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Long time maintainers how do you do it

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  • em435em435 Member Posts: 212 Member Member Posts: 212 Member
  • ashleyplus3ashleyplus3 Member Posts: 286 Member Member Posts: 286 Member
  • keenesmomkeenesmom Member Posts: 115 Member Member Posts: 115 Member
    I lost 50 pounds and have maintained for close to 2 years. Yes, I still log in to MFP every day...I'm day 725 or something like that. I exercise 5-6 days a week. 3 of those days include weight training. I weigh myself every day. This keeps me centered and lets me know that it's okay for my weight to fluctuate because it will return to my maintenance weight in a few days. I'm not as structured on weighing my food and staying within my allotted calories per day as I was when I was losing weight but I am mindful of these things.
  • MyChocolateDietMyChocolateDiet Member Posts: 22,302 Member Member Posts: 22,302 Member
    Right now I am in weight loss mode but I have had much success with maintenance each time I've lost weight in the past which has been twice. Once lost 30ish pounds and kept it off for years and another time 51 lbs and also kept it off for years.

    Both times I used a faddish diet to get the weight off but simple common sense listening to hunger cues for maintenance.

    I was raised with a healthy attitude toward food and know how it feels to be full on junk food, and full on "real" or healthy nourishing food. Also I know the difference between "full", "overfull", satisfied, hungry, and way too hungry. I also know the difference between hunger pangs (short lived) and hunger "pains" as people refer to it. There is no need to feel incredibly hungry or deprived.

    Essentially I ate reasonable portions at every mealtime mindfully selecting from the three healthiest options on any restaurant menu and only choosing ONE extra. Like alcohol, OR dessert, OR greasy, creamy, indulgent appetizer. I let myself start with a salad choosing any dressing I wanted and if the appetizer were also somewhat low cal I'd allow that too.

    At home I tended to make grilled,steamed, baked, or boiled food and I naturally have a love for all vegetables. During my early adulthood my leanings were always for milk during the day and I've always had a soft spot for diet coke, unsweetened tea, lemon water.

    Regarding dessert type things as snacks I'd simply ask myself if I'd had such a thing the day prior? If not I'd allow one portion, if so, it was an easy explanation to myself or anyone interested, "Sorry I can't have birthday cake, I already had a big piece of pie yesterday". These kinds of explanations were always easily accepted and did not cause a ruckus.

    All this to say I managed my weight without counting calories or flinching at the slightest upset. If I were to rely on how my clothes fit I would have been hysterical once a month when my pants tightened for a few days and then went back to normal. That would have started a yo yo dieting cycle but since I knew what a period was, if my pants got a bit tight I just waited it out to see if they'd get back to normal in time.

    If they remained tight, I'd choose more salads for a month or so until back to normal. Nothing excessive everything else remained the same.

    This worked for me and allowed me to live my entire life without obsessing over the scale, calories, macro's, what other people do, or what other people think of me, or constant shopping due to changing sizes.

    TL;DR?

    M O D E R A T I O N

    Disclaimer: I am fully aware that some people were raised with different upbringing attitudes toward food or experiences and that they might not be familiar with all the hunger feelings I described above or be able to separate them from emotions, stress, etc. I understand that for that type of person this method will possibly not work and/or might be a struggle to master. I only outline it because this is my big chance to illuminate for others what I mean when I say that I truly beleive maintenance need not be dreary, and just as hardcore as weight loss and that given the right tools, parameters, one could very well live a life of ease regarding food and their weight.:heart::flowerforyou:
  • BinaryPulsarBinaryPulsar Member Posts: 9,068 Member Member Posts: 9,068 Member
    Another aspect of weight maintenance for me is related to food choice. I only started counting calories 2 years ago. So, before that it was related to my food choices. Do I want chips or an apple. I would always focus on the nutritional quality of the tasty food that I chose. I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, nuts, chocolate for treats, grains, protein, etc. I also made sure to get the right amount of protein. And at times kept a written food diary. I didn't count calories, but I did count protein. And watched what I ate.
  • GatorDeb1GatorDeb1 Member, Premium Posts: 245 Member Member, Premium Posts: 245 Member
    I've noticed a shift from low-calorie to healthy. Like I'll be at the market looking to buy something to make for that day and I'll be going skip, skip, skip, there is no nutritional value to this whatsoever. I'm a triathlete/runner so I want food to DO something inside of me. Fuel, repair, nourish, SOMEthing.

    Someone was going on and on about the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I had one. Not only did I not particularly enjoy it, I hated it. I would not drink another one for free. It made me feel gross and sluggish (I eat a mostly sugar-free diet (i.e. as in added sugar, not referring to fruits and vegetables) so when I eat sugar it tastes fake to me). I'd rather have some egg whites and wheat bread.
  • stevenlcopelandstevenlcopeland Member Posts: 57 Member Member Posts: 57 Member
    It has been nearly 7 years. How do I maintain ? Weights and cardio. Building muscle is the key to keeping fat away. I don't count calories but still to this day cycle carbs. Depends on what I have planned for a workout next day. As far as cheating eating food ? To me there is no such thing. If you want it eat it. Just remember, some of the foods you want you do not need and those bigger pants Will be right around the corner.
  • colleenstacey2colleenstacey2 Member Posts: 7 Member Member Posts: 7 Member
    Thank you for that. Your advice is very helpful.
  • gail1961gail1961 Member Posts: 111 Member Member Posts: 111 Member
    This is such a great thread with a lot of good advice! I have been on maintenance since the end of May. I continue to log daily, it has become such a habit. I still weigh only once a week. I know if I stop doing either one of these things, I will slowly gain again. Struggling right now with maintenance now that school has started, and I have to readjust my schedule, but maintained well for 3 months by logging and working out 5 times a week. There is so much good advice on this thread, that I can't add anything. I just want to make sure I continue to follow it!
  • schulersamschulersam Member Posts: 17 Member Member Posts: 17 Member
    What has helped me is to recognize that weight will fluctuate...but I have an "Oh-Oh" point, a weight that I absolutely won't go over. If I hit Oh-Oh, I cut back, be super aware etc. Day to day, you need to eat less than you think. Portions are the killer. Restaurants load up your plates and put out unlimited bread etc,. If you eat healthy most of the time, you can splurge or be less serious 10 % of the time or roughly 2 meals per week. If I know there is pizza lunch on Friday at work, and am hosting my family for dinner on Sunday, those are my 2 relax meals. I need to eat carefully the rest of the time. Get the snacks( chips, cookies, ice cream, etc) out of the house. Consider those as SELDOM treats, not regular food. Remember that you have developed your food habits over many years and you are not "on a diet" but watching your diet forever. Do you eat when bored, upset, lonely.....these are comforts that must be replaced with new behaviours. Maybe see the movie you have been wanting to, join a new activity that doesn't revolve around food, take up a craft (like Knitting) that keeps your hands busy when you watch TV so you are less likely to snack. It is about recognizing your habits and triggers and replacing them. Good luck
    PS Notice that many people on MFP have been here for years....the support is helpful:wink:
  • LoraF83LoraF83 Member Posts: 15,778 Member Member Posts: 15,778 Member
    I've maintained my original loss for about 18 months now. I fluctuate within 5lbs of that mark.

    I don't really log my food, but I do eat the same foods routinely, so that helps with my portion control. I have a fitbit and I exercise a lot. I think that's mostly the key - I workout at least 5 days a week, so I have a higher TDEE and can eat more. And I just try to be sensible. If I eat a big meal or at a calorie-heavy restaurant, the next day I make lighter choices. I try to find the balance.


    I've been logging and tracking again in order to lose the rest and get to my final goal (except for this last week, because I've been sick). Once I'm there, I figure it'll pretty much be the same to maintain that loss.
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Member Posts: 19,329 Member Member Posts: 19,329 Member
    I've maintained my original loss for about 18 months now. I fluctuate within 5lbs of that mark.

    I don't really log my food, but I do eat the same foods routinely, so that helps with my portion control. I have a fitbit and I exercise a lot. I think that's mostly the key - I workout at least 5 days a week, so I have a higher TDEE and can eat more. And I just try to be sensible. If I eat a big meal or at a calorie-heavy restaurant, the next day I make lighter choices. I try to find the balance.


    I've been logging and tracking again in order to lose the rest and get to my final goal (except for this last week, because I've been sick). Once I'm there, I figure it'll pretty much be the same to maintain that loss.
    That's a great point: if you eat the same stuff, it may be easier to eat without logging.
  • salbunnylettuceleafyexleysalbunnylettuceleafyexley Member Posts: 19 Member Member Posts: 19 Member
    not sure how i've maintained my weight (in 5 yrs only put on say 7-9 pounds, most of which i've lost) i think perhaps its the fact i try to only eat junk for short periods like on a treat day or on special occasion, i tend to have a tiny binge once a wk and i'm usually ok with weight, i mean from startin to lose weight in 2009, i only started puttin weight back on this yr, i think if i started eatin junk more than once a wk, the weight would creep back on more
  • SomeNights246SomeNights246 Member Posts: 813 Member Member Posts: 813 Member
    I, too, am curious. I've been maintaining for almost half a year now and doing well. But I'd like to hear from people who have been doing so for even longer. Posting so I can find this thread later and read through it.
  • lwestmilllwestmill Member, Premium Posts: 91 Member Member, Premium Posts: 91 Member
    The best advice I've ever heard: "Lift heavy things. Often."

    Sweet baby in your pic! But I don't thing he would weight that much! :wink:
  • cowgoocowgoo Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    Hello... I have lost weight and have been able to maintain the same weight for about 2 years, losing inches every few months while gaining muscle. I stock up on protein bars as a "grab on the go" snack for when I'm running late for work in the AM and don't have time for breakfast or to make lunch. I know my daily caloric intake goal... so every meal should be a certain amount. I plan on a weekly basis what I'll have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I get bored fast so, I'm always trying new quick and easy recipes and new protein bars. I also went out and got a 16oz water bottle and fill it up a bunch of times throughout the day. I choose snacks that take a while to consume so that I'm not going back to the kitchen frequently. I've also dedicated a room in my home specifically for exercise... I make it a priority and I don't get distracted. Recently, I've learned about calorie banking... something I am still working on. But I give myself 2 cheat days a week and eat fewer calories/burn more calories on the other days to make up for it so that I average my daily intake that week.
  • meankeenmeankeen Member Posts: 49 Member Member Posts: 49 Member
    The best advice I've ever heard: "Lift heavy things. Often."

    ^ this guy.
    eat lift heavy things often. > gain > cut, repeat. there is no way i can maintain my weight. i actually think that maintaining weight also makes the body weak. when your body is exposed to gaining and cutting processes; there might be some chemical magic happening to make it train and adapt it more efficient regarding its environment (food).
  • angie007azangie007az Member Posts: 406 Member Member Posts: 406 Member
    I'll use internment fasting. That seems to work for me. I also walk a lot. Gotta keep moving.
  • georgiaTRIsgeorgiaTRIs Member Posts: 231 Member Member Posts: 231 Member
    i lost 55 pounds 3 years ago. Last year I decided to lose a few more. I completely changed my life style and eating habits. I am very comfortable heading to the gym instead of the bar. It took about a year into the process before I could look at eating as fuel. I am now a certified personal trainer and try to use my experiences to help others. I cheat on occasion with a treat but it took about two years before I was comfortable with the changes. Not easy but well worth it. Remember you are the only person you are in competition with.
  • dressage320dressage320 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    great advice to look at food as fuel believe it or not it helps a lot!! thanks :)
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