Is maintenance REALLY harder than losing weight?

1246

Replies

  • 12Sarah2015
    12Sarah2015 Posts: 1,087 Member
    The first few weeks yes. But good habits do stick!
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    Rosie_TG wrote: »
    I find it slightly more difficult to maintain than lose, but I struggle comparing the two. It seems that all the support out there from media to facebook groups to MFP (but less so), is all focused on LOSING, but when you've lost and you've made it, it becomes a lonelier game. It's just you, your head and your body.

    I focused on different goals instead of the scale - some fitness goals but also health ones (cholesterol and blood pressure).

    Totally relate to the "lonely" feeling. When losing I felt much more part of the community, especially as MFP focuses much more on shedding the weight. Would help with motivation if MFP automatically recognized maintenance achievements (I think I deserve one for hitting two years without gaining back the kilos).
    Some updates to MFP for maintainers would be nice, you're right. Like the "pounds lost" thing - on my fitbit app the scale graphic has changed to a little arc of about 10 pounds and my weight is a little dot in the middle. The "pounds lost" thing here on MFP and the angry red numbers when over calories aren't super helpful for the maintenance mindset.

    SparkPeople has a "X weeks in maintenance" ticker that I really like. MFP could do something similar.
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    macchiatto wrote: »
    Those are interesting points about losing the excitement of numbers changing on the scale. And actually it's discouraging on something like Happy Scale when it gives me red numbers and shows pounds gained, yet I'm fully under my maintenance goal that I gave it. (I wish it let you put a range and it would stay "green" as long as you're within it so I wouldn't feel like I've failed if I gain a lb ... just all those normal fluctuations.) I know that's silly. Maybe I just need to see if there's a better weight tracking graph that is more maintenance-geared.
    I know. It's annoying. I don't think you'll find another. Weigh trackers just aren't meant for maintainers. I started weighing daily and using Trendweight as I hit maintenance, but soon the weight predictions started to freak me out. Now I just open it once per week to get the numbers to let excel calculate the "running average", and ignore the predictions. I like the "You have been tracking your weight for 2.6 years. You have reached your goal weight" message though :D
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    brenn24179 wrote: »
    why do so many gain their weight back? Because it takes a lot of discipline. Being fat is hard, eating different is hard, you have to pick your hard, yes both are hard but I don't like being fat. Never ending have to be cautious all your life, dirn it.

    I don't think it's hard. It takes awareness, but not really dicipline. Maintenance was hard before, when I based it on discipline. I belived that maintenance had to be a fight with myself. I was in a constant battle between what I felt I should do, and what I felt I should be entitled to. Realizing what I need, and that it's both okay and important to give myself what I need, and that I indeed can and should have what I want, but I can't give myself more than I can handle, has made my life so much easier.

    It's just a totally different mindset.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    mk2fit wrote: »
    I was one of those who called maintenance and lost another 15 pounds. Things settled down and now as long as I keep up the exercise, I can pretty much eat what I want. It may take you a while to find your "me weight" and stay there. Don't worry, you'll get there. Look for the Maintainers Weekly Check-in April 2017 thread for some support. The leader (?) changes the name each month. Nice folks and good thoughts.

    I laugh when I read comments like this. I still have to seriously restrict myself with my TDEE of 2400+. I could never eat what I want and not gain weight (I walk 22k steps in average).

    And I'll be in big trouble if I get sick of break a leg or something.
  • fitqueenbess
    fitqueenbess Posts: 372 Member
    One still works hard to maintain: tracking, measuring, exercising. It's just an extension of the weight-loss life but not a return to bad habits of the past. The real difference is there's no change in the scale to cheer one on.
  • cnbbnc
    cnbbnc Posts: 1,265 Member
    I think losing the weight was easy in comparison because I knew there was a "reward" at the end...seeing the number I wanted to achieve on the scale. With maintenance...it's harder because there's nothing to work towards...if that makes sense.

    But....maintenance can be easy if you look at it as just carrying on as usual. Youre doing nothing different except adding some extra calories on after all. Then you just monitor your weight. If you're still losing you eat a bit more. Starting to gain? Shave a few off. It doesn't have to be hard.

  • jrwms714
    jrwms714 Posts: 421 Member
    For me, it gets easier the longer I am in maintenance (close to 3 years now). I don't really eat much differently than when I was losing, and enjoy the extra food and the occasional treats that I now have. It took a while - almost a year - before I let myself have those and not feel guilty. I agree with a lot of people on here - the key is being active. But when I am gone on vacation or have extended periods of time when I can't workout like I do now, I just maintain my maintenance calories. I haven't really changed most of my meals since I started, so breakfast and lunch are pretty much always the same, and dinner and snacks vary. You have to watch the scale, keep a range that is comfortable for you, have a "scream weight" that you won't allow yourself to go over, and the rest is just a factor of not making it take over your life.
  • gnu4liberty
    gnu4liberty Posts: 48 Member
    Yes. I don't know what I am doing. I am now 5'9" and 134 lbs. My boyfriend says stop losing. I don't know how to eat to now.
  • swim777
    swim777 Posts: 599 Member
    I will say that when I lost 30 lbs 6 years ago I committed to learning new habits and definitely learned how to 'see' an appropriate serving size. I was able to maintain for 3 years without measuring but still logging, planning, and cooking the majority of my meals. The good habits stuck and it wasn't until I changed jobs, got divorced, survived a 5,000 person layoff, and moved 4 times in 2 years (once out of state) that I regained any of the weight. For about 2 years I was eating out at least 2 meals a day and I had stopped working out. Even doing my best to make healthy choices when eating out, I was still over eating because I have any control or knowledge of the ingredients or preparation of my food. It took 3 years to gain 7 lbs but because my weight fluctuates +/- 3 lbs it was hard to catch, it was only when my pants felt too tight everyday that I knew there was a definite gain.

    It took me longer to lose this 7lbs than it took to lose 30 so I'm more motivated to keep it off than last time around. I know I have to set limits on how many times I can eat out per week (with the exception of business trips and vacations), and track my weight daily so I can take an upward trend sooner. Each time you slip a little, you will learn something new and it gets a little easier to manage. One of the most helpful things I've learned on MFP is that a periodic 5-10 lb regain is fairly common, even for highly successful maintainers, so I have a plan in place for when this happens.

    Humans learn through failure so learning to embrace temporary regains and setbacks, as long as we don't let them get out of hand, is part of the process of maintaining a healthy weight for life.
    Thanks for this post. I have felt like the oddball here because I still struggle so much with maintenance. I've lost a lot...it took about 13 months, and I've not done badly..I'm just constantly fighting to keep a handle on it. I keep hoping I'll "learn" a better or easier way to keep the weight down. But you are right...limiting meals out.. tracking, weighing regularly, and reining it back in does keep it in the ballpark. I got really thin last summer and then gained the typical 5 back which really upset me.. but eventually I will find a way to keep it down.... right now after 4 days of splurging,,,,(dinners) which I never do... the water, weight and prob a pound or two more is really making me crazy. But I know what to do..and it even feels better when everything is back in balance.

  • crooked_left_hook
    crooked_left_hook Posts: 364 Member
    swim777 wrote: »
    I will say that when I lost 30 lbs 6 years ago I committed to learning new habits and definitely learned how to 'see' an appropriate serving size. I was able to maintain for 3 years without measuring but still logging, planning, and cooking the majority of my meals. The good habits stuck and it wasn't until I changed jobs, got divorced, survived a 5,000 person layoff, and moved 4 times in 2 years (once out of state) that I regained any of the weight. For about 2 years I was eating out at least 2 meals a day and I had stopped working out. Even doing my best to make healthy choices when eating out, I was still over eating because I have any control or knowledge of the ingredients or preparation of my food. It took 3 years to gain 7 lbs but because my weight fluctuates +/- 3 lbs it was hard to catch, it was only when my pants felt too tight everyday that I knew there was a definite gain.

    It took me longer to lose this 7lbs than it took to lose 30 so I'm more motivated to keep it off than last time around. I know I have to set limits on how many times I can eat out per week (with the exception of business trips and vacations), and track my weight daily so I can take an upward trend sooner. Each time you slip a little, you will learn something new and it gets a little easier to manage. One of the most helpful things I've learned on MFP is that a periodic 5-10 lb regain is fairly common, even for highly successful maintainers, so I have a plan in place for when this happens.

    Humans learn through failure so learning to embrace temporary regains and setbacks, as long as we don't let them get out of hand, is part of the process of maintaining a healthy weight for life.
    Thanks for this post. I have felt like the oddball here because I still struggle so much with maintenance. I've lost a lot...it took about 13 months, and I've not done badly..I'm just constantly fighting to keep a handle on it. I keep hoping I'll "learn" a better or easier way to keep the weight down. But you are right...limiting meals out.. tracking, weighing regularly, and reining it back in does keep it in the ballpark. I got really thin last summer and then gained the typical 5 back which really upset me.. but eventually I will find a way to keep it down.... right now after 4 days of splurging,,,,(dinners) which I never do... the water, weight and prob a pound or two more is really making me crazy. But I know what to do..and it even feels better when everything is back in balance.

    Glad to help :)

    We have to remember that life is still going to happen (needs to happen!) and we can't control everything all the time. One thing I did this time around is print out my meal tracking reports for weeks where I felt really satisfied food wise, and had successful weight loss, so when I need to cut back for a couple weeks I can just pull them out and know right away what I need to eat. When it comes to cutting calories, the less I need to think about it the better.
  • ercarroll311
    ercarroll311 Posts: 295 Member
    I think it's a little easier, except if you are prone to skipping a day or saying "oh well" because you're happy where you are. that can start to get out of control, but for it's been the same with some more calories.
  • macchiatto
    macchiatto Posts: 2,890 Member
    Yes. I don't know what I am doing. I am now 5'9" and 134 lbs. My boyfriend says stop losing. I don't know how to eat to now.

    Have you figured out your current rate of loss and how many calories you would need to add back in to maintain? Figuring that out might be a good place to start (if you haven't done it yet).

    I know what you mean though; as I've been reverse dieting, trying to figure out maintenance, I've been surprised that some days I'm still only eating around 1500 calories or so and feeling like I'm full or don't even know what else to add. Never expected to feel that way! (It's too early to tell if I'm still losing though so I'm not sure if I need to increase it or if my maintenance is perhaps a lot lower than Fitbit thinks it is. ;) )
  • bfanny
    bfanny Posts: 440 Member
    edited April 2017
    Maintaining is easier for me than losing weight :| My body likes to be at a steady weight...Set point? See I'll gain a few "temporary" lbs on weekends when I relax a little and by Friday (WI) I'm right where I'm suppose to be :)
  • edwinghee
    edwinghee Posts: 4 Member
    For me, the maintenance is the hard part because it's easy to lose when all you have to do is cut back on foods & do a little exercise; however, keeping the weight off is hard. Think about it, your eating habits change & you sacrifice all the good stuff. Plus, you want to stay active, but I hate cold weather so that part is always a challenge. But once again... this is me! Some of you may agree, say the opposite or have other challenges. Right now, I'm maintaining but I hope to drop more numbers very soon!!!
  • jennypapage
    jennypapage Posts: 489 Member
    i have to say i'm beginning to love maintenance. i've been at it for a few weeks now, and i thought i would be miserable, with very few extra calories to eat. Well, while losing i never touched my exercise calories, and now i have to. Started off with 50% and kept losing, so upped that to 90% and for now it seems to work.That's about 1000 extra kcal./week. :p
  • Grammytryingtogetfit
    Grammytryingtogetfit Posts: 672 Member
    macchiatto wrote: »
    Yes. I don't know what I am doing. I am now 5'9" and 134 lbs. My boyfriend says stop losing. I don't know how to eat to now.

    Have you figured out your current rate of loss and how many calories you would need to add back in to maintain? Figuring that out might be a good place to start (if you haven't done it yet).

    I know what you mean though; as I've been reverse dieting, trying to figure out maintenance, I've been surprised that some days I'm still only eating around 1500 calories or so and feeling like I'm full or don't even know what else to add. Never expected to feel that way! (It's too early to tell if I'm still losing though so I'm not sure if I need to increase it or if my maintenance is perhaps a lot lower than Fitbit thinks it is. ;) )

    This right here!!!
    I have changed my calories to maintain. I am eating those calories but not the "active calories" on my garmin and I am still losing weight. Last week I was over according to the weekly reports by 1000 calories and still lost over a pound. I can't quite figure it out.........Not sure if I should go by my garmin or try adjusting MFP again........