Has anyone eaten at maintenance calorie level of goal weight, to lose weight?

starryskies89
starryskies89 Posts: 35 Member
edited March 2015 in Goal: Maintaining Weight
So in the interests of being able to maintain my weight-loss and find a way to make myself comfortable during the process I am currently trying out a new idea. I used a calculator online to figure out how many calories a lightly active person at my goal weight needs to eat to maintain their weight. And I'm using that as my daily limit. I know it will take longer than a 1200 cal diet but that kind of restriction causes me to burn out fast. All other attempts to hurry my weight loss along ended up being painful and frustrating. So I figure by the time I am at my goal weight I will be used to eating at that limit and will be comfortably able to sustain that for the long term.
The only issue I see is that as I get close to goal the weight will come off extremely slowly, I could see cutting calories a bit more or upping exercise to get the last few pounds off at that point. I'm just curious if anyone else has done this, and if so how their experience was?

For info purposes I am a female, 5'7 currently: 185 Goal: 135 According to scoobys a lightly active 135lb woman needs to eat 1964 to maintain, I currently have my calories set at 1800 and usually end up eating about 1900.
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Replies

  • jennifer_417
    jennifer_417 Posts: 12,344 Member
    I've heard of that method before, and always thought it was legit. I don't do it because I get bored too quickly and need change to sustain this long process!
  • bunnypy
    bunnypy Posts: 109 Member
    edited March 2015
    I eat at maintenance of my goal weight or ideal weight, and somehow my weight adjust!
  • cosmichvoyager
    cosmichvoyager Posts: 237 Member
    I do this, pretty much. I lose really slowly but...I got time <shrug> and I feel so much better in general. I basically took this winter off and ate at maintenance/didn't lose any weight for a while. I just couldn't deal with weight-loss level calorie restriction on top of the crappy winter weather, holidays and going on vacation but I didn't want to create an all or nothing, on the wagon/off the wagon scenario for myself so I focused on what I felt realistically able to do. I kept exercising, tried my best to eat at maintenance or below and I have lost 25 pounds in a year this way. I also have lots of muscles now :)
    I want to lose another 45 pounds or so but I am giving myself 3 years to do that, or even longer if that's what it takes.
  • pmm3437
    pmm3437 Posts: 529 Member
    I have considered it, but have not actually tried it. Nutritionally it should be safe, as long as your meeting your macro and micro requirements to remain healthy.

    If i was going to try to do it, i would definitely eat @ about 250 deficit to maint requirements, to ensure id get at least half a lb. a week when i got close to goal. This would also serve to "correct" for any slight inaccuracies.

    Would also make sure to get another half lb. of "burn" in a week via exercise, as a minimum.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,848 Member
    Sarauk2sf wrote: »
    Its not that uncommon of a way to approach it. So you don't slow to a crawl when you get near goal, usually an extra 200 or so calories are cut to create a reasonable deficit.

    yes...
  • csuhar
    csuhar Posts: 779 Member
    edited March 2015
    IIRC, it's one of the usual dietary components of the "Body Recomposition" approach.

    And the logic holds up. You eat at maintenance for your goal weight and activity level. If your goal weight is less than your current weight, then you're going to be eating at a deficit until you get down there. And if your goal is higher, then you're eating at a surplus.

    But it will take a longer time because the deficits and surpluses won't necessarily be as dramatic as you could make them.

    Still, it does have that dual-benefit of likely not having to dramatically change your dietary habits (depending on how far you are from your goal weight), and then, once you reach that goal weight, you don't need to learn new habits in order to maintain.

    I'm actually trying it, myself, in conjunction with the body-recomposition approach, because the usual bulk / cut process doesn't work for me, (thanks to my job measuring my waist at least every six months and scowling at me when it's too big for their tastes). As expected, the progress is slow, but it's there.
  • starryskies89
    starryskies89 Posts: 35 Member
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Since I am about 50lbs above my goal I have a ways to go, I will keep eating at this level and reassess in about 25lbs. So far I feel good. As someone else said, I have the time, I would rather do this the slow way and be successful long term. I lost 60lbs about 7 years ago and have maintained that, I was used to the fast lost that being very overweight gave me, when I got down into the 100s its stopped working like that. Thanks again for the encouraging replies, I think I'm on the right path.
  • cosmichvoyager
    cosmichvoyager Posts: 237 Member
    it sounds like you know how to manage weight so just keep it up! :)
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Since I am about 50lbs above my goal I have a ways to go, I will keep eating at this level and reassess in about 25lbs. So far I feel good. As someone else said, I have the time, I would rather do this the slow way and be successful long term. I lost 60lbs about 7 years ago and have maintained that, I was used to the fast lost that being very overweight gave me, when I got down into the 100s its stopped working like that. Thanks again for the encouraging replies, I think I'm on the right path.

    Great attitude! You can do this!
  • Wiseandcurious
    Wiseandcurious Posts: 730 Member
    I am doing exactly that, and am liking the results so far. I started with ~95lb to lose, the first two months I lost 20lb which was OK because my calculations show it's almost entirely fat mass. I am expecting with this method my weight loss rate to slow down the closer I get to goal, which is ideal because I really want to preserve lean mass as much as I can. Also this way I can meet my nutrition needs easily all the time, am never hungry and can enjoy food events guilt-free and learn to incorporate them for life. As you said, there is no hurry!
  • Springfield1970
    Springfield1970 Posts: 1,945 Member
    I do this too, i eat at maintenance for me at 127lb, and just sit it out! I've usually only strayed a pound or three over. I'm waiting for the day when I go under my goal weight eating at maintenance!
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited March 2015
    Sarauk2sf wrote: »
    Its not that uncommon of a way to approach it. So you don't slow to a crawl when you get near goal, usually an extra 200 or so calories are cut to create a reasonable deficit.

    Yes, this. I think it makes sense, but at the moment my maintenance calories at goal are awfully close to my maintenance calories at my current weight, so I'm cutting 10% from current maintenance instead.

    I think you have a sensible attitude about this.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    Love your long term view OP - very refreshing.

    I'm currently reading a book that uses the same basic idea, eating and training for your end goal. The Lean Muscle Diet by Lou Schuler and Alan Aragon - only part way into it but it's a very interesting approach and total opposite to all the short term diet plans so beloved of papers and magazines.
  • nxd10
    nxd10 Posts: 4,571 Member
    An easier option would be to go to MFP, set for .25 pound loss a week or .5 pound loss and go for that. It will automatically readjust your calories for you if you recalculate every time you drop weight.

    In any case, sure a deficit of any size will work over time.
  • Keliandra
    Keliandra Posts: 170 Member
    So in the interests of being able to maintain my weight-loss and find a way to make myself comfortable during the process I am currently trying out a new idea. I used a calculator online to figure out how many calories a lightly active person at my goal weight needs to eat to maintain their weight. And I'm using that as my daily limit. I'm just curious if anyone else has done this, and if so how their experience was?

    Short answer: yes.

    I think the best dieting advice I ever received was "Eat for the weight you want to be. It will come off slower but is more likely to stay off."

  • csuhar
    csuhar Posts: 779 Member
    nxd10 wrote: »
    An easier option would be to go to MFP, set for .25 pound loss a week or .5 pound loss and go for that. It will automatically readjust your calories for you if you recalculate every time you drop weight.

    In any case, sure a deficit of any size will work over time.

    A challenge with that is that it's still contingent on updating your weight as you go along. While this helps maintaining a uniformly sized deficit for the whole time, and a steadier rate of loss, you've got to be consistent in measuring and inputting your weight. That then breaches questions of how often should one weigh oneself, what if you're measuring during your time of the month / other period that might cause weight fluctuations, etc.

    With the method the OP describes, you simply find your target weight and then eat like you're at that weight for your whole weight loss journey. Technically, you don't have to add a deficit at all, but doing so helps when you start getting down close to your goal weight and your rate of loss is low because you're only eating a couple hundred calories below maintenance.

    Either one can work, you're just trading loss consistency for simplifying the math and personal habits.