Losing the "healthy" way.

It's such a broad topic because everyone has an opinion on the "healthy" way. Some people say to only eat 1200 calories and not eat back any exercise calories. Others say to eat back half of you exercise calories just in case.. then others tell you to eat back all the exercise calories if you have an accurate way of telling you actually burned that many off.

Is slow and steady the way to go... so it's maintainable and supports a new lifestyle.. or fast and furious.. and then maintenance. Is it healthy to feel starved .... I know so many people are doing it and getting quicker results. I just wish I could be one of those people sometimes. I just know... I KNOW that I can't sustain on such a low calorie deficit. I have tried and failed many many many times. So.. i'm almost 8 months in and lost 43 lbs... "that's it". I think I should still be proud.

Rant over.


  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    You're doing great. Don't compare yourself to others. If you know lower calories is unsustainable for you, avoid that. :smile:
  • ltlemermaid
    ltlemermaid Posts: 637 Member
    Congrats on the weightloss so far!! :)

    Looks like you are off in the right direction. For me losing the healthy way means slow and steady. Its a gradual shift in eating habits and lifestyle that can quickly become intimidating if done all at once. I've learned in the past that if you really restirct yourself and lose the weight fast without commiting to long term changes all the weight you lose will come back plus some once you go back to your old ways.

    Its better to change small things at a time and go from there to make them a permanent change.
  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 Member
    There are general recommendations as to what works for the majority of successful people, but no truly one-size-fits-all answer (other than simply, burn more calories than you take in). How you achieve that depends entirely on the person and his/her unique characteristics.

    Congrats on what you've accomplished...if it's working for you - whatever it is - no need to change
  • zichab
    zichab Posts: 1,275 Member
    Oh my gosh, you can't lose over 100 pounds "FAST." You are doing a phenomenal job! 43 pounds is a lot! Lift two boxes of "kitty litter" next time you are at the store and try to walk around with it! It is what I call "lifting heavy!" :bigsmile:

    You keep doing what you are doing and forget everyone else ... or better read, the threads that start something like "I am back again for the X time to lose X pounds ... AGAIN." and vow not to be one of them OK? I started in August 2012 and it took me until this past March to lose all the weight, (this last 7 pounds are coming off EXTREMELY slowly, but they will be GONE!!!) but none of it is coming back! This will be our last time at this rodeo agreed?????
  • rsclause
    rsclause Posts: 3,103 Member
    I found that I did better when I ate back all, or close to it, my exercise calories. I love to eat and drink so with a lot of exercise I was able to eat about 2800 calories and still lose. I went way low two days in a row thinking "I am going to kill this" but instead I felt horrible. Because I really didn't change my eating habits I find maintenance to be pretty easy. I no longer log my calories but do log my weight. So far I have been able to stay within a two pound range. So I say exercise to eat, my body likes it that way.
  • AmyRhubarb
    AmyRhubarb Posts: 6,890 Member
    Is it healthy to feel starved
    It's not healthy for me to feel starved, and it's not healthy for those around me either - I'm not a nice person when I'm hungry! :tongue:

    I hit goal weight over 2 years ago and have kept it off since then eating 1800-2000 calories a day, exercising about an hour a day. For me, that calorie amount is a small cut from what my body burns all day long, so a small calorie deficit, and that's what has given me the best and most sustainable success.

    With a small deficit I lose the fat, maintain the lean muscle, and there's room in my day for lots of good healthy stuff, and other treats when I want them - burgers, pizza, ice cream, beer, wine, MARGARITAS :drinker: , holidays, vacations, parties and so on - that's life, and I still enjoy all of it while maintaining my fitness and fat loss goals.

    If you're using MFP correctly, then yes you should eat your calories back, especially at the 1200 goal, which is minimal cals for most people. No matter what goal MFP gives you, it has you at a deficit before exercise, so you could eat all your cals every day without a single jumping jack and you'd lose weight. When you do exercise, you burn off more cals and increase that calorie deficit, making it too large which can lead to problems over time, including being under fueled, feeling hungry, grouchy, lethargic and wanting to give up - yo-yo dieting. No bueno. Eat the cals back, which brings you back to the original deficit you were given and you still lose weight.

    If you want to get more precise, look into the TDEE method, which takes all your stats and your fitness level into account, you get a daily goal and eat to that daily without eating back exercise cals because they're already figured in. This has been great for me - I know my BMR and my TDEE, my low and high end numbers, and I eat in between. During vacations or holidays, I'll set my goal to my TDEE/maintenance number and eat that the whole time. And I don't gain. It's awesome.

    Great info on this method here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/974888-in-place-of-a-road-map-2k13

    Food is fuel! And if you want steady and sustainable weight loss you can maintain for life, then find the methods that you can stick to for life. Temporary changes and diets will get you temporary results. And starting over sucks, so might as well take the time to do it right. :bigsmile:
  • wheird
    wheird Posts: 7,963 Member
    You stated that you do not think that a very low calorie deficit would be sustainable for you, so slow and steady is absolutely the way to go. The only people that I would recommend losing quickly are the super obese.

    The reasons behind slow and steady are more than just sustainability though. You will lose less muscle mass this way, especially when eating adequate protein and doing a form of resistence training and you will have more time to build healthy eating habits that will serve you very well in the future.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    There is no way to drop 100 pounds quickly. Well, surgery, I suppose, or amputation.

    If you're doing it yourself, there is no choice but to do it slowly.
  • maryanne2000
    maryanne2000 Posts: 13 Member
    Well, you must be doing something right! Good for you.

    At my age ( 49) I feel slow and steady is the way to go because I am very worried about being a mass of saggy skin. I am doing strength training and my MFP plan projects a loss of .9 pounds per week to minimize the risk of sagging skin.

    I eat 1500 cal/day and I am very satisfied. I have tried 1200 per day before and been hungry and miserable.
  • mehitabel83
    mehitabel83 Posts: 13 Member
    43 pounds in 8 months is good! The regain rate for slow sustainable changes is a hell of a lot more in your favor than for a starvation diet. You will have preserved a higher portion of muscle mass, you will have more time to integrate healthy habits into your life, you have left time and energy in your life for family and friends, social situations don't spell doom, you are much less likely to have loose or damaged skin, and the chance of injury or malnutrition is much lower. Plus, 5.5 pounds a month isn't pocket change...!
  • danaberge
    danaberge Posts: 117 Member
    Thanks you everyone!! I needed the pep talk!


    I will be having a high-spirited rest of the day.