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Can you lose weight eating at maintenance for your goal weight?

XxAngry_PixiXxAngry_Pixi Member Posts: 107 Member Member Posts: 107 Member
I have a lot of weight to lose and a history of yoyo dieting .

I'm wondering if I just work out the maintenance cals for my goal weight and eat that from the start will I still lose weight at a sustainable level?

Thinking rather than always adjusting the amounts I could just get used to eating what I would be eating for the rest of my life once I hit maintenance anyways.

Replies

  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member
    There's some great people here who can work out the math specifically, but my initial thought is that it uses a lot more calories to sustain your body at a higher weight than a lower weight, both for the needed processes to keep you alive and for any kind of exercise. Depending on where you are now and where you want to go, the gap may be too high, at first, for it to be a good idea to go right there.
  • Lhenderson923Lhenderson923 Member Posts: 29 Member Member Posts: 29 Member
    That depends on a lot of factors like how much you currently weight and your goal weight. This doesn’t sound like a great plan though and you’d likely lose to quickly if the gap between the two is too large. I’d just set MFP for a modest goal and eat the amount that it recommends.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 360 Member Member Posts: 360 Member
    I think you'll be fine, at least for a while and if you're very patient.

    Where I am now eating maintenance for what is tentatively my goal/13lbs away would be an 80 calorie deficit. At that rate it would take me 569 days to get there.

    But that's 13lbs from ultimate goal - tentatively, and with a solid 10 of those being at a healthy bmi just going lower for, basically, vanity reasons. When I was obese? I'd certainly have lost faster than I actually did with MFP set to lose a pound a week - and had a lower calorie allotment than what MFP gave me for that loss.

    So it really does just come down to looking at it and what feels okay for you.

    and frankly I've eaten a lot of maintenance for my various weights along the way.
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member Posts: 892 Member Member Posts: 892 Member
    In theory yes.

    It is math, actually. Let's say your current maintenance level is 2400 and your goal weight maintenance is 1850. If you need to lose weight, then your future maintenance (at lower weight) will be lower than current maintenance (at higher weight) thus creating a deficit.

    The gray area comes in around whether or not your activity level will change as a result of weight loss, lifestyle changes, etc. If & when your activity level changes, you could always re-evaluate your needs & goals.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,023 Member Member Posts: 39,023 Member
    Yes, it is possible. Where I have seen people have the most difficulty with this is when weight loss slows to less than a crawl due to your calorie requirements shrinking as you lose weight and shrinking the deficit you had to start with when you get closer to your goal...and I'm not necessarily talking about the last 5 to 10 Lbs. Like my maintenance calories at 180 aren't drastically different than they were at 200 Lbs...basically, my deficit had I done that at 200 Lbs would have been about 140 calories.

    But yeah...to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, and that's it.
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 18,266 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,266 Member
    What you are describing is exactly the premise behind the diet part of the Alan Aragon / Lou Schuler book "The Lean Muscle Diet".

    It's an awful title but a very worthwhile read from two people who know their stuff.
  • ThoinThoin Member Posts: 376 Member Member Posts: 376 Member
    I have a lot of weight to lose and a history of yoyo dieting .

    I'm wondering if I just work out the maintenance cals for my goal weight and eat that from the start will I still lose weight at a sustainable level?

    Thinking rather than always adjusting the amounts I could just get used to eating what I would be eating for the rest of my life once I hit maintenance anyways.

    This is mostly a good idea, however to lose the last amount you will have to eat under maintenance.

  • GigiAgape1981GigiAgape1981 Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    What you are describing is exactly the premise behind the diet part of the Alan Aragon / Lou Schuler book "The Lean Muscle Diet".

    It's an awful title but a very worthwhile read from two people who know their stuff.

    Indeed a great book on the subject!

    It definitely works but you have to be very diligent with logging accurately. As others mentioned the difference between lose/maintain and "gray areas of NEAT" is small when you get closer to your goal. It's a great way to start practicing maintenance from the get go!
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 7,367 Member Member Posts: 7,367 Member
    I BASICALLY do, in theory at least, but I have a fairly large amount of weight to lose (50 pounds). My maintenance calories are LESS than what most of the calculators say, so I'm an outlier in that aspect. My calories are currently set at 1400. I lose anywhere from a half pound to a pound (and on rare occasions 2 pounds) a week.

    I somewhat frequently eat over my calories a bit, but less than maintenance.
  • leiflungleiflung Member Posts: 82 Member Member Posts: 82 Member
    Theoretically you would but it would slow considerably the closer you got to your goal, because it wouldn't be much of a deficit. But our best indicator of what your maintenance cal/day is would be whether you lose weight. All those calculators are just making educated guesses.So there's no great way to even test the theory.
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,309 Member Member Posts: 2,309 Member
    Yes! And at 1lb/wk in the early days, it sounds like a really good strategy for someone with a long term view. Certainly puts your mind in the maintenance-for-life frame. Best of luck to you, OP!
  • vanmepvanmep Member Posts: 334 Member Member Posts: 334 Member
    I didn’t do exactly that. But I did set it for a modest weight loss of 1/2 pound per week. Like you, I was not interested in the quick loss per se, but wanted something I could keep doing in the long haul. And something that would be a lifestyle change.
  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,723 Member Member Posts: 1,723 Member
    If your maintenance calories at goal weight are less than your typical intake...it will of course work. For me the rate would have been too slow to keep me motivated to continue (I really need to see progress or I question what I am doing).

    Now that I am almost there, my maintenance calories allow me to enjoy more food while still losing at a slower rate (which I am ok with now...because I don't have much more to go anyway and am happy with my new look).

    The mindset is so important to success that you really do need to find what works for you. If consistency is the key, and more manageable I say go for it.
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