Heretic Asks - How to stop logging and keep your goal weight

I’m looking for success stories of people who stopped logging and maintained their goal weight.

That could be a heretical question bc so many people do keep logging forever. I mean, obv this community is built around a really great logging app. Now I’m very glad that forever logging works for you if you do that. Seriously, it’s amazing fortitude and dedication.

But I’m a busy dad with a big family. And honestly, I don’t like how logging messes with meal times. I’ve just today finished losing 13kg (29lbs) over 4 months. I did it by logging everything (and exercise). The logging keeps me glued to my phone before, during, and after meals. The fam is half done eating by the time I’ve weighed everything and sat down. If we’re eating a light lunch or supper from a shared pick plate, the whole meal is spent tallying carrots, olives, salami, cheese eaten etc. Any dessert or novel drink and I’m back at the scale.

I don’t want to live like this forever. I gained my weight very slowly over years. I naturally like healthy food, and work/eat from home. My plan is to weigh in daily, guesstimate macros from space on the plate, and only use MFP occasionally if I slide out of my goal range.

But I’m looking for success stories of conscious uncoupling from logging. How did you do it?


  • fiddletime
    fiddletime Posts: 1,864 Member
    I find out what my next meal will be and Pre-log it to the best guess I can. It doesn’t take long. Rather than eating 2 carrots and an olive then recording that, I plan to eat 2 carrots and an olive and pre-log it. I’ll toss in the broccoli for free.

    I’ve stopped logging and regained 15 pounds 4 times now. This is fast and takes little time. I’m very busy and time constrained as well, and also don’t want to think about it much. It’s close enough for me and the scale tells me if I’m getting lazy. Good luck and I’ll be interested to hear other success stories (I know, mine wasn’t a success story in the way you meant).
  • Geneveremfp
    Geneveremfp Posts: 504 Member
    I maintained my weight loss for a couple of years with loose logging and keeping an eye on the scale. If I started creeping up again I started logging more accurately. My maintenance logging was not as arduous because I had an idea what calories looked like etc but I personally still needed to keep track. It all went to pot when I became pregnant and went "cool here's an excuse to eat what I want and everyone is literally encouraging me". I've been overweight (probably obese) since I was about 9 - maybe even a bit earlier - so I don't have any intuitive skills. I don't have normal hunger signals. I think if you're in a different boat you might be able to not log and just keep an eye on your weight.
  • I didn’t log while in maintenance. I guess I’m very predictable with what I eat. Same or similar stuff day in day out. I don’t eat at restaurants much and know roughly about portion sizes of the things I eat regularly.

    My diet is mainly protein fruits and veggies with a few treats.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,583 Member
    I just check my weight every day. If it gets higher than I like, I might log for a few days to see where I need to cut back. Eventually you kind of get a feel for what your meals look like in maintenance. If you go overboard one day, cut back a little the next.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    edited June 2020
    I've been at maintenance for 7 years, haven't logged food hardly at all in around 4 years. I do mentally have an rough idea of my intake each day and my activity level never changes - I maintain within a +/-5lb weight range. I still weigh things like pasta/rice/potatoes and meat but eyeball everything else.
    Occasionally see a little weight creep, but nip that in the bud by cutting out one snack per day until I'm back in my range again.
    Regularly stepping on the scales has been key personally.
  • sheena_shewell
    sheena_shewell Posts: 48 Member
    When I was tracking consistently I just pre tracked everything at the beginning of the day so I knew what I was going to eat so it didn't interfere with anything...if I ate anything else I would just add it at the end of the day. I've always estimated/eyeballed everything and never had an issue. Life's too short to be weighing food for the rest of your life.
  • canadjineh
    canadjineh Posts: 5,396 Member
    edited July 2020
    I maintained my weight for several years after logging to lose 35 lbs, but find it's a slippery slope - not that I'm eating the wrong foods for me, just too much/too often, so I've had a slow creep up the past year or so. I'm not logging (still) but I am being more mindful of my portion sizes and frequency of eating/'snacking' so I can slowly drop back to my maintenance weight without actually logging again.
  • Annie42019
    Annie42019 Posts: 79 Member
    I log every day and have been on maintenance for over a year after losing 75 pounds. Once you’ve weighed meat and cheese a few times you really should be able to estimate amounts pretty easily without weighing Also I don’t log veggies other than potatoes ( a kind of weight watchers twist of zero point foods). It takes me just 2 min a day to log this way. If my weight crept up I’d be more meticulous but this is a down and dirty way to easily stay on track and not have it be time consuming at all .
  • rainbow198
    rainbow198 Posts: 2,245 Member
    Hey there Pav!

    I see your point, but in my journal there is no math such as "2 slices of bread: 190 calories, 1 slice of cheese: 50 calories" etc. I simply plan out my meals by writing down what I'm going to eat.

    That is where I was going by not using any calorie trackers.

    I don't and never have kept track of my calories in that fashion.

    PAV8888 wrote: »
    @rainbow198 I truly have no beef at all with what you detail, in fact, if anything, I find it quite "insightful" and I have marked it so.

    But I would argue that you're presenting a "you can maintain your weight using looser logging" counter argument instead of supporting the "I am not logging my food intake while maintaining" position and your stated contention that you've "never used a calorie tracking app or device".

    Most of your post details how you go about tracking calories during your normal day using a notebook and your head... basically more convenient, to you alternatives to a tracking app or device, that are fulfilling the same function.

    After saying that you "never used a calorie tracking app or device" you go on to discuss:

    "Planning out my meals... helps me keep track of calories... [and it] keeps me in control and allows me to fit in whatever I want to eat."
    "Using a food journal - I plan and write out what I've eaten for the day and it only takes about 5 minutes each day to maintain. I also keep track of my exercise, water intake, weight, measurements and any notes as well."
    "I read labels and look up calorie counts online of items I wasn't sure of. This helps me tally up calories in my head."
    (paraphrasing) (eating and cooking at home)...."helps me to stay in control of my calorie count."

    I would argue that there is very little difference between tracking in your head or a notebook and tracking in an app. It is just the format of the tool and what we each find more convenient to use.

  • Jacq_qui
    Jacq_qui Posts: 363 Member
    I agree that it does take time, especially with little ones who are served first and finished first, sometimes before I'm sat down ! I've considered maybe next year, when hopefully everything is a bit more normal and I'm hitting the gym regularly, assuming I'm where I want to be that perhaps I could start off logging every other day. It's easy to get complacent. If my weight remains stable then maybe I could reduce logging days, but like you I neither want to regain because I've taken my eye off the ball, nor spend my entire life weighing stuff and logging it. I have long-term issues but I haven't always been overweight, so I'm hoping that I won't be here forever!
  • sofrances
    sofrances Posts: 153 Member
    Have you considered logging for a while in maintenance? Just to get a feeling for what your maintenance calories look and "feel" like? After a couple of months (3 to 6 maybe), you could try a month without logging, but be honest with yourself if your weight starts trending up, and be prepared to go back to logging.

    Personally, I have abandoned the idea of intuitive eating etc. If I had the right intuition, I wouldn't be here in the first place, and given that my weight loss has been motivated by health concern I'm willing to accept some inconvenience if it works long term. But that's just me. If you can make it work, good for you.