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Long time maintainers how do you do it



  • mattnicsmattnics Member Posts: 32 Member Member Posts: 32 Member
    Lost 100lbs 5 years ago (265 down to 165). Since then the lowest I've been is 155 and the highest is 180. I haven't stayed to any strict diet or workout regime, I just know I shouldn't be stuffing my face too late at night, and if I see my weight getting into the 170 range I'll try to cut back a little and do a little exercise to get back into my comfortable range (I'll also notice shirts getting tighter and face gets bloated so I'm uncomfortable day-to-day if I gain too much).

    It's easiest for me to try and eat real strict and healthy while at work, making sure I don't snack when I get out at all (3rd shifter), and then I splurge a little on my days off with my wife. I lose a few pounds during the work week, then usually gain it back over a weekend; I just keep the balance, and workout if it ever gets out of control.
    edited February 2015
  • keithcw_the_firstkeithcw_the_first Member Posts: 382 Member Member Posts: 382 Member
    merisaOct3 wrote: »
    Bump. Great thread.

    Thanks for the responses thus far. Surprised (Not surprised?) at how many folks are saying they still log regularly.

    Could be like... confirmation bias.

    That is, the people out there who are maintaining but are not logging daily are less likely to be lurking on the MFP forums.
  • mel128mel128 Member Posts: 81 Member Member Posts: 81 Member
    Matahairi wrote: »
    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

    Thanks for sharing..

  • BigLifter10BigLifter10 Member Posts: 1,151 Member Member Posts: 1,151 Member
    A while back after I lost a significant amount of weight a coworker said, ""yeah, it's pretty meaningless unless you keep it off for 5 years. You'll probably put it back on again". What an *kitten*. It pissed me off sufficiently that I have kept it off for 2 years so far.

    I snorted when I read this. I can see myself having the same attitude and training for a 5K just so I beat my sister's a*** for nagging me and putting me down about my weight, including sending out a you're-going-to-die-fat-and-unloved email copied to the whole family, including my very loving DH. Not only that, but I'm going to run it into one of those teeny-tiny bra tops just to piss her off even more.

    LOL!!! There are several thing that work for me these days.....but......the look on my mother's face when I see her at once a month trips to their all it takes to drive me on. Three years ago she told me it wouldn't last...still lasting. Yes, weight varies due to amount of lifting I am doing and sometimes I do mini-cuts to see more muscle, but, for the most part, relatively stable in that. She refuses to even talk about it at all. Dad will ask how the gym stuff is going and she turns up the tv and ignores the rest (although I know she's listening).

    Overall, I'm ok as long as I chart. It's my accountability. I tend to go 'rogue' when I don't keep up on what is actually tallying up for me.

    P.S. Run that 5 K in that bra top and some shorts with a smile on the a**!
  • HissweetheartHissweetheart Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    I've been maintaining for 5 years and I do periodically slip up. My comfort range is <150. In a perfect world, when I see myself getting closer, I start tracking again. Reality...I've been up to 161 and back down two or three times. That's when I log back on to MFP and focus on correcting the behaviors that have gone awry. I do notice that each time I start up again I gain a few more good habits because my desires change.

    I feel so much better, my physically and mentally, when I am within my range. It's almost like once I see myself getting up in weight I start chasing that high.
  • canadjinehcanadjineh Member Posts: 5,280 Member Member Posts: 5,280 Member
    I have to continually be aware of the calories I consume and the physical activity I do. For Instance currently I know I am spending a year on third shift and that puts me in a pretty sedentary mode. i dont try to fight it, i am just trying to survive it. Third shift is stressful enough.

    Armed with this information, I eat less calories knowing I am burning less. Now I know when I go back to first shift I can eat more calories because I will move more.

    Going into second year of maintenance.

    I count calories everyday and have found a mode of exercise I enjoy, walking. It is not as exciting as a marathon and not high intensity, but I LOVE it and it has kept 100 lbs off me. On first shift I also try to lift weights as well. Muscle burns more calories and gives sexy definition overall :)

    Yes i track calories everyday almost every single day, I weigh in once or twice a month but mostly go by how my clothes feel. I give my self a girth of 128-133 lbs. I usually hover somewhere in 130-133. I give myself a clothing margin of a size 4/6. Size small/petite.

    The secret is logging your calories everyday and maintaining a routine you enjoy. You have to change your life overall. You never fully return to eating whatever you want when you want. You have to develop a plan for mindful eating habits and lifestyle changes or the weight comes back on, there is no other way around it.

    This is almost exactly me too. Except I burn more and get to eat more calories on third shift since that one is an 8 hour mainly foot patrol, with stair climbing included. Not 100lbs off for me though, just over 30. The overweight was a 4 year period in my 51 years when I got really sick and couldn't walk more than 2 blocks slowly and ate to self medicate (albeit non-junk foods). Clothing size 2/4 tall now.
    It's all about routine, and mindfulness in eating and exercise.
    Like a friend said, "It's hard to be fat, it's hard to be working on losing weight, and it's hard to be mindful in maintenance. Pick your hard."
  • fr3smylfr3smyl Member Posts: 1,292 Member Member Posts: 1,292 Member
    The best advice I've ever heard: "Lift heavy things. Often."

    Like this.
  • BrelynnBrelynn Member Posts: 105 Member Member Posts: 105 Member
    Some great ideas here - thanks for sharing. Want to keep coming back to this thread.
  • onyxgirl17onyxgirl17 Member Posts: 1,700 Member Member Posts: 1,700 Member
    I keep a 5 pound range. Once I get down to 130 I stop or reduce logging. I still weigh myself every couple of weeks and watch portions. If I go above 135 I start logging again down to 130 lol.
  • celerytalkcelerytalk Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    I weigh myself every week or two. I look at myself in the mirror every day and I know my body, I'm more in tune with it than I ever was when I was obese. I know when I put on a few lbs and I can take it off easily by eating less and eating cleaner. I've been around 120 for the past few years and I intend to stay that way :)
  • DedRepublicDedRepublic Member Posts: 348 Member Member Posts: 348 Member
    I'd like to hear from other folks who've maintained their weight loss for several years or so.
    What do you do to maintain?
    What sort of lifestyle changes did you make while losing or after that made it easier (or possible?) to maintain your loss?
    And, are you active/do you exercise regularly?

    What works for you?

    Thanks. It just seems with all the discussions about LOSING weight, hearing from some long time maintainers would be helpful. Since THAT is one of the biggest challenges.


    I just decided I was never going to be "That Guy" again. Also, I deveoped new habits that became a prepping my meals in advance.
  • Jubee13Jubee13 Member Posts: 132 Member Member Posts: 132 Member
    celerytalk wrote: »
    I weigh myself every week or two. I look at myself in the mirror every day and I know my body, I'm more in tune with it than I ever was when I was obese. I know when I put on a few lbs and I can take it off easily by eating less and eating cleaner. I've been around 120 for the past few years and I intend to stay that way :)

    Just curious-do you still log? I've been maintaining for about 6 weeks, and I'm getting really tired of logging. I'm afraid if I don't I'll gain my weight back.
  • TheLongRunnerTheLongRunner Member Posts: 730 Member Member Posts: 730 Member
    I tell someone the following, almost every day of my life - find an exercise that you not only love,. but that makes you feel alive. In addition, make friends with like-minded people, read fitness magazines, and self-help books.

  • lavaughan69lavaughan69 Member Posts: 459 Member Member Posts: 459 Member
    Hi, I joined MFP a couple years ago and lost 52lbs which took me a year...slow and steady wins the race! I've maintained this weight loss for over a year. I tend to let myself enjoy vacations and events on weekends from time to time but tracked my food for the most part but recently this has gotten out of control and I found more often than not I was bothering to weigh or measure my food, I'd skip weigh in day and I found myself slipping into old patterns. And because I was eating more carbs/junk food I started to feel sluggish so to add insult to injury I stopped exercising because i felt so tired all the time. I'm now up 8-10 lbs. Not a devastating amount but enough to get back to logging my food and start walking again!
  • jackgerbzjackgerbz Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Went from 196 to 154 a couple of years ago and now maintain by 1) exercising 4 - 6 days a week (45 minute circuit class 3 -4 days/week, 60-90 minutes cardio on off days), 2) eating sensibly and logging food and exercise, 3) avoiding elevators, escalators, etc. and always park at far end of parking lots.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,404 Member Member Posts: 39,404 Member
    I lost about 40 Lbs awhile back and I've been more or less maintaining for 2 years without logging. I did do a little bulk this past fall and winter to try to break some lifting plateaus, but they came off pretty easily and while it was a worthwhile experience I likely will never do one again.

    At any rate, I don't log...basically I exercise a lot of common sense and eat very well for the most part. I've always been big on food quality, so cooking with and eating primarily whole foods is no biggie...I eat really nutritiously and basically MFP helped me big time with portion control and understanding what a serving (even of something healthy) is.

    Beyond that, I exercise regularly with a combination of cardio and weight training. When I'm not actively training for a cycling event or something I have a good, roughly 50/50 split of cardio to weight room with a good helping of just general activity as gravy (i.e. family hikes and family rides, long afternoons at the zoo, etc). When I am training, I spend a lot more time in the saddle which inherently means I spend less time in the weight room and often this interferes with quality family recreational time so I try to keep it to a minimum.

    My family and I are all pretty active. My wife and I do both have desk jobs, but we try to make time as a family for recreational activity that involves moving...not necessarily deliberate "exercise"...but moving. As an example, we all enjoy hikes in the mountains...these aren't particularly grueling as my kiddos are 3 and 5 but it gets us all out of the house and doing something. We also like hitching up the trailers to our bikes and taking a ride to the zoo...we have a nice multi-use trail that basically starts in a little park near our neighborhood and takes you all the way to the zoo and beyond along the Rio's a beautiful ride and we get in a good 12 miles each way and a few hours of walking around the zoo. We also live on about an acre so we all pitch in outside to help keep the property in order. I also try to get my dog out pretty regularly for walks around the neighborhood. This all keeps us pretty active and sets a good example for our kids who are already beginning to understand the value of exercise as well as general activity.

    We don't spend a whole heck of a lot of time in front of the fact, we just downgraded our satellite to basic and the only reason we didn't drop it altogether is because there's no other way for us to get our regular channels like ABC, CBS, etc. Most of our free time is spent doing stuff and lounging around time is usually outside on our large patio and outdoor living area where the kids can romp and we can watch and wish we were kids again.

    I monitor my weight regularly and weigh in a few times per week to make sure things are in check. I also still use my food scale quite a bit, particularly for calorie dense items for which I have difficulty eyeballing like nuts and dried spaghetti.

    TL/DR: basically I live a lifestyle that involves a lot of healthy, nutritious foods and quite a bit of activity and very little lounging about doing nothing.
  • melimomTARDISmelimomTARDIS Member Posts: 1,953 Member Member Posts: 1,953 Member
    I have been maintaining since June of last year. I am definitely not doing maintenance perfectly, and still make mistakes. But I haven't regained the weight I lost, so I must be doing something right.

    - I joined an IRL weight loss/weight maintaining support group. I go every week.

    - I weigh myself once a week, no matter what

    - if my weight hikes up out of my range, I reduce my intake until I get back into range

    -I eat a simple diet, lots of similar meals. (Ie-breakfast is always 1 cup of cereal,an english muffin, or a pancake)

    -my clothes are form fitting. A 5lb gain shows.

    -three 30 minute workouts a week (mild stuff, like walking, swimming, yoga...) for overall health.

    - I work hard to overcome my binge eating. I have worked on it, and will continue to work on it.
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Member Posts: 1,033 Member Member Posts: 1,033 Member
    What do you do to maintain?
    What sort of lifestyle changes did you make while losing or after that made it easier (or possible?) to maintain your loss?
    And, are you active/do you exercise regularly?

    I've maintained, within a 10-pound range, for about 30 years. I've gone over when deliberately bulking, but otherwise sitting in that same spot.

    I was a fat kid, and the changes I did to lose the fat initially and then stay there:
    1. my mom keeps the house stocked with junk food, and I would mindlessly eat it. Became aware of my fatness and chilled on the junk. I didn't know anything much about nutrition and wasn't tracking, it was just obvious stuff like multiple, giant bowls of ice cream and tons of cookies.
    2. started exercising daily. In highschool, I started by actually putting in effort in Physical Ed. class. Then running in my neighborhood and biking, and then got some basic weights and lifted them.

    Anyways, it works. Pretty sure I could maintain forever by avoiding obvious overeating and continuing to exercise. Nowadays though, I'm more serious about details and am calorie cycling so I've gotta track.

    The only time my weight's started to creep back up is when I've gone to visit my folks for extended periods and fall into young-me patterns of eating crap at their home. But after recognizing the problem, I don't do that any more either.

    So, advice:
    1. don't stuff yourself with obvious junk
    2. exercise daily. Walking an hour is baseline, also lift weights every other day. Lifting weights is the fountain of youth. I strongly believe every man, woman, and child should be lifting.

    Mostly, pay attention to what's happening. You have to consider yourself a "fit person" and a fit person does certain things that other people do not.
  • 47Jacqueline47Jacqueline Member Posts: 7,034 Member Member Posts: 7,034 Member
    I lost 30lb as a member of MFP by following a moderate level calorie intake. It took me a year to lose my weight and I've kept it off for over 2 years. The way I did it was to gradually change my attitude towards food. I stopped imbuing food with a personality (good, bad, legal, illegal, cheating, binging, etc.). I also incorporated not only activities of daily living to my life (walking instead of taking the train, for example), but I added regular physical fitness activities as well.

    I was a yo yo dieter with a morbid fear of getting fat even though I regularly had to lose 20lb. When the last time happened that I gained 30lb, it was a wake-up call to me. I was really tired of the diet/regain cycle. The lifestyle changes I've made and continue to follow assure me that I've broken that pattern.

    My advice, for what it's worth:
    1) seek help to get a handle on the underlying issues
    2) commit to making a daily effort to live a healthy life
    3) Stop judging.
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