Message Boards Goal: Maintaining Weight
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Soon to be maintainer..

aosborne81aosborne81 Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
Hi all!
I was looking for some tips or help. In about a month I am going to go in maintenance mode (part 1 of 2). I have currently lost 40 lbs this past year (I have 30 more to go, with hoping to lose 5 in the month of May-- going slow and steady as possible). I work in a school and the school year provides me a lot of structure and ability to stay on task to losing weight. The school year is ending, and I will be on more flexible scheduling. In the past, summer has been a downfall where I lost weight for a trip or some event and then after the trip I would have a hard time jumping back into the routine of it all. I am wanting to treat this summer as a test to be able to maintain during this time instead of actively trying to keep losing. 1- to see if I can maintain during a time period of less structure and 2- to give myself a "break" from the lose mentalilty and switch to the daily life maintaininng and get use to a forever healthy life style thinking and not just I lost the weight and now I dont have to worry . (I am really hoping this makes sense).

I would appreciate any tips or advice you have about making the jump from trying to lose weight to maintaining. I really want to make this a life change and not just a temporary change when this is all said and done. I appreciate the feedback and help.
edited April 27


  • steveko89steveko89 Member Posts: 2,073 Member Member Posts: 2,073 Member
    First off, nice work on the first 40 lbs, that's certainly nothing to sneeze at.

    As far as your plan is concerned, I think you're on the right track. It's good practice to incorporate diet breaks into a long loss phase and provides an opportunity to trial strategies for maintenance that you'll need long term to maintain your loss. However, in terms of a mindset, by telling yourself it's harder over the summer you're artificially making it less likely you'll be successful by speaking/thinking the scapegoat for process failure into existence. Don't make the mistake of underestimating the power of self-talk and how that translates into positives of negatives. As far as implementable strategies, if structure helps keep you on track during the school year, try to find or define structure and routine in your summers. I know that's worked for me when it comes to weekends or holidays; in terms of eating and logging I started thinking about them the same as any other day and it's improved my adherence greatly. Prior to that I'd be on point for about 4.5 days per week but would similarly stray in terms of logging and adherence Friday night through Sunday; correcting that put me in control. How that looks is going to differ person-to-person. I find success in planning and pre-logging as much of my meals as I can, even as far as what time I'll roughly consume them. A little effort and thought first thing in the morning or the night before makes a world of difference in how I go through my day.
  • aosborne81aosborne81 Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    Thank you both! I am feeling happy with the 40 lbs. Losing the last 30 will put me at the top of a my healthy bmi (something i haven't seen since college nearly 16 years ago). I appreciate the help and insight.

    As for summer I think I was making more a blanket start point, but was thinking once the stress of working this school year has settled down and I am more evened out mentally and emotionally, that I may want to jump back in after a few weeks. @MsCzar I like your idea of keeping the door open and not setting it for the whole summer. @steveko89 Thank you for the reminder about mindset. I actually talk about this alot and it is something I need to work on following as well.
  • MadisonMolly2017MadisonMolly2017 Member, Premium Posts: 8,316 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,316 Member
    Great suggestions above.
    My first thought - to take or leave - is to take a 1-2 week diet break once you are off teaching. Then get back on your losing plan for the summer - possibly at a planned slower rate - to insure your success. After school begins - possibly the day after Back to School Night THEN begin your maintenance trial.

    You want to do the trial & error of maintenance during your least stressful/busy time so you can collect data, figure out your challenges & come up with habits & solutions that work for you!

    You could do that the whole school year - or decide you’ve got Maintenance 30 labs up & go into weight loss for as mother 5-10 lbs then do maintenance practice again. Repeat.

    The Half Size Me podcasts are very helpful.

    I’ve lost & kept off 72-75 lbs
    2yr 8mos to lose
    2yr 8 MPs maintained
    I purposely lost slowly, so I could change 100’s of decades-long habits & hopefully be successful.

    Turtle 🐢 not Hare 🐇

    The GOAL is Maintenance !

    And I agree with above poster: after maintaining a couple of weeks, I was reassured & was really motivated to lose some more.

    Good Luck!!
    edited April 27
  • akm0615akm0615 Member Posts: 25 Member Member Posts: 25 Member
    Agree 100% with @AnnPT77. I lost 41Lbs between Jan 2020 thru Sept 2020. Been in maintenance since with +/- 2-4 lbs. Every day in maintenance is a learning. Some days I learn a lot and some days I learn a little. I don't think lifestyle wise anything has changed while losing to now maintaining. My goal was to do things that were sustainable and didn't feel like a chore on a daily basis. Initially when I started on this journey I took the time to learn and practice good habits that I knew I could stay with for life. I still log everything I eat and exercise like I still have weight to lose. 9 months at my current process, (I call it a process and see it being a process for life) I've learnt to be kinder to myself and appreciate the small changes which eventually add up.

    My recommendation is to find ways to do things that keeps you motivated and makes it sustainable. Don't worry too much about the daily scale fluctuations or downfalls that just happen sometimes. Learn to enjoy the process. This was really huge for me. Learning to enjoy the process. Keep telling yourself: Stay the course, this is a journey...

    You will do great! Wish you the very best!
  • GregInORLGregInORL Member Posts: 230 Member Member Posts: 230 Member
    Dont need to add anything tip wise to all the great ones already shared, but just wanted to say you've got a great plan. Maintenance breaks give your body a break from the stress of losing weight. Also practicing the skill of neither gaining nor losing weight, which will serve you well for the rest of your journey.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 3,151 Member Member Posts: 3,151 Member
    I have been maintaining a 55 lb. loss for several years. I'm retired, so it's sort of like summer vacation for you. It means having the time to cook healthy meals instead of coming home tired and wanting to eat whatever is quickest. It means not eating a high fat lunch out every day. (That always got me when I was working.) It means having time to exercise every day. It means having time to do projects around the house and yard. It means fewer social events that challenge my willpower.

    The important thing about maintaining is to weigh yourself often, so you catch it early if you start indulging more. For me, I also still log what I eat because it keeps me very aware of the consequences of what I am eating. i.e. if I have a restaurant meal out, what do I do to keep my weekly calorie balance good. If I want a beer with my burger, what can I eat for dessert that won't put me over on calories?
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,869 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,869 Member
    If you want to maintain your weight, you need to keep track of it and go back into deficit whenever it rises. As @AnnPT77 says, you can run a slight deficit most days (e.g., weekdays) so that you have a bit more capacity on others (e.g., the weekends).

    But, however you do it, the job is never over for people with a tendency to gain weight (such as me).
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 915 Member Member Posts: 915 Member
    My wife and I hit goal weight a year apart nearly 10 years ago. She's gained around half of it back.

    The other day, she says to me, "I have no idea how I gain weight...". "I don't eat anything in the AM...".

    I do the grocery shopping. She goes through 1 gallon of sweetened coffee creamer a week -- 14K calories worth. She honestly believes she uses 10 calories or so a day.

    "I have no idea Honey...". SMH. My mind is like a flippin' calorie counter, though I haven't counted in four or so years.

    Maybe you could mention the creamer?
  • aosborne81aosborne81 Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input. I hate cooking but over the last month or so I have been going vegetarian so I have actually been cooking more and don't hate it as much.. maybe I just hate prepping meat? Lol. I still don't love cooking but have had some good quick healthy and balanced meals. I will be looking into this more during the maintenance break and finding more recipes to try.

    Every one is right and had great comments above. I think I just needed to hear it from others to know I am leaning on the right path!

    As a former coffee cream drinker-- and a stubborn person-- it's like the old adage says. You can lead a horse to water but you can't stop a person from drinking coffee creamer lol
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 3,151 Member Member Posts: 3,151 Member
    I used to drink the flavored creamers, but only when I got coffee out. Then I started buying the large bottles during the Christmas holidays. For a while I could find a low fat version of Irish Cream at the grocery, but they stopped carrying it. Since I knew how many calories were in each dollop of the full fat stuff, and since I drink a lot of coffee, I stopped that. I just drink 2% milk in my coffee, which is fine, but not as rich as the flavored creamers.
  • MsCzarMsCzar Member Posts: 498 Member Member Posts: 498 Member
    Unless you are willing to carefully measure, it is very easy to go overboard with coffee creamers.

    I have a tiny ceramic pitcher into which I pour ~3T/45ml (60 calories/2g protein) of half & half. I know exactly where the fill line should be, which makes the measuring fast and easy. I usually have three strong cups of coffee each morning using up the pitcher's contents - pouring in a little coffee on the last round to greedily make sure I've gotten it all!
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,897 Member Member Posts: 3,897 Member
    charmmeth wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »

    Have you ever been married? If so, you should know better. LOL!! ;)

    As it happens, yes, I am married. I've been thinking about how to have this kind of conversation with my husband who doesn't exercise and then complains about back pain...

    I was married for 25 years and involved in a couple of LTRs after that for 7 and 14 years; the latter still ongoing.

    I wouldn't mention the matter or insist a change regarding a "sensitive" subject unless I had evidence that my spouse/partner was SERIOUSLY interested in making the change.

    Without the desire to change, it will NEVER happen and will only alienate your spouse/partner if you go down that path w/o their personal desire/cooperation.

    From what you've said, which is limited, I'd focus on the back pain and ask your husband what he's considered doing about eliminating it. If reducing his weight is something he suggests as a possibility, that's your opening to discussing changing his diet and increasing his level of exercise but the "idea" for this need to come from him.

    Good luck!

  • rosiekinrosiekin Member Posts: 32 Member Member Posts: 32 Member
    I have been maintaining a 90lb weight loss since April 2015. I had been overweight/obese for most of the previous 35 years. I believe 2 things have been the key to my success this time. One, daily logging and two, giving up most foods with refined sugar. I appreciate the latter is not for everyone but it’s the best decision I have ever made. I decided to try it at the start of my weight loss journey in 2014. After I had got through the cold turkey stage, I actually found it quite easy to do. One month led to another and now 7 years plus have passed and I’ve never regretted my decision at all. I’m no saint though, I’ve got a bad pizza and crisp habit, and I enjoy both these foods regularly!

    With my logging, I now go for a weekly average so on some days I eat more calories than others. I didn’t always do this. I adjust my calories slightly if I feel my clothes getting loser or a lit bit tighter. To be honest, I’ve only had to do that once and that was in the past year. I’d stopped exercising as much and hadn’t adjusted my calories so over about a year I think I’d put on a few pounds. It was a good reminder to me that during weight maintenance, you still have to be mindful of changes, and make adjustments when necessary, and if possible, before a small problem becomes a bigger one!

    My best advice would be to work out what’s going to work best for you. What works for one person, won’t necessarily work for another so it might be a bit of trial and error until you get a handle of things. However, W ell done on your weight loss so far and good luck with your first maintenance journey.
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Member, Premium Posts: 2,580 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,580 Member
    My wife and I hit goal weight a year apart nearly 10 years ago. She's gained around half of it back.

    The other day, she says to me, "I have no idea how I gain weight...". "I don't eat anything in the AM...".

    I do the grocery shopping. She goes through 1 gallon of sweetened coffee creamer a week -- 14K calories worth. She honestly believes she uses 10 calories or so a day.

    "I have no idea Honey...". SMH. My mind is like a flippin' calorie counter, though I haven't counted in four or so years.

    I really like the fat free half and half. 20 cals for 2 T. I used to use sweetener in my coffee (equal) but lately I have just used the sugar free Starbucks vanilla syrup or a measured amount of their Toffeenut syrup. When/if she gets serious to herself about losing the weight again she already knows she needs to track her calories so I assume she's a pretty smart cookie (even if stubborn) and can figure it out for herself. That's always the best way anyhow. Altho it's nice to have supportive family and friends (and MFP pals!) things we really internalize I think mostly come from our own experiences and experimentations.
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