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Long time maintainers how do you do it

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  • kcmcbeekcmcbee Member Posts: 150 Member Member Posts: 150 Member
    OK first off I like everything here from @AliAppleLover and thanks for writing all of that!!!
  • Biggiwig69Biggiwig69 Member Posts: 33 Member Member Posts: 33 Member
    N
    edited March 7
  • amarquis792amarquis792 Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
    Following- any tips would be greatly appreciated! :)
  • amarquis792amarquis792 Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
    Hi all- new here to the whole maintenance thing and I am really struggling and worried because i definitely feel like i keep losing although i really am not trying to. I have been scared to increase my calories so i am doing it very very slowly.

    I am still doing mainly cardio where right now the gym's are not open- but I am starting to notice when I look in the mirror I am seeing more bones and it scares me. How do I stop my body from losing fat and muscle?

    Also- it might be a silly question but when people work on maintaining, how rigid are you with tracking little things like condiments that you might eat with foods, ie: ketchup, dipping sauces, etc. Do you incorporate these and still track these in your MFP diaries once you are trying to work on maintaining? Any advice and support would be appreciated! Struggling hard core over here :(
  • brenn24179brenn24179 Member Posts: 1,919 Member Member Posts: 1,919 Member
    I have had my weight off for over 2 years, lost 40 lbs. I go to the gym 5 days a week or walk/run outside. I really like exercise though. I had my weight off for 5 years but got a flu 3 years ago and gained weight after eating everything in sight afterwards and my scales got off 10 lbs, very depressing and I gained another 5 lbs, so 25 lbs up but I got my act together and quit eating at night, drank water only, ate healthy 80% of the time and logged, also ate 100 gr of carbs or less a day and weighed daily and this worked for me! Lost that weight!
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,477 Member Member Posts: 5,477 Member
    What works for me...
    1. Daily weighing first thing in the morning.
    2. Once a week taking a waist, shoulder and neck measurement.
    3. Skipping breakfast 2 to 3 times per week.
    4. Exercising just about every day. Some days are intense, some are not. Just keep moving.
    5. Just being sensible overall with what I eat. Balance and moderation.
    6. I find that after being at my goal weight for a while, my body is better at hunger cues and if I have overindulged I find that I am just not as hungry at the next mealtime or the following day. It is almost as if my body returned to "normal" function. Hard to explain, just a feeling.
    7. I have not tracked my calories for almost a year.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,254 Member Member Posts: 7,254 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Hi all- new here to the whole maintenance thing and I am really struggling and worried because i definitely feel like i keep losing although i really am not trying to. I have been scared to increase my calories so i am doing it very very slowly.

    I am still doing mainly cardio where right now the gym's are not open- but I am starting to notice when I look in the mirror I am seeing more bones and it scares me. How do I stop my body from losing fat and muscle?

    Also- it might be a silly question but when people work on maintaining, how rigid are you with tracking little things like condiments that you might eat with foods, ie: ketchup, dipping sauces, etc. Do you incorporate these and still track these in your MFP diaries once you are trying to work on maintaining? Any advice and support would be appreciated! Struggling hard core over here :(

    @amarquis792

    To struggle at first is quite common.
    You need to keep weighing yourself (preferably monitoring your trend and ignoring normal fluctuations) then you know if you are losing, don't rely on feelings. There are too many feelings in your post TBH and this would be an easy feeling to replace with cold hard data.

    "How do I stop my body from losing fat and muscle?" - eat more, it's as simple as that (simple and easy are not the same thing of course).

    People maintain with all different levels of rigidity and accuracy but most probably ease in to a more relaxed method over time. I was never that accurate in tracking food even when I lost my weight - consistency was my main aim coupled with making adjustments based on results.

    You are scared of two opposing things but you need to override your emotional feeling of fear of significant regain without a prolonged calorie surplus (illogical and false) and use your analytical mind to realise that undereating will indeed result in losing weight when you don't want to (logical and true).

    The same rules apply at maintenance as they do when you are gaining weight or losing weight, you are just altering your calorie balance according to your goal at the time.

    Maybe it would help if you did some maths?
    Say your maintenance calories are surprisingly low and you accidently raise your eating level to a 100cal/day genuine surplus. In thirty five days you might gain a whole pound of fat. Thirty five days.....
    Is that really scary?
    Is that easily reversible if it actually happened?

    I'm quoting @sijomial because I'm in agreement with all he says.

    One thing that he doesn't address directly is the "tiny tiny careful increase at a time" aspect which I often see suggested.

    I don't see a benefit to being coy about immediately moving to what is known to be our minimal potential balancing point.

    Yes, I realize that it may be scary and we may prefer to increase gradually for various reasons. But I believe that this has to be addressed rationally and firmly from the get go.

    If we know we have been losing at an effective deficit of say... throwing random numbers... 350 Cal a day based on the changes to our weight trend over the past 4-6 weeks, then there is zero reason to be "testing the waters" 100 Cal at a time. Unless we are actually OK if we, or even WANT to, continue to losing weight.

    Our minimal potential balancing point will be the 350 Cal our most recent losses indicate. And it is actually extremely likely that the ultimate actual balancing point will be higher than what our most recent losses indicate, if we have been in a substantial, or prolonged, deficit.

    Once we've cleared the "big" initial increase from our known deficit position to the minimal potential balancing point, sure, then we may want to be more cautious when it comes to further increases in intake and do so gradually 100 Cal at a time while keeping an eye on our weight trend. But the initial increase? What is the benefit of drawing it out?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Hi all- new here to the whole maintenance thing and I am really struggling and worried because i definitely feel like i keep losing although i really am not trying to. I have been scared to increase my calories so i am doing it very very slowly.

    I am still doing mainly cardio where right now the gym's are not open- but I am starting to notice when I look in the mirror I am seeing more bones and it scares me. How do I stop my body from losing fat and muscle?

    Also- it might be a silly question but when people work on maintaining, how rigid are you with tracking little things like condiments that you might eat with foods, ie: ketchup, dipping sauces, etc. Do you incorporate these and still track these in your MFP diaries once you are trying to work on maintaining? Any advice and support would be appreciated! Struggling hard core over here :(

    @amarquis792

    To struggle at first is quite common.
    You need to keep weighing yourself (preferably monitoring your trend and ignoring normal fluctuations) then you know if you are losing, don't rely on feelings. There are too many feelings in your post TBH and this would be an easy feeling to replace with cold hard data.

    "How do I stop my body from losing fat and muscle?" - eat more, it's as simple as that (simple and easy are not the same thing of course).

    People maintain with all different levels of rigidity and accuracy but most probably ease in to a more relaxed method over time. I was never that accurate in tracking food even when I lost my weight - consistency was my main aim coupled with making adjustments based on results.

    You are scared of two opposing things but you need to override your emotional feeling of fear of significant regain without a prolonged calorie surplus (illogical and false) and use your analytical mind to realise that undereating will indeed result in losing weight when you don't want to (logical and true).

    The same rules apply at maintenance as they do when you are gaining weight or losing weight, you are just altering your calorie balance according to your goal at the time.

    Maybe it would help if you did some maths?
    Say your maintenance calories are surprisingly low and you accidently raise your eating level to a 100cal/day genuine surplus. In thirty five days you might gain a whole pound of fat. Thirty five days.....
    Is that really scary?
    Is that easily reversible if it actually happened?

    I'm quoting @sijomial because I'm in agreement with all he says.

    One thing that he doesn't address directly is the "tiny tiny careful increase at a time" aspect which I often see suggested.

    I don't see a benefit to being coy about immediately moving to what is known to be our minimal potential balancing point.

    Yes, I realize that it may be scary and we may prefer to increase gradually for various reasons. But I believe that this has to be addressed rationally and firmly from the get go.

    If we know we have been losing at an effective deficit of say... throwing random numbers... 350 Cal a day based on the changes to our weight trend over the past 4-6 weeks, then there is zero reason to be "testing the waters" 100 Cal at a time. Unless we are actually OK if we, or even WANT to, continue to losing weight.

    Our minimal potential balancing point will be the 350 Cal our most recent losses indicate. And it is actually extremely likely that the ultimate actual balancing point will be higher than what our most recent losses indicate, if we have been in a substantial, or prolonged, deficit.

    Once we've cleared the "big" initial increase from our known deficit position to the minimal potential balancing point, sure, then we may want to be more cautious when it comes to further increases in intake and do so gradually 100 Cal at a time while keeping an eye on our weight trend. But the initial increase? What is the benefit of drawing it out?

    With people who are very stressed about regain, that very probable immediate scale jump from +350 all at once (just water weight/digestive contents, not fat) can be a problem. It's a little hard to tell from a post who's in this category, but some will eat more, see that (fake) jump, and fall back to too-deep deficit because "they gain if they eat more".

    I'm betting you've seen the external signs of this, in some threads in the past, with an OP who says that they lose fine on 1200 (or whatever), but anytime they go above that they gain weight: Oh me, oh my, what to do, broken metabolism, doom, stress, etc.

    Sometimes, the 100 calories per day, increasing each week for 3 (and a half ;) ) weeks will keep the scale noise-level at a magnitude that doesn't cause such a reaction. Clearly, the water/digestive-contents gain is NBD from an analytic standpoint, but it can be a BD from a gut-reaction standpoint, for some.

    I'm not saying that's true of the person who's asking in this case, I'm just answering the bolded question with a generic possible reason. It's certainly the reason why I've sometimes suggested it to people, based on my reading of a post.

    ETA: On an analytic level, what you suggest is completely logical. And for someone who's gotten substantially too thin, it's objectively a better approach, considering physical health as paramount.
    edited May 6
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,254 Member Member Posts: 7,254 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    With people who are very stressed about regain, that very probable immediate scale jump from +350 all at once (just water weight/digestive contents, not fat) can be a problem. It's a little hard to tell from a post who's in this category, but some will eat more, see that (fake) jump, and fall back to too-deep deficit because "they gain if they eat more".

    I'm betting you've seen the external signs of this, in some threads in the past, with an OP who says that they lose fine on 1200 (or whatever), but anytime they go above that they gain weight: Oh me, oh my, what to do, broken metabolism, doom, stress, etc.

    Sometimes, the 100 calories per day, increasing each week for 3 (and a half ;) ) weeks will keep the scale noise-level at a magnitude that doesn't cause such a reaction. Clearly, the water/digestive-contents gain is NBD from an analytic standpoint, but it can be a BD from a gut-reaction standpoint, for some.

    I'm not saying that's true of the person who's asking in this case, I'm just answering the bolded question with a generic possible reason. It's certainly the reason why I've sometimes suggested it to people, based on my reading of a post.

    ETA: On an analytic level, what you suggest is completely logical. And for someone who's gotten substantially too thin, it's objectively a better approach, considering physical health as paramount.

    Oh, you're right.

    No doubt.

    My disagreement and appeal to logic is precisely because it is often people who are really not in a position to continue doing what they have been doing who are the ones more likely to go with the gradual 100 Cal at a time approach.

    And maybe miss a week, or two, of increases, because maybe the scale blipped for reasons not related to energy reserve changes, and then we have 4 weeks, or more, of continuing loses... which could be really bad in some cases.

    Hence my sentence: "Yes, I realize that it may be scary and we may prefer to increase gradually for various reasons. But I believe that this has to be addressed rationally and firmly from the get go."

    Band-aid: do you remove with a sharp pull, or s l o w l y ? 🤷
    edited May 6
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 16,611 Member Member Posts: 16,611 Member
    @PAV8888
    @AnnPT77

    All good points.
    I'm a numbers person and for the last 60 years I've never struggled to eat more (can't say the same about eating less!) so I had no hesitation in flipping from 1lb/week loss to eating 3,500 more food a week.
    Long term it wasn't enough.

    In reality making adjustments should be or become normal - we change over time, our situations change (lockdown is a great example) but with anxiety just making the first step is the hardest, hopefully the second, third etc. times are easier.


    I'm a rip off the Band-Aid and remove my own sutures with a craft knife sort of person..... :cold_sweat:
    edited May 7
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