Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Can't get out of weight loss mode

Options
245

Replies

  • titiawuth
    Options
    I know exactly how you feel! I lost 53 pounds 180lbs to 127lbs and I feel the same way.. We just have to adjust to our new bodies and our new heatlhy lifestyle... Losing weight is not easy at all so now that we reached our goal mantaining should be easy :) Im actually following a diet plan to mantain my weight.. I have a cheat meal every single week and I eat things that I enjoy during the week because the plan helps me with portions, time and what to eat.. It really is amazing how the Yes You Can Diet Plan changed my whole unhealthy habits and thanks to it I am able to mantain all the hard work I went through the last year.
  • luckyshilling
    Options
    Amazing, thoughtful, heartfelt advice from all. I even copied and pasted some of y'all to my maintenance prep file (little snippets of advice I collect to get me mentally prepared to weigh less, so mind is ready to to be thinner too). :tongue:

    Anyway, the point, in the advice on maintenance I have collected lots of ladies say 2 things. 1) Pick a min and max weight 3 lbs up and down for your maint. So if your goal was 135, let your happy window be 132-138. and 2) Only weigh 3 times a month. Skip your period week cuz the average women can hold up to 7extra pounds of water during that time.

    Hope to join you in maintenance soon.:drinker:
  • TheCaren
    TheCaren Posts: 894 Member
    Options
    I personally relate. To the extent that my fear of weight gain led to "disordered eating".

    I will tell you the advice I was given, and then I'll tell you the parts I actually agreed to follow.

    Quit tracking calories.
    Quit getting on the scale.
    Eat a well rounded diet in moderate portions and your clothes will tell you if you're maintaining your weight or not.
    Exercise in moderation.
    Enjoy what you eat.

    Now here's what I really do. I track calories most days just to make sure I'm eating ENOUGH. I made a goal of 1600-1700 calories per day (based on TDEE and advice of a dietician) and I track calories all day and if I miss the mark by too much I'll drink an ensure clear at the end of the day to get to the 1600. Some days I don't worry so much about the calories and eat in a way that I know is more than enough, so I don't track at all to keep me from obsessing about eating too much. Those are nights when I have pizza or something that I am confident will put me over my 1600 minimum goal.

    I get on the scale once a week. If the number is way off what I expect it should be, I allow myself to weigh in for a couple days just to give me the comfort that the number wasn't real (water weight, that time of the month, whatever). But I'm finding as time passes, I'm even able to let go of that need to re-weigh. I can see a weird number, think back to how I've eaten all week, and say "this isn't real, don't sweat it."

    I'm working on "enjoying what I eat." I backslide occasionally and I've discovered that if I am fearful about what I've eating making me overweight again, I tend to have tummy problems as a result. So I am really focusing on a healthy relationship with food. And trusting myself that I can eat in moderation virtually whatever I want and not gain weight. Moderation is the key. And focusing on overall nutrition.

    My last piece of advice. If you can't get a handle on this and you truly believe it's obsessive thinking, consider talking to a dietician, or someone who knows something about disordered eating. I'm not saying you're at that place. Just saying if you get there, consider looking into the possibility.
  • TheCaren
    TheCaren Posts: 894 Member
    Options
    And by the way, thanks for sharing this OP. It's nice to know I'm not alone out here in "fear of weight regain-land". :)
  • pankuneho
    pankuneho Posts: 7 Member
    Options
    Don't worry, you didn't ruin your metabolism with your dieting! Remember when you were overweight? One day of eating low cal and working out like mad did nothing to lose weight. It was only by cutting your calories and upping your exercise consistently, day-after-day, week-after-week, that you were able to lose weight. Gaining it back is the same. One day here or there of indulging won't make you gain weight. So relax a bit, and focus more on your week-to-week, rather than your day to day. Set a weight range to stay in, rather than a single number. Give yourself 5 to 8 pounds of wiggle room, and you can adjust your calories accordingly if you loose or gain outside of that realm. Be kind to yourself! :)
  • SJVZEE
    SJVZEE Posts: 451 Member
    Options
    You're definitely not alone-after I transitioned to maintenance in March I became way more obsessed about food, than when I was losing weight! It's taken me several months to slowly relax and realize that I'm not going to gain all my weight back overnight, if I go over a few calories here and there. It's challenging to switch mental gears and balance the new freedom of being able to eat more, and the reality of gaining weight back (which 95% do ugh).

    For me, I've decided to stop tracking calories/keep a food journal every day. It's taken over my life! Ironically I didn't track anything when I was losing weight (I did a version of IF), and only started tracking after I switched over to maintenance. I know journaling is a great tool for a lot of people, but for me it just fueled an unhealthy fixation on what I was eating/not eating.

    I do still weight myself everyday, but I'm pretty familiar with my body and know the bounces that naturally happen due to sodium, time of month etc. I have an app on my phone that I keep tabs of my weigh ins and it's got a cool graph that I can see the 'bigger' picture :)

    I'm really starting to listen to my body's cues. I eat when hungry, stop when full and chose foods that my body is craving. 'Normal' mealtimes have totally gone out the window and I may break my fast with almonds and dark chocolate and have oatmeal for supper :laugh: So far it's going really good, so I'm going to just keep going with it!
  • joyfuljoy65
    joyfuljoy65 Posts: 317 Member
    Options
    It is scary and tough when you enter the maintainence mode of your weight loss journey. I've been in maintence since around April of this year. I have played with what calories I need to eat and what exercised cals burned cals I need to eat back too. I got as low as 124 for my 5'4" height but since I up'd my cals from 1200 to 1490 and eat back some of the burned exercise cals I am usually at 130-132 range which is fine with me. I go up/down a pound or two daily. I do weigh myself every morning to keep myself in check. Some might say that isn't good but for me I need to since not weighing is what got me to the 270 pounds I used to weigh. I will continue to log all food, water, exercise and other things in MFP. I realize I will have to do this for life since in the past that is what also got me in trouble after loosing weight. I will quit logging food or tracking calories and the weight crept back on.
    I have never with held any type of food from me since starting my weight loss journey but practice portion control. If I want some ice cream I will have it but will only eat 1/2 cup not 4 big scoops like in the past. I feel there aren't any "bad foods" but eating in moderation and portion control is the key.
    Good luck!

    This made me feel better - I am nearly at maintenance and already wondering how i will cope.... Its good to know that there are others out there feeling the same
  • nxd10
    nxd10 Posts: 4,570 Member
    Options
    Weigh 1x per week. In fact, hide your scale & use one somewhere else just to eliminate the obsession with weight. Maintain good macro numbers (Protein% / Carbs% / Fat%) & enjoy your journey. Celebrate what you've done & not what you might mess up.

    I think this is an individual thing. If I weighed once a week I'd start to worry about that 'important' weight in. Like you say - we fluctuate a few pounds. What if I hit a high day and not a low day? It's just random error. Why make it important?

    Not obsessing is exactly why I DO weight once a day. I get up, get out of the shower, step on the scale, and brush my teeth. I know it bounces so unless I'm seeing a trend, it's not something I think about.
  • MACnificence
    MACnificence Posts: 419 Member
    Options
    Will someone slap me .. I'm really struggling here with letting go of the amount of exercise I do and what I eat , I cut down on my calorie burn from cardio in the gym from 700 to 500 this week but today my boyfriend made me leave the gym after only burning 300 calories and I have severe anxiety now about it , I'm quiet frankly really pissed off about it because a cut from 700 to 500 was a big enough deal for me but I was doing good but only 300 today
    I can't get outta this mode I'm in :(
  • crayonbreakywillow
    crayonbreakywillow Posts: 44 Member
    Options
    It's hard! I've been in maintenance for about 3 weeks now, and I'm still trying to figure out where my calories are going to settle. This week, for the first time ever, I started eating my exercise calories back and I'm freaking out! I feel like I'm eating SO much! And, like others have said, I feel like I'm going to regain all the weight back overnight if I eat more than I'm used to eating!

    It's stressful, for sure! I'm trying not to obsess about it. I don't know what I'll do if I discover that my maintenance calories are still set too low and I have to eat even more! It's nice getting to eat more, but I don't like the feeling of guilt that accompanies it!

    I'm just hoping that the longer I'm in the maintenance, the less obsessive I will become.
  • LynnieG85
    LynnieG85 Posts: 157 Member
    Options
    I don't have any advice, as I'm right at the start of my journey (again). But I would still like to offer you a massive WELL DONE. Stop focussing on the bad things and realise what you've done and how hard you've worked to get there. Be proud of yourself. Xxx
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    Options
    You lost a lot of weight in a year... hard to turn off that kind of dedication and focus and even "fear" of failure.

    learn to trust yourself... you don't want food and fear to dominate your new fit life. just exercise five times a week and eat at your maintenance. Put your focus on other areas of your life now.. you've made it.
  • ahavoc
    ahavoc Posts: 464 Member
    Options
    I understand your fear. Do you remember how scared you were when you started on your weight loss journey?

    That being said, just because you are on maintenance doesn't mean you're at the end of your journey. I might get pounced on for saying the following, but it's true. You need to maintain your weight loss for at least a year to enable your body to adjust to your weight loss. Many people have had the experience of losing weight, and then in a year they have gained it all back and sometimes more. It's because your body has to adjust it's "set" point and it takes a year or so to do it. So let's say you've lost 50 lbs, and now your weight is 150. That's great! BUT, your body still thinks that normal is 200, and it will keep trying to get back to 200, because that's where it thinks it is supposed to be. After a year or so at your new weight, the body resets itself, so finally, 150 will be the new norm.

    I'm not saying this to scare you, I'm saying this to motivate you. Now you're in maintenance, and what that means is that you don't get to go back to how you ate before. You don't get to stop working out. There is a set amount of calories you need to eat to maintain your weight right now, and you need to meet that set amount. You need to continue working out. Your journey has at least another year to go, and after that year your body will adjust, you will have the knowledge of what you need to do to maintain and the confidence to keep healthy.

    Good luck!
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    Options
    You're definitely not alone-after I transitioned to maintenance in March I became way more obsessed about food, than when I was losing weight! It's taken me several months to slowly relax and realize that I'm not going to gain all my weight back overnight, if I go over a few calories here and there. It's challenging to switch mental gears and balance the new freedom of being able to eat more, and the reality of gaining weight back (which 95% do ugh).

    For me, I've decided to stop tracking calories/keep a food journal every day. It's taken over my life! Ironically I didn't track anything when I was losing weight (I did a version of IF), and only started tracking after I switched over to maintenance. I know journaling is a great tool for a lot of people, but for me it just fueled an unhealthy fixation on what I was eating/not eating.

    I do still weight myself everyday, but I'm pretty familiar with my body and know the bounces that naturally happen due to sodium, time of month etc. I have an app on my phone that I keep tabs of my weigh ins and it's got a cool graph that I can see the 'bigger' picture :)

    I'm really starting to listen to my body's cues. I eat when hungry, stop when full and chose foods that my body is craving. 'Normal' mealtimes have totally gone out the window and I may break my fast with almonds and dark chocolate and have oatmeal for supper :laugh: So far it's going really good, so I'm going to just keep going with it!

    This is great to read. It is sad how the struggle and food/fear focused life continues for so many after they've reached goal.
  • lornathommo
    Options
    This is certainly a popular topic and I can totally understand why.
    I reached my target weight (69lb loss) in May of this year, just before my final wedding dress fitting - phew! I found the thought of maintaining terrifying but once I got there I feel I'm dealing okay. I think the fact that during my journey I still drank alcohol, ate chocolate etc helps. I now 'relax' on he weekends but remain very healthy over the week. I still exercise 4-5 times a week but mostly lift weights on 3 of those sessions. I weigh maybe once a fortnight - if I'm up 2lbs I know I can lose it again. We all know how to lose weight now. So what if we're heavier for a week or two?!
    Since maintaining I gained 4lbs on honeymoon, lost those 4lbs in the next 2 weeks...lost 3lbs over the next 4 weeks and have maintained since (with a few up and downs).
    It's much easier said than done but please please don't stress!
    Xx
  • forevermaryb
    forevermaryb Posts: 108 Member
    Options
    It's reassuring to see so many others who are worried about maintenance. This is the second time in my adult life I've lost over 50 pounds (my total weight loss doesn't reflect on my MFP settings. I have lost a total of 56 pounds). Unfortunately, the first time I lost 55 pounds(back in 2006) I had maintained that loss for about 3 years. I then let the weight creep on slowly-about 10 pounds a year, got sick with Lyme's disease followed by multiple bouts of pneumonia and let myself get completely out of control again. It was no mystery to me why I re-gained. I ate huge portions of everything and didn't exercise. I did not limit or monitor myself at all. I am now within 5-7 pounds of my goal weight and I am worried about falling back into those old habits of eating with abandon and not exercising. This time, I am determined to keep a healthy life style. I will need to keep an eye on the scale and not shrug off weight gain. I've also found an exercise I really enjoy (Zumba). I am not one of those people who enjoy working out at all. I would rather go to the dentist and get a cavity filled without Novocaine than work out usually, but I do like Zumba. I do like how exercise makes me feel afterwards, so hopefully that will keep me motivated. I just simply cannot allow myself to be in the position of having to lose 50+ pounds again. It was hard to lose in my 30's and MUCH harder now that I'm in my 40's. I do think maintenance is going to have to be something I will always have to work and worry about.

    In response to the OP's difficulty in getting out of weight loss mode, I would suggest a very gradual increase in calories until you find the level that works for yo.u
  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member
    Options
    I've been in that same boat to! You just get so used to eating a certain way, that it seems NORMAL. And to step away from it is scary. For me, it would just take some time to get used to eating NORMALLY. One of the problems with dieting by counting every calorie, is you get obsessed with food and calorie intake. And it's difficult to snap out of it. I think the weighing yourself every day is actually fine. I read a study where people who weighed themselves every day stayed thinner, because they could catch a weight gain right away and take action. And if you weigh yourself and see that you are still where you want to be, you can relax! And I like OP's suggestion about not counting calories for 1 day. Then go back to it. Remember, the longer you stay at your goal, the better your body will adapt to its new set point.
  • natalie412
    natalie412 Posts: 1,039 Member
    Options
    Amazing, thoughtful, heartfelt advice from all. I even copied and pasted some of y'all to my maintenance prep file (little snippets of advice I collect to get me mentally prepared to weigh less, so mind is ready to to be thinner too). :tongue:

    Anyway, the point, in the advice on maintenance I have collected lots of ladies say 2 things. 1) Pick a min and max weight 3 lbs up and down for your maint. So if your goal was 135, let your happy window be 132-138. and 2) Only weigh 3 times a month. Skip your period week cuz the average women can hold up to 7extra pounds of water during that time.

    Hope to join you in maintenance soon.:drinker:

    I've been maintaining for over a year now, and I use the "happy window" as well. I did finally exceed my happy window recently - when I stopped logging for awhile, so I started logging again and am back in that window again. I do weigh myself most days, but I EXPECT to be anywhere from 128 - 134 or so. If I start consistently seeing 135 or higher for awhile, then I know I need to eat a little less. I net about 1620 BTW and eat back all my exercise cals, so I end up averaging about 2000 total or more per day. The nice thing is I took action when I only needed to lose about 3-4 pounds. Easy to do - once you've lost 50 pounds or whatever, you know you have the tools and know how to lose the weight! So relax!!!!
  • pkw58
    pkw58 Posts: 2,038 Member
    Options
    I understand your fear. Do you remember how scared you were when you started on your weight loss journey?

    That being said, just because you are on maintenance doesn't mean you're at the end of your journey. I might get pounced on for saying the following, but it's true. You need to maintain your weight loss for at least a year to enable your body to adjust to your weight loss. Many people have had the experience of losing weight, and then in a year they have gained it all back and sometimes more. It's because your body has to adjust it's "set" point and it takes a year or so to do it. So let's say you've lost 50 lbs, and now your weight is 150. That's great! BUT, your body still thinks that normal is 200, and it will keep trying to get back to 200, because that's where it thinks it is supposed to be. After a year or so at your new weight, the body resets itself, so finally, 150 will be the new norm.

    I'm not saying this to scare you, I'm saying this to motivate you. Now you're in maintenance, and what that means is that you don't get to go back to how you ate before. You don't get to stop working out. There is a set amount of calories you need to eat to maintain your weight right now, and you need to meet that set amount. You need to continue working out. Your journey has at least another year to go, and after that year your body will adjust, you will have the knowledge of what you need to do to maintain and the confidence to keep healthy.

    Good luck!

    I am pouncing on this - in a good way... I absolutely agree that even with all the good habits you pickup on your weight loss journey, finding the new "you" and maintaining / improving upon is as individual a journey as was losing the weight. It's fun. We are all learning. I am on my second year of maintenance and still here, still logging, still reading to learn more.
  • Skydaver
    Skydaver Posts: 23 Member
    Options
    I'm hoping to reach my target weight in 2-3 weeks, and intend to continue weighing myself every day. I log that value in The Hacker's Diet (https://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/HackDiet) I don't pay much attention, even now, to my scale weight (other than to log it). What I pay attention to is the trend weight.

    NASA has estimated that over the course of 24 hours, we ingest and exhaust 13.5 lbs of stuff a day.

    Let me put that number here again. 13.5 lbs every single day.

    It's perfectly natural for your weight to fluctuate, and different folks will have different normal daily differences. For one person, it might be 1 lb., for another 3 lbs.

    The trend weight from The Hacker's Diet lets you ignore the daily differences, and focus on that trend, keeping it flat.

    For me, (and I completely understand that this process isn't right for everyone) being kind of a data geek, this helps me a great deal. Part of the information presented by THD is a weekly loss (or gain) and a calculated daily calorie deficit (or surplus)