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Watching maintenance like a hawk

pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
Just want to share some early stats from my relatively-short maintenance time which began on February 20th. I share this because there are some here who comment how they struggle with maintenance. I've previously shared this hasn't been my experience but that I'm doing nothing different on a daily basis than what I did when in drop mode other than eating slightly more, having set my calories to maintenance from a previous set of a daily deficit to support 1.5 lbs. weight loss per week.

Here are some interesting stats I just calculated, measured from February 20th through today (background info: my maintenance weight range is 172-177 lbs., 64 year old man who sits for a living but does have a decent exercise regiment - started my journey last August 31st at 210.8 lbs.) -

Weight on 2/20/2019 when I officially declared maintenance: 176.9 lbs.

Weight this morning 6/5/2019 - 173.5 lbs.

Average weight during maintenance to date 102 days - 173.8 lbs. - lowest weight 169.2 on 5/12/2019 and highest weight 179.1 on 2/27/2019.

Average weight fluctuation from previous day to date 102 days - 0.04 lbs.

Range of weight fluctuation from previous day to date 102 days was -1.8 lowest to 2.5 lbs. highest.

Number of days logged eating - 102 days of 102 days.

Number of days morning weigh-in - 102 days of 102 days.

Eating based on 101 days since I haven't eaten today - all amounts are averages for 101 days - total calories = 2,378 - carbs 52 percent - protein 18 percent - fat 30 percent) - it would take some side calculations to identify the days in which I ate significantly more than calories expended (that some would describe as cheat days) but my judgement is that there are not many and I don't feel deprived. I prefer to call these days "treat: days rather than "cheat" days. I don't like the cheat word and words matter to me, call me weird but that's me.

Calories expended - using BMR calculator of average weight plus lifestyle and exercise calories added = 2,383 average calories per day.

The lesson learned - watching maintenance like a hawk, having good data for analytics to closely monitor and keeping the discipline in peak condition is almost a guarantee that you'll always be in maintenance land.

Can you accomplish this with a more relaxed approach? Yes, I'm sure, but watching it like a hawk works for me.

What do I plan to do different moving forward? Nada!

Postscript - today is day #3 of eating 500 calories below maintenance after my morning weigh-in showed some upward uptick. Nothing to be concerned about but I wanted to give myself about 5 days of deficit eating just to keep my skills sharp. Overkill? Maybe, but this is my approach and I just wanted to share it with everyone here.

As you can see, I'm an analytical guy, God wired me that way and my profession in the rat race is an analytical one.
edited June 5

Replies

  • RachelmilloyRachelmilloy Posts: 151Member Member Posts: 151Member Member
    Thanks for sharing the details of your success - I have no doubt that your "watch it like a hawk" approach will keep your weight exactly where you want it!

    I think the maintenance struggle for lots of us, me included, is that moving to maintenance threw some psychological switch with respect to tricky foods - the type that encourage overeating/binging/loss of control: we started eating them again, and quickly shot to the top of our maintenance range, if not a bit higher! Fortunately at that point most of us would be properly shocked and rein ourselves in and move back down to our sweet spot.

    I'll be interested to hear more in future about how precisely you have managed to estimate your TDEE and balance it with your calorie intake. I've been on maintenance more than a year, but with my mini yoyo-ing, have yet to achieve the nirvana of "eating at TDEE, no deficit whatsoever".

    Thanks again!
  • jrwms714jrwms714 Posts: 419Member Member Posts: 419Member Member
    Whatever works for you in maintenance is what works. OP, if you are the analytical/engineering type, then that's how it's best for you, like I am the organized, compulsive type, so I am still logging after nearly 7 years in MFP and that's what works for me. However, I do hope you reach a point where maintenance is more natural for you and that it's not as much "hawk-watching". Meanwhile, this appears to be helping you so go for it!!!
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Posts: 900Member, Premium Member Posts: 900Member, Premium Member
    Hi pier! Congrats on your loss. I think the most successful maintainers are those who DO watch like a hawk when they first hit maintenance. I am almost 2 years in and I like now to think of things longer term - months instead of weeks. Make smaller tweaks etc. At 60+ it seems like both my brain and my body prefer the steady state - TDEE approach - vs - ups and downs on a daily or weekly basis even. Good luck and keep checking in.
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    Thanks @SummerSkier, my “fellow” fitness sexagenarian. Let’s continue marching forward!
  • lms_938lms_938 Posts: 10Member, Premium Member Posts: 10Member, Premium Member
    pierinifitness Thanks for posting your thoughts. I too am an analytical person. I'm only at the beginning of my weight loss but am already watching these maintenance boards so that I can work out how to move smoothly into that when I get there.

    I hadn't thought about working out weight fluctuations and averages the way you did. But I think that could help even while I'm losing weight too. Thanks!
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    You're welcom @lms_938, keep marching forward in your fitness, health and wellness journey.
  • chris_in_calchris_in_cal Posts: 389Member Member Posts: 389Member Member
    Not to be to judgey here, because of course there are exceptions, but the National Weight Control registry and you OCDers here all weigh daily.

    Those who 'fear' the scale, or get too obsessed with a specific days scale reading really don't seems to have much of a chance at regular weight maintenance.

    Exception might be: those fit people who gained a little, took some action and got back to being fit... that's about all I can think of.

    Congrats all: as begin my third yoyo heading back to a healthy weight I wonder what I am going to do differently to stay at maintenance. (I guess daily weighing will be a part of it :)
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    @chris_in_cal. I've never experienced weight creep when doing the daily weigh-in thing, and I've experienced weight creep when not doing the daily weigh-in thing. Guess what my course of action is going to continue being as I march forward into old man land chasing and maintaining my fitness, health and wellness goals.
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?
  • cmriversidecmriverside Posts: 28,682Member Member Posts: 28,682Member Member
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?

    For some reason I still don't understand, this works for me, too. In maintenance I have my Goal set 250 calories low, I almost always over eat it and wonder why I still do it, but if it ain't broke...
  • kami3006kami3006 Posts: 4,993Member, Greeter, Premium Member Posts: 4,993Member, Greeter, Premium Member
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?

    For some reason I still don't understand, this works for me, too. In maintenance I have my Goal set 250 calories low, I almost always over eat it and wonder why I still do it, but if it ain't broke...

    I do this as well. I have my maintenance set about 150 calories lower than I need because I tend to go over. I think it's a throwback from knowing I could go over my deficit and still be in deficit as long as under TDEE. If it ain't broke...
    edited June 23
  • cmriversidecmriverside Posts: 28,682Member Member Posts: 28,682Member Member
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?

    For some reason I still don't understand, this works for me, too. In maintenance I have my Goal set 250 calories low, I almost always over eat it and wonder why I still do it, but if it ain't broke...

    Because it feels like you are getting away with something to go a wee bit over every day :wink:

    Or you recognize going over as a stopping point, where it's easier to not stop with a low green number remaining.


    I weight daily, I'm not a hawk-like watcher. Right now I'm logging everything because DH is trying to lose weight and we are in it together. I go through periods where I don't log at all, I just am aware of what I'm eating. Basically, I can afford to indulge once per day, if I have a big breakfast I should have a modest lunch and dinner, or if I'm planning a big dinner I should have a more modest breakfast and lunch. Or I know if all my meals are modest, I can have an extra snack. Balance.

    Yup. Both those things.



  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,837Member Member Posts: 5,837Member Member
    kami3006 wrote: »
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?

    For some reason I still don't understand, this works for me, too. In maintenance I have my Goal set 250 calories low, I almost always over eat it and wonder why I still do it, but if it ain't broke...

    I do this as well. I have my maintenance set about 150 calories lower than I need because I tend to go over. I think it's a throwback from knowing I could go over my deficit and still be in deficit as long as under TDEE. If it ain't broke...

    I just wonder how many people do this?

    I am at a calibrated to be -300 target too... which I regularly exceed... perhaps a bit too much as I am now trying to NOT do so for a lb or two so I can drift towards the middle as opposed to top of my zone! :blush:
  • pinuplovepinuplove Posts: 12,765Member Member Posts: 12,765Member Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    kami3006 wrote: »
    The hawk watch continues. While I’m solidly in maintenance-land, I have MFP set to lose 0.5 lbs. a week and this gives me a lower daily calories budget that I generally overeat. For me, the lower budget seems to give me a better outcome of the total calories eaten. Seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and it’s not, but I like this little “trick” and will continue using it until further notice.

    Anyone else have any maintenance hawk watch “tricks”?

    For some reason I still don't understand, this works for me, too. In maintenance I have my Goal set 250 calories low, I almost always over eat it and wonder why I still do it, but if it ain't broke...

    I do this as well. I have my maintenance set about 150 calories lower than I need because I tend to go over. I think it's a throwback from knowing I could go over my deficit and still be in deficit as long as under TDEE. If it ain't broke...

    I just wonder how many people do this?

    I am at a calibrated to be -300 target too... which I regularly exceed... perhaps a bit too much as I am now trying to NOT do so for a lb or two so I can drift towards the middle as opposed to top of my zone! :blush:

    Seems to be a common theme for us long-timers :) I have mine set for what MFP calculates as my maintenance, which I know is actually about 150 calories low.
  • jrwms714jrwms714 Posts: 419Member Member Posts: 419Member Member
    I do the same thing.
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    It's sort of like have a conservative financial budget, you know if you go over, you're not in deep trouble. And, you actually feel good when you do go over because you know you have wiggle room. What I like about it is it gives me a starting perspective that's consistent with my fitness, health and wellness theme of being lean, light and strong.

    Having said this, I did eat big on Sunday because I was extra hungry. And, it made for a better performance yesterday when I did a 60-minute run. So, when setting it low, you have a bigger overage but it's no big deal.

    Whatever works, works.
  • Bry_Fitness70Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,430Member Member Posts: 2,430Member Member
    I have been in maintenance for several years - I weigh myself almost every day on a scale that bluetooths the info to MFP so it requires no effort to track.

    I think most imagine maintenance weight to be a flatline, but as you can see from this graph, it can really vary from day to day. I try to stay between 170-175 (although I have lost a few extra pounds training for a race over the past few months) and just course-correct if there is a trend in the wrong direction.

    a9ivjda3hs4j.png
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,345Member, Premium Member
    @Bry_Fitness70, you're another maintenance hawk. We have nearly identical maintenance weight ranges. I'm 172-177 but have considered 170-175. Thanks for sharing your weight timeline which does a great job of showcasing a maintenance job well done with it's stability.
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