my weight just creeps up month by month. Last time I was in "maintenance" it never felt like any monthly gain was enough to do anything about, and then came the lockdown after Easter period and it was all back again.

    My aim this time is to set my trigger at the top of my maintenance range instead of the top of my overweight bmi range. This means daily weighing and, a colour coded spreadsheet (lighter green towards the top of my maintenance range, orange above...), and coming back to mfp when my weight creeps back up to the top of that range. I am hoping that long term I'll develop a much better sense of what I should be eating to maintain this weight.

    Part of my own challenge is that until my mid 30s I found that I could eat pretty much what I liked and stay roughly the same weight, which was about 7kg less than my present goal/maintenance weight. I never had to watch portions and so I never learned to do it. (At that time in my life I didn't even own a set of bathroom scales.) That changed radically in my mid 30s and my mind took a long time to catch up and to admit that I had gained weight and needed to understand why. That's when i began to think about portion sizes.

  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 799 Member Member Posts: 799 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    ... personally. I'm sort of surprised about how many people on this thread AND people I know personally already had a pretty healthy diet, as far as food choices, even before losing weight!

    Yes, I was thinking that too. I remember looking at guidelines to healthy eating and thinking, "But I am doing all that already." Eventually I signed up for a weight loss recipe service with the Guardian newspaper (UK) and it was immediately clear that my portions of many things - especially carbs like pasta and rice - were double or more what was reasonable. (125g of pasta as one serving, for instance.) I didn't use the service for long as I like to cook and to choose what I cook myself, but the amounts they were suggesting were eye-opening. That's when I started looking for a way to work out the calories in what I was cooking for myself, and found mfp.
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 903 Member Member Posts: 903 Member
    Like most people on this thread, what I was eating was (mostly) fine and balanced, but portion sizes, particularly pasta and cereal, were not. My weight was the same for years - it's just that I was overweight per the BMI scale. Approaching my 50th birthday was the original catalyst for trying to get to 'normal' BMI. Whilst eating at a deficit, I learned what were reasonable portion sizes for everything and made substitutions to add more veg in place of calorie-laden mounds of pasta. I was weighing / tracking everything I consumed so could see what was what. Now that I've lost weight (and am even below what my original goal was), I've just carried on, but with a few more cals to play with.
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