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Long time maintainers how do you do it

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  • RetiredAndLovingItRetiredAndLovingIt Member Posts: 991 Member Member Posts: 991 Member
    Bumping. So interesting, so want to make sure I can come back to it. Love the analogy about the bank account.
  • alphabetsoup2013alphabetsoup2013 Member Posts: 698 Member Member Posts: 698 Member
    This is such a great post. Thank you for taking the time to write it.
    On Dec 14th I'll hit two years of maintenance and did it all through MFP (as my food plan for Overeaters Anonymous). So I'm still kind of a "newbie".

    I do just about everything everyone else has said here (I still track and plan to indefinitely, I exercise, I didn't re-introduce my trigger foods into my diet, I use tight clothing to gauge if I need to back off a little bit, etc.)

    But the most important thing for me has been guarding my *thinking*. I have to be very careful not to let myself fall into ANY of my old thinking patterns such as:

    1.) Now that I've "arrived", I don't need to be held accountable for what I eat anymore
    2.) I don't feel like exercising again tonight. I've worked so hard these past few years, I can afford another night off even though I took yesterday off already.
    3.) I've been so "good" for so long, surely I can try to eat "just a little" of this chocolate cake, it's not going to kill me! (I have severe addictive-type reactions to treats)
    4.) I don't like what the scale says lately, so perhaps I should just stop weighing
    5.) So what if I significantly went over my calories almost every night this week? It's no big deal....I'm skinny now...so who cares?
    6.) Things are so crazy with my life right now, I just don't have time to prep my snacks and meals at the beginning of the week
    7.) I'll just eat another chip out of this bag even though I pre-decided to only eat 12 of them. And oh...maybe just another...and another...
    8.) I'm feeling a little out of control with my eating lately, but I'm not going to tell anyone about it...it's just my secret...
    9.) Today sucked...I really want to just sit on the couch, watch a movie, and eat and eat...

    And on and on the list goes.

    I have found that the *mental maintenance* has been way more important than the physical. It is soooooo easy to fall into old thinking patterns, which are what drive the behavior. When my mind is clear, de-stressed, free of food chemicals, and honest I do just fine. :)
  • phyllbphyllb Member, Premium Posts: 741 Member Member, Premium Posts: 741 Member
  • GatorDeb1GatorDeb1 Member, Premium Posts: 245 Member Member, Premium Posts: 245 Member
    5+ years. It became who I am. That's pretty much it. I love to work out and I love to watch what I eat and eat healthy.
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Member Posts: 19,329 Member Member Posts: 19,329 Member
    5+ years. It became who I am. That's pretty much it. I love to work out and I love to watch what I eat and eat healthy.
    GREAT post!
  • rileamoyerrileamoyer Member, Premium Posts: 2,421 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,421 Member
    Have maintained 3 years in a 7 lb range. I stay on MFP though I don't login every day (I still weigh most every day).. It helps keep me on track, once I creep to the high end of my range I start logging again till I am back down. Exercise is VERY important. I have had to back off some this last year due to medical issues and am trying to get back into regular routine again. I notice my body shape changes for the worse if I don't work out even though I am pretty good at maintaining the weight. Both my DH and I are eating healthier in general - as I say often MFP IS MY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!
    :flowerforyou:
  • astroophysastroophys Member Posts: 175 Member Member Posts: 175 Member
    This is certainly the most useful thread I have read yet! Thank you to all the contributors!!
  • JunebuggyzyJunebuggyzy Member Posts: 345 Member Member Posts: 345 Member
    I have learned so much from you. I am about 5 from starting maintenance. You all validated that what I am doing is right. I eat the way I want to eat. I eat only the foods I like. Lots of fruit, vegetables, carbs in the morning, meat, fish, chicken at night and a couple of pieces of chocolate.

    Lately I have been told by the people that see my food diary that I am not getting enough protein. To me, protein powder doesn't feel right. Do any of you use protein powder in your maintenance plans?

    Thank you for this post, it is really helpful.
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylicsILiftHeavyAcrylics Member Posts: 27,964 Member Member Posts: 27,964 Member
    I have learned so much from you. I am about 5 from starting maintenance. You all validated that what I am doing is right. I eat the way I want to eat. I eat only the foods I like. Lots of fruit, vegetables, carbs in the morning, meat, fish, chicken at night and a couple of pieces of chocolate.

    Lately I have been told by the people that see my food diary that I am not getting enough protein. To me, protein powder doesn't feel right. Do any of you use protein powder in your maintenance plans?

    Thank you for this post, it is really helpful.

    I do. I don't think it's necessary but I don't like meat or eggs so it's the easiest way for me to get my 105 grams. I also like protein bars-- the Quest ones also have a lot of fiber.
  • djk721djk721 Member Posts: 59 Member Member Posts: 59 Member
    I have been in maintenance for 2 years. I also have a +/- 5 lb. range. I do stay active, as someone earlier said. I haven't used an elevator or escalator in years. I still get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday--mostly walking when the weather is nice, exercise videos in the winter. I still log and use MFP--I tried a few months without it and found it harder to stay in the range. I don't measure food, but didn't measure while I was losing either. My method for weight loss is the same as it is for maintenance--this truly was a lifestyle change: healthy food choices, portion control, and regular exercise. I weigh myself once a week--if it is up, I am a little more strict the next week. I vow to never put the 60 pounds back on that I lost, but it is not easy. It takes work and dedication. If it were easy, no one would have a weight problem!
  • ThePhoenixIsRisingThePhoenixIsRising Member Posts: 781 Member Member Posts: 781 Member
    I'm on a bulk now but before this I maintained for a short time(5months). I stopped counting and didn't eat till I was actually hungry, not emotionally hungry. I made sure to have some protein with everything I ate, this helped me not eat mindlessly. In that time I had 3 birthday parties and one family reunion. At all 4 of these events I ate anything and everything I wanted.

    My secret is to eat for fuel80-90% of the time, and eat for enjoyment 10-20% of the time.
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Member Posts: 19,329 Member Member Posts: 19,329 Member
    I have learned so much from you. I am about 5 from starting maintenance. You all validated that what I am doing is right. I eat the way I want to eat. I eat only the foods I like. Lots of fruit, vegetables, carbs in the morning, meat, fish, chicken at night and a couple of pieces of chocolate.

    Lately I have been told by the people that see my food diary that I am not getting enough protein. To me, protein powder doesn't feel right. Do any of you use protein powder in your maintenance plans?

    Thank you for this post, it is really helpful.

    I do. I don't think it's necessary but I don't like meat or eggs so it's the easiest way for me to get my 105 grams. I also like protein bars-- the Quest ones also have a lot of fiber.
    I use quest bars as well. I eat meat and eggs, but find quest bars are a good fast breakfast, or split in half two great snacks.
  • tinallen863tinallen863 Member Posts: 50 Member Member Posts: 50 Member
    There is a great book I read called "Thin for Life". It gives great examples of how people maintained their weight loss over years. My best advice? Make MFP part of your life just like checking your email, voicemail, and bank balance, etc every day.

    What I tell my patients who want to lose weight and maintain is this:
    Think of tracking your intake and exercise is like tracking your checking account. Would you ever go to a store and swipe your debit card without ever knowing what your balance is to spend or what the price of the item your buying is? Eating without tracking is exactly this.

    Who would ever go to Best Buy and just start writing a check for the prettiest washer and dryer or fanciest computer just because you were "hungry to have one"? Blind eating is just like blind spending.

    Would any of us irresponsibly ask the question, "Hey when can I stop checking my balance at the bank? It's getting old seeing how much money I have or don't have every day . I just want to relax and spend freely and assume that I have unlimited funds available". Or how about, "Hey, I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks...can't I just blow a bunch of cash that I don't have and just worry about the overdraft fees later when I get home?"

    I would hope not.

    Your friendly Registered Dietitian
  • tinallen863tinallen863 Member Posts: 50 Member Member Posts: 50 Member
    There is a great book I read called "Thin for Life". It gives great examples of how people maintained their weight loss over years. My best advice? Make MFP part of your life just like checking your email, voicemail, and bank balance, etc every day.

    What I tell my patients who want to lose weight and maintain is this:
    Think of tracking your intake and exercise is like tracking your checking account. Would you ever go to a store and swipe your debit card without ever knowing what your balance is to spend or what the price of the item your buying is? Eating without tracking is exactly this.

    Who would ever go to Best Buy and just start writing a check for the prettiest washer and dryer or fanciest computer just because you were "hungry to have one"? Blind eating is just like blind spending.

    Would any of us irresponsibly ask the question, "Hey when can I stop checking my balance at the bank? It's getting old seeing how much money I have or don't have every day . I just want to relax and spend freely and assume that I have unlimited funds available". Or how about, "Hey, I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks...can't I just blow a bunch of cash that I don't have and just worry about the overdraft fees later when I get home?"

    I would hope not.

    Your friendly Registered Dietitian
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Member Posts: 19,329 Member Member Posts: 19,329 Member
    Sabine,

    In another thread I recently came across, a post that suggested that by continuing to log after you reach goal, you are using a crutch and should simply listen to your body. It will tell you when and what and how much to eat. Well, listening to my body got me up to 183 lbs at one point, so I'm afraid I'll just have to use my crutches for the rest of my life. My body lied to me! :devil:

    It's no big hardship to weigh and measure and log. It's amazing how that 1/2 cup of rice you eye balled when measured becomes a 3/4 of a cup. To me, calling logging a crutch is like saying bikes, cars, trains and planes are crutches, cause after all, we CAN walk. Use whatever tools you need to stay on track and know exactly what you are doing.

    I reached my goal in Nov 2012, gained a little back, lost that and decided to lose more as I was barely into the normal weight ratio for my height. I made that goal recently and intend to stay right here with MFP to maintain.

    I do think that it seems daunting for some people to think that after they reach goal, they will have to continue to do all the things that got them to goal. It did to me in the past in my many attempts at weight loss. I thought I could reach goal then eat like "other people" again. I failed to realize that normal weighted people use tools to maintain, though it appears effortless.

    Matahari (Your Friendly Registered Dietitian) makes such good analogies... my" planes, trains and automobiles" comment pales in comparison, but you get the picture.
    Yup. Just as I think there are many ways to diet, there are also many ways to maintain. Folks' posts here are evidence to that.
    cheers!:drinker:
  • ge105ge105 Member Posts: 268 Member Member Posts: 268 Member
    Before logging on MFP I lost 30ish lbs back in 2009. Started actually logging this summer to hopefully get some abs (which I assumed would take a lot more effort than the original weight loss). I kept the weight of from 09 to 14 by simply eating until I was full and watching the junk. I would allow myself a treat a day, for instance. I also tried to not sit just in general. Keeping yourself busy really helps to avoid eating when your not hungry + extra calories burned. I also found I have some food allergies- it helped a lot when I stopped eating those.

    From time to time, I noticed my pants fitting tighter despite all this. I'd drop the treat and booze (would drink 1 a night) and would work out more. Usually 2 weeks later I had my pants fitting right again.
  • bluebird321bluebird321 Member Posts: 731 Member Member Posts: 731 Member
    Been at it since the beginning of 2011. Logging almost every day and putting up a new progress/maintenance picture every month or so keeps me consistent.
  • RabbitLostRabbitLost Member Posts: 333 Member Member Posts: 333 Member
    Don't give up the whole day if you mess up.

    I really, really like this. Attitude is so important for achieving any goal, but especially for long term goals.
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