Is successful long-term weight control strict, or balanced?


I caught myself thinking in black and white about my daily calorie count. On days when I exercise I don't have much appetite and I'm always 100 - 300 under, but that didn't matter in my mind if the next day if I was 10 over. This process is fought in the mind as well as the body. I want to avoid turning this into a miserable experience, but rather keep it as a lifestyle change that I can live with. I love pressing that submit button and seeing it congratulate me for being under that day, but I suspect that sustainable weight control isn't achieved by feeling deprived and hungry. If 50 extra calories makes the difference in my comfort level that day, so be it! Is this slippery slope thinking, or the key to long-term success?

Replies

  • kelsully
    kelsully Posts: 1,008 Member
    the only slippery slope is setting up a system for yourself that you find ways around. I actually think that your approach is good and if it helps, especially in the app versions of this site, look at your weekly data to see just how well you have done over the week as opposed to looking at each day alone. This has helped me feel more balanced.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    Strict balance! :)

    Everyone does it differently. You have to play around with it and see what works for you.

    I refuse to force-feed myself on Tuesday and then be hungry on Wednesday. I allow hunger to dictate how much I eat. Other people do much better sticking to a more rigid calorie goal. Neither method is better, per se. Mine is best for me, theirs is best for them and yours, when you find it, will be best for you. :)
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,292 Member
    Yes




    Everyone is different so the answer will differ from person to person
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
    I look at the weekly view. Meaning, I don't worry too much if I am under one day, or over the next so long as my week is close to my caloric intake goal, and the scale is doing what I want it to.
    If I start losing when I am maintaining, or maintaining when I am losing/gaining I will be more vigilant with my daily intake for a couple of weeks and adjust my calories accordingly.
    This has worked well for me during my weight loss and maintenance.

    Experiment to see what works for you; what you are doing now sounds as though it is working.

    Cheers, h.

  • GoneGirl50
    GoneGirl50 Posts: 65 Member

    kelsully wrote: »
    look at your weekly data to see just how well you have done over the week as opposed to looking at each day alone. This has helped me feel more balanced.

    I never noticed that there are weekly calorie stats. Yes, I like that idea!

  • 47Jacqueline
    47Jacqueline Posts: 6,993 Member
    kelsully wrote: »
    look at your weekly data to see just how well you have done over the week as opposed to looking at each day alone. This has helped me feel more balanced.

    I never noticed that there are weekly calorie stats. Yes, I like that idea!

    I didn't know that either. I'll have to look. I was going to say that asking the question should have answered it for you.
  • esjones12
    esjones12 Posts: 1,363 Member
    Successful long-term weight control is a unique life long journey with constant tweaking, discoveries, set backs, and successes. Consistency is key.

    Best of luck!
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
    edited December 2014
    In his generally excellent book The Diet Fix, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff proposes that the key to successful weight control is to eat as few calories as you need to be happy with your life, and to exercise as much as is compatible with a happy life. Because if you're constantly unhappy, you're not going to stick to the program.

    He proposes regular, protein-rich snacks between meals so that you never feel truly hungry, and therefore you can eat with moderation at your meals. I know that works for some people.

    Personally, though, I try to reframe things. For example, you write,
    ...I suspect that sustainable weight control isn't achieved by feeling deprived and hungry.

    I found it extremely helpful to learn to dissociate feeling hungry, a physiological state, from feeling deprived, a psychological state. I don't usually mind hunger between meals, and I find it often goes away after 20 minutes or so. I don't feel deprived because I have learned which foods make me feel sated even if they don't have many calories, and because I eat everything that I used to eat, just less of it.
  • GoneGirl50
    GoneGirl50 Posts: 65 Member
    bwogilvie wrote: »
    In his generally excellent book The Diet Fix, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff proposes that the key to successful weight control is to eat as few calories as you need to be happy with your life, and to exercise as much as is compatible with a happy life. Because if you're constantly unhappy, you're not going to stick to the program.

    Thank you all for your insight. I agree with Dr. Freedhoff. After reading some successful stories on MFP where individuals describe meticulous weighing and fitness regiments, I wanted to make sure I wasn't fooling myself by taking a more relaxed approach.
  • SoulOfRusalka
    SoulOfRusalka Posts: 1,201 Member
    ._. the button doesn't congratulate me when I don't hit my goal, it's like "you're eating too little YOU'RE GONNA DIE".
    But yeah, black-and-white thinking is bad. If you want to be happy, moderation is the way to go (I haven't learned how to do it, but it's great if you can.)
  • segacs
    segacs Posts: 4,599 Member
    Everything in moderation... including moderation. :)